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The Trafficking Inc. investigation

The Trafficking Inc. investigation: A new ICIJ investigation delves into interconnected webs of companies, individuals, and business strategies that derive profits from the exploitation of labor trafficking and sex trafficking across international borders.

The investigation, known as Trafficking Inc., is dedicated to exploring two distinct types of human trafficking: labor trafficking and sex trafficking. These nefarious practices encompass the exploitation of individuals through the use of force, deceit, or coercion. They are compelling them to engage in work or provide services against their will.

A story copublished in June 2023 by ICIJ and Reuters examined sex trafficking between Nigeria, other African nations, and the United Arab Emirates. The story was based on court records, other documents, and  interviews with 25 African women. The women described being lured to the UAE by traffickers. This along with dozens of interviews with humanitarian workers, investigators, Nigerian government officials and others with knowledge of sex trafficking in the Emirates.

The investigative team includes journalists from ICIJ, Reuters, NBC News, WGBH Boston, The Washington Post, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

Labor trafficking inflicts a profound and extensive toll on workers, leaving a lasting impact. In addition to enduring economic exploitation, these individuals are vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, infectious diseases, hunger, unhygienic living conditions, and hazardous work environments. Studies conducted among trafficked workers consistently reveal alarming rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Various factors such as war, disease, disasters, global warming, poverty, and inequality act as catalysts, compelling vulnerable workers to pursue fresh job opportunities and a chance at a better life in different locations.

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