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News & Politics Podcasts

Human Trafficking, Forced Labor, and All Things Related


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Human Trafficking, Forced Labor, and All Things Related




Colorado Project 2.0 to Comprehensively Combat Human Trafficking

Amanda Finger, Executive Director and Founder, and Dr. Annie Miller, Co-Principal Investigator of the Colorado Project, from the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking in Denver, Colorado, discuss their recently released Colorado Project 2.0 to Comprehensively Combat Human Trafficking and their related Action Plan. Their community-based research project encompassed 183 individual surveys, 69 organizational interviews, and 29 focus groups from across Colorado. Sources: The Colorado Project...


What is a T Visa and U Visa?

Seth and JJ explain what a T Visa and U Visa are, and how they can help victims of human trafficking get temporary nonimmigrant status. They also explain how Trump administration policies have affected these visa, including how they are slowing down processing times. Nevertheless, applications numbers have risen, but so have denials since 2016 along with a growing backlog of pending applications. Sources: Information for Law Enforcement Agencies and Judges, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration...


Jeffrey Epstein Charged with Sex Trafficking

Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested and formerly charged with sex trafficking by the Southern District of New York. Seth and JJ discuss the new charges and information that has come to light. Sources: Jeffrey Epstein Is Accused of Luring Girls to His Manhattan Mansion and Abusing Them, The New York Times $56 Million Upper East Side Mansion Where Epstein Allegedly Abused Girls, The New York Times Trump and Jeffrey Epstein Once Hosted a Party for “28 Girls” at Mar-a-Lago, VICE "So. More on the...


Programmable Slaves in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse

Seth and JJ discuss Joss Whedon's most controversial work, Dollhouse, which intersects with themes of human trafficking, prostitution, ownership, identity, and consent. While it's been 10 years since Dollhouse debuted for a two season run, Dollhouse's complex portrayal of trafficking is still good for a nuanced conversation of the issues. Sources: Dollhouse, Hulu Why Dollhouse Really Is Joss Whedon's Greatest Work, Gizmodo In defence of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, Den of Geek Joss Whedon's...


Updatepalooza! NXIVM, Epstein, Kraft, Kelly, Lohan, Ayling

Seth and JJ gives updates on previous trafficking stories they've covered. NXIVM leaders Allison Mack pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering charges. We find out who the primary victim was for Jeffrey Epstein's case. Law enforcement backtracks on their claims that sex trafficking occurred at the Orchard Spa where Robert Kraft was a client. Cases are costing R Kelly money and he claims victimhood. Lindsey Lohan admits she misread a situation she's now Instafamous for. And...


Nona: Movie Review

Seth and JJ review the movie Nona, primarily analyzing how it portrays human trafficking. The movie has an intelligent script, strong characterization, and beautiful cinematography shot on location in multiple countries. It's depiction of trafficking is more nuanced than most films involving trafficking, with the focus more on dialogue and interactions within relationships. Sadly, the movie falls apart in the final scene. Spoilers ahead. This is the story of Nona (Sulem Calderon), who met a...


Throwing Stats Against the Wall: The Trump Administration and Trafficking

The Trump Administration claims a humanitarian crisis at the "southern border as human traffickers victimize countless women and children." JJ examines what Trump has said about human trafficking and at looks Trump administration policies, including the wall, and how their claims compare to statistics. Sources: Remarks: Donald Trump Discusses Human Trafficking and the Border - February 1, 2019, Factbase Human Trafficking News, US Department of Justice Thirty-Six Defendants Guilty For Their...


Reflections on New Zealand and “The Great Replacement” Narrative

Seth draws on his experience living in New Zealand to reflect on the country and discusses "The Great Replacement" narrative that has seeped into the mainstream right, and how these narratives can increase dehumanization and marginalization, which can make people more vulnerable to various forms of exploitation, including human trafficking.


Jeffrey Epstein: Billionaire? Pedophile? Pervert? Sexual Predator? Sex Offender? Sex Abuser? Sex Trafficker?

Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse case is facing renewed scrutiny due to the way his case was handling, which included not properly notifying victims about the plea deal, which was really lenient given what he was accused of. Seth and JJ go through the timeline of accusations and reported evidence, along with how the plea deal came about. Epstein's connections to Bill Clinton and Donald Trump are also briefly explored. Sources: Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with...


Krafting Trafficking: Why the Robert Kraft Scandal Shouldn’t Be Just About Him

Patriot's owner Robert Kraft was charged in Florida for solicitation of prostitution. Lanyun Ma of the East Spa was charged with human trafficking. JJ discusses massage parlors, the prostitution sting of the Johns, the situation the victims were in, and how this appears to be a case involving human trafficking. Sources: Trafficking probe that ensnared Robert Kraft began when inspector saw signs women lived at spa, CNN Florida sex trafficking bust is bigger than Robert Kraft -- Here’s why it...


