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Human Traffickers
aka: Human Trafficking

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Rick Blaine: I don't buy or sell human beings.
Senor Ferrari: Too bad. That's Casablanca's leading commodity. With refugees alone, we can make a fortune if you work with me through the black market.

Criminals whose primary trade is the illegal transportation of live human beings; ranging from the smuggling of undocumented migrants (or ethnic menial laborers) across national borders, to selling people into forced labor and servitude (especially involuntary prostitution).

They tend to be sprawling, international organizations (or even imperialist aristocrats) 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 or even The Empire.

Real-world sex traffickers don't snatch "nice" upper-middle-class women and children off the street, which is too difficult and risky. Rather, they usually target homeless, undocumented, poor people whose disappearances will attract much less attention, using seduction and/or blackmail to initially trick them into bad situations. Very often, women who fall prey to this were entirely aware that they were being recruited for sex work, but expected to be treated with a modicum of decency. In even more cynical works, the victims of this will end up being consumed by a High-Class Cannibal. In Period Pieces set in colonial eras, Hollywood Natives are often the targets of human trafficking.

Very common trade of Ruthless Foreign Gangsters, The Mafiya, and other Eastern European gangsters have a particular association with the trade. To a lesser extent, The Cartel and Evil Colonialists from Hegemonic Empires will also dabble in this illicit business. They are also a popular tactic of Greenwashed Villainy and Hoarding the Profits, especially of non-sexual kind. Due to Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil and Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil, human traffickers of the pimp variety (as well as other varieties to an extent) are near-universally considered to be over the Moral Event Horizon. See Superhuman Trafficking for a more fantastic variant. Contrast Underground Railroad, which is when people, persecuted or otherwise, are smuggled to safety, rather than being smuggled as cargo.

If the traffickers are in league with an Evil Colonialist, they're always prone to be Chased by Angry Natives.

Unfortunately Truth in Television (although to what degree is disputed, especially in regards to prostitution; for instance, controversial migrations scholar Laura Agustín disputes that so much prostitution is sex trafficking, while other scholars say that prostitution is sex trafficking). Also, despite this page's and most fiction's concentration on the sexual kind, a lot of real-world human trafficking is for non-sexual domestic service, agricultural labour, sweatshops, or to provide the Generic Ethnic Crime Gang and/or Evil Colonialist's expendable menials.

Compare Evil Poacher, which deals with non-human animals.

As with all Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Bush Baby: Animal traffickers, more like. They wish to kill and hunt various animals for their tusks and bones, that fetch a lot of value on the black market.
  • Ie Naki Ko Remi: Pollinel is a human trafficker who pays good money for children and Jérôme wanted to sell Remy to him. Thankfully Vitalis intervenes, beats the crud out of Pollinel, and rescues her.
  • In GTO: The Early Years, Shinomi almost falls victim to this when her wealthy new boyfriend turns out to be a trafficker for the yakuza. Eikichi overhears some of his goons talking about their illegal activity in a public bathroom and gives them (and their boss, when he shows up) the most deserved and violent swirlie ever.
  • The World's Finest Assassin has Maha fall victim to Torran and Lloyd, a pair of pimps who kidnap young girls and imprison them in their Orphanage of Fear.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • The Punisher goes after a trafficking ring in "The Slavers". Their horrible treatment of their victims sets Frank off in a big way (mistreatment of women and kids in general is one of the fastest ways to get on Frank's shitlist), and how he deals with them is considered one of the most violent parts of the entire MAX run.
    • "The Naked Kill" is another Punisher arc where the villains own a maximum-security apartment and use it to make Snuff Films (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 master-class demonstration on using an Improvised Weapon, but the murder of the star is left to the victims after Frank kneecaps him.
  • In Red Hood: The Lost Days Jason Todd discovers that his German mentor Egon is trafficking children. He responds by killing everyone involved in the operation, utilizing some of the deadly skills taught to him by Egon and the other mentors Talia found for him as well as his former training in less lethal methods under Batman.
  • The Sandman (1989): Hob Gadling was involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade for several years during its heyday. 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).
  • Sin City:
    • The Colonel, one of the Wallenquist Mob's lieutenants, was responsible for managing a huge human trafficking network that was later dismantled by One-Man Army Retired Badass Wallace in the events of "Hell and Back".
    • Part of Dwight McCarthy's backstory in "A Dame to Kill For" involved taking down a ring of these, which left the girls of Old Town in his debt. The term Dwight used for them, "white slavers", is an old-school and very discredited term for this type of criminal.
  • Superboy (1994): Kossak the Slaver abducts a number of humans for his intergalactic slave trading operation.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Hypnota uses her mental control powers to make the people she abducts placid and ensure they won't fight back before selling them, and has been selling large quantities of people to Saturnian slavers.
    • In the Huntress feature Helena Wayne uncovers the operations of Herbert Hynde who buys babies and young children from the desperate poor and in debt and sells them to rich families.

