Created By: DemonDuckofDoom on May 25, 2018 Last Edited By: LondonKdS on May 27, 2018
Troped

Human Traffickers

Villain trope about human traffickers.

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Criminals whose primary trade is the transport and selling of human beings.

They tend to be sprawling, international organizations with seemingly infinite resources. Their resources are not used for their victims, who are typically kept in filthy cages until sold to the highest bidder, who is typically an immensely wealthy businessman. Their victims are typically female, and sold as sex slaves.

Very common trade of Ruthless Foreign Gangsters. Due to the Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil and Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil tropes, human traffickers are near-universally considered to be over the Moral Event Horizon. See Super Human Trafficking for a more fantastic variant.

Examples:

Comic Books
  • The Punisher MAX: The Punisher goes after a trafficking ring in "The Slavers." Their treatment of women and children sets off Frank's Berserk Button, and his defeat of them is considered one of the most violent parts of the comic.
    • "The Naked Kill" is another Punisher arc where the villains own a maximum-security apartment and use it to make snuff movies (the Big Bad's nephew has a Gag Penis with which he rips the women apart), importing women from all over the world to keep up their numbers. Frank disguises himself as a janitor and makes his way through the floors in a masterclass demonstration on using an Improvised Weapon, but the murder of the star is left to the victims after Frank kneecaps him.
  • ''The Sandman: Hob Gadling was involved in the slave trade for several years. On boasting about his success to Dream, he was told to knock it off (and he still feels guilty for it a few centuries later).
Film
  • The main antagonists of Skin Trade are an international trafficking ring that killed The Hero's family. The film was specifically made by Dolph Lundgren to raise awareness on the issue.
  • Crazed: Main antagonists the Luna Cartel have sex trafficking as one of their primary revenue sources, the other being Organ Theft.
  • The Taken series is about an American man who gets into a lengthy feud with a gang of Eastern European sex traffickers, initially after they kidnap his daughter while she's on holiday in Paris.
Literature
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, slavery is very common outside of the Seven Kingdoms, to the point that human trafficking is the main industry of Astapor (which specializes in Child Soldiers), Yunkai (which specializes in sex slaves), and Mereen (which specializes in domestic slaves).
Live Action TV
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • May 25, 2018
    StrixObscuro
    Literature
    • In A Song Of Ice And Fire, slavery is very common outside of the Seven Kingdoms, to the point that human trafficking is the main industry of Astapor (which specializes in Child Soldiers), Yunkai (which specializes in sex slaves), and Mereen (which specializes in domestic slaves).
  • May 25, 2018
    Miss_Desperado
    Caught a spelling mistake, corrected near-unoversally -> near-universally
  • May 26, 2018
    Chabal2
    • "The Naked Kill" is another Punisher arc where the villains own a maximum-security apartment and use it to make snuff movies (the Big Bad's nephew has a Gag Penis with which he rips the women apart), importing women from all over the world to keep up their numbers. Frank disguises himself as a janitor and makes his way through the floors in a masterclass demonstration on using an Improvised Weapon, but the murder of the star is left to the victims after Frank kneecaps him.
    • The Sandman: Hob Gadling was involved in the slave trade for several years. On boasting about his success to Dream, he was told to knock it off (and he still feels guilty for it a few centuries later).
    • Some historical games like Civilization try to skirt the issue of the triangle trade (buying slaves in Africa, shipping them to America, bringing American crops to Europe, and goods from Europe back to Africa). by not mentioning what it is the player is participating in.
  • May 26, 2018
    LondonKdS
    The Taken series is about an American man who gets into a lengthy feud with Eastern European sex traffickers after they kidnap his daughter.

    Worth pointing out in the write-up the degree to which this is sensationalised and distorted in many fictional treatments to make the victims more "relatable" to US audiences: most sex traffickers do not violently snatch nice middle-class women and children off the street, but target poor people and illegal migrants whose disappearance won't be noticed. Sometimes international sex trafficking involves women who were entirely aware that they were going to be sex workers, but were tricked into believing that they would be treated with a modicum of decency and not as Sex Slaves.
  • May 26, 2018
    DemonDuckofDoom
    I haven't seen Taken, would you mind doing the writeup, London?
  • May 27, 2018
    Arivne
    ^^ The "target poor people and illegal migrants whose disappearance won't be noticed." part of that is Disposable Vagrant. You could Pot Hole that section to that trope if you want to.
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