Trafficking by Kenyan Cartels

Cartels based in Kenya recruit East Africans into trafficking situations by pretending to be legitimate labor brokers for real jobs. JJ explains how they do it, which includes brazenly advertising in newspapers. Sources: Why human trafficking is still rife in Kenya, The Star Illicit Trafficking and Eastern Africa, UNODC KENYA: Tier 2, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Kenya is run by mafia-style cartels, says chief justice, The Guardian Merchandised: Human trafficking...


Labor Trafficking at Grant Family Farms

In 2010, Seth purchased a vegetable share from Grant Family Farms CSA, in Wellington, CO. Little did he know that a subcontractor had committed labor trafficking of undocumented workers 5 years prior, with a judge awarding $7.5 million to the 5 men for numerous violations of federal law in 2009. Seth tells their story, and how farmworkers are vulnerable to trafficking. Sources: Fields of fear for Colorado illegal farm laborers, The Denver post Does v. Rodriguez, CaseText John Doe v. Moises...


Is R Kelly a Sex Trafficker?

JJ discusses the alleged and documented incidents of R Kelly's abuse of women and girls, and whether they meet the criteria of trafficking, based on what we know. Seth and JJ begin the show with a quick look into the Pope's admission that some nuns are sex slaves. Sources: Sexual Abuse of Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From Shadows, The New York Times AIDS exacerbates sexual exploitation of nuns, reports allege, NCR Online R. Kelly scandal: A timeline, CNN Kelly accused of sex...


The Case of Cyntoia Brown

Sex-trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown was granted clemency by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on January 7, 2019. JJ discusses Brown's childhood, her trafficking situation with Cut Throat, the incident where she killed Johnny Allen, the complexities of the case, how her story gained publicity, and why she attained clemency. Sources: Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story, iTVS How The Justice System Failed Cyntoia Brown, Refinery29 Cyntoia Brown: National legal groups join appeal to free woman...


Racial Bias in Human Trafficking

A recent Washington Post article noted that according to Federal data, young black men are disproportionately prosecuted for human trafficking. While recognizing that these men are perpetrators, African-Americans are also victims, and racial stereotypes and white saviorism are still found in law enforcement and anti-human trafficking. Sources: Who’s disproportionately prosecuted for human trafficking? Young black men., The Washington Post Types of Trafficking, Human Trafficking Data Human...


Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) Is Reauthorized! What Does It Mean?

Four versions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) were recently passed into law which reauthorize the original law from 2000. The last version had passed in 2013, and expired in 2017 along with funding allocations to anti-trafficking efforts. The new versions include additional funding, more protections for victims, better data collection, and improved criteria for tier rankings, though the Trump administration has opted out of some of the requirements. Seth and JJ give an...


The NXIVM Nexius: Human Trafficking and Cults

Seth and JJ tackle the complicated case of NXIVM--how did an MLM that sold itself as an “executive success program” under the direction of Keith Raniere end up with massive public attention...and more importantly, with many arrests and federal indictments on sex and labor trafficking? We detail how a group (DOS, or the Vow) within a group (Jness) within a group (NXIVM) ended up with a 2019 trial on human trafficking--and more broadly, how cults and human trafficking have a lot of overlap....


So, What’s This White Slavery Thing?

In this episode, Seth and JJ break down white slavery--the history, the reasoning, and the myths that continue to be present in the field of modern human trafficking. Listen in for a lot of nuances about eotic service provision, JJ yelling about exploitation films (and penny dreadfuls) from the 1920s, and a deep dive into US laws. Where does the “myth” of white slavery come from, and how has it persisted? Bonus points: we take on “Taken” once again. Sources: Doezema, Jo. "Loose women or lost...


William Wilberforce: Friend or Foe?

This week, Seth and JJ tackle a "god" in the field of human trafficking work--William Wilberforce himself. Why do we as a field focus on only certain kinds of historic abolitionists as models? Should modern anti-trafficking workers still call themselves abolitionists? What about leaders from affected populations--has a lack of focus on them really been the result of white supremacy? We try to tackle this tough subject with humor, yelling, and and a whole lot of 1800s court transcripts....


How The Coffee Crisis Led To Mexican Migration To the US

The US is once again pulling out of the International Coffee Agreement. The collapse of the previous ICA in 1989, with the US pulling out, is one factor that led to the coffee crisis in the early 2000s. Seth discusses how a series of events, including Mexico implementing US policy recommendations for liberalization, hurt indigenous coffee farmers in Southern Mexico, to the point where coffee and corn were no longer sustainable, and they migrated north, with many coming to the US. Reports...