    Fan Works 
  • Trafficking for quirks is a Fandom-Specific Plot in My Hero Academia. Examples:
    • In Waters of Lethe, Aizawa is captured by traffickers who plan to auction him as a rare and valuable high-profile asset. He gets rescued because Hizashi is not about to stand for that, and the other captives are freed as well. However, Aizawa struggles to recover from a Trigger-boosted blast of an amnesia quirk. Hizashi is horrified to find later that one of the parties interested in buying Aizawa was the League of Villains and their nomu makers.
    • Someone You Trust has Hizashi appearing to be working for people trafficking kids, including U.A. students. He is revealed to be a Fake Defector in the end but is horrified at the Sadistic Choice he faced of having to either blow the chance to get the buyer targeting their students or torturing his best friend. Aizawa realizes he found ways to avoid hurting him worse and tells Hizashi that he acted as a true hero but Hizashi is traumatized by what he had to do.
  • The LDD-fanfic Bridge to Terabithia 2: The Last Time retcons Leslie Burke's alleged demise to a Never Found the Body situation, where as it turns out, she was actually abducted by an enemy of the Burke family, who's implied to be stalking the Burkes the whole time. Said enemy turns out to be Jason Burke, the half-brother and nemesis of William Burke due to a past love triangle gone wrong, who decides to abduct William's only child, Leslie, and then fake her death and intends to have Leslie sold off to a human trafficking syndicate in a misguided attempt to spite his brother. Needless to say, of the many new characters introduced in the story, Jason Burke is the most despised of all, by the story's characters and readers alike.
  • At the start of Lost Storms: Stormy's Forgotten Past, six-year-old Stormy is kidnapped by traffickers while out with her mother. Stormy is especially sought after because she comes from an influential family with the ability to cause storms. Stormy ends up sold to Murky, where he raises her to defeat Rainbow Brite for him.
  • Once We Hit Twenty-four Hours, We May Never Be Seen Again: Ashlyn’s kidnappers. She’s rescued, but she was raped three times.
  • Twelve Months, a Love, Simon/The Hate U Give/Love, Victor crossover fanfiction, reveals this is what happened to Simon after his disappearance. He's smuggled into Bulgaria and forced to work at a brothel for the majority of the story.
  • The Supernatural fanfic Maybe Sprout Wings imagines Dean's time in Hell as earthly human trafficking, with Crowley as a human trafficker.
  • In The Night Unfurls, it's more like dark-elf trafficking, but the concept is the same — the end of Chapter 24 has Kyril unveiling one of House Mandeville's plots. After finding a key by chance, he used it to unlock one of the crates nearby. It turns out that there are dark-elf slaves stuffed inside the crates, ready to be transported to the north for Vault's taking.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Lost in Gotham: In the same chapter where Spider-Man meets Harley Quinn, he, she, and Robin are on a mission to take down a human trafficking ring that's been abducting teenage girls throughout Gotham. The narrative states that, according to Batman, many of Gotham's rogues have a low opinion of human trafficking.
  • The Ark from With Pearl and Ruby Glowing run a sex ring with connections all over the world. Many of their past victims turn up in the Palace.
  • Metal Gear: Green: The Showstoppers is an infamous human trafficking ring that plagued Europe for years, kidnapping children and forcing them to play in sadistic games for the depraved public's sick amusement. When Nowak's daughter is kidnapped by the Showstoppers, the Polish government hires the MSF to rescue the kids and disband the Showstoppers.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Afflicted: Maggie refuses to leave her house so for money, she forces her son to do odd jobs and pimps out one of her daughters.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman gives an offscreen beating to Gotham City human trafficker Cesar Santos, who's locked Asian women in his basement. Santos gets "bat-branded" by Batman and the vigilante leaves him to be arrested by the police. In the Extended Edition, Santos gets killed in prison on Lex Luthor's orders so it will appear Batman branded him to be killed (which wasn't the case).
  • The first antagonists of Black Butler are a group of traffickers Shiori got herself captured by to figure out their connection to a string of murders. They're shown to handle their victims in an incredibly degrading way even by human trafficking standards. As it turns out, this is because their primary client is experimenting on the girls to discover immortality.
  • Black Cougar: This is the main villains' motivations for kidnapping neighbourhood kids.
  • In Black Panther (2018), the titular character fights a group of traffickers working for Boko Haram before heading back to Wakanda.
  • Crazed: The main antagonists, the Luna Cartel, have sex trafficking as one of their primary revenue sources, the other being Organ Theft.
  • Eastern Promises: The Vory y Zakone syndicate has been importing Russian girls into the west to be forced into prostitution. The plot is kicked off when a pregnant 14-year-old girl runs away and dies in childbirth after she was raped by the chapter's boss.
  • 1941 short film Forbidden Passage focuses on a gang that smuggles foreigners into the United States in the cargo hold of ships. The only problem is, if the captain of the ship thinks he's going to be caught, he drowns his passengers in the ocean to avoid detection, a real-life tactic often used by traffickers.
  • In Goldstone, the mining company is flying in indentured sex workers to work at a brothel located just off the mine's property, allowing plausible deniability. Mrs Lao handles this side of the business, allowing the mine's manager to keep his hands clean.
  • ''Golgo 13'' (1973) features a gang of traffickers led my a mysterious man named Max Boa as the main antagonists. The client who hired Duke Togo for the job did so because his own daughter was one of Boa's many victims.
  • Human Cargo (1936): The antagonists smuggle illegal immigrants into the US and extort money from them by threatening to expose them.
  • The villains of the second I Spit on Your Grave movie are vicious sex traffickers who kidnap and brutalize a young woman named Kate, who goes over the top when she takes her revenge on them.
  • Jane Got a Gun: Jane decided to take her daughter Mary and move West on the Bishop wagon train. Too late, she and the other women on the wagon train realized that Bishop intended to start a brothel, forcing the helpless women into prostitution.
  • Journey of Hope is about a Turkish family attempting to enter Switzerland illegally for work. They deal with a series of increasingly shady, dishonest smugglers, with the worst being the ones at the end who abandon them in the Alps along the Swiss/Italian border.
  • Killer Angels: The main villains of the movie are a human trafficking ring, complete with cages containing young women hidden in the basement of their Big Fancy House hideout.
  • Lilya 4-ever is an extremely grim Scandinavian drama about a teenage girl from the former Soviet Union who is trafficked into Sweden and forced into prostitution by a man who she thought loved her.
  • In Level 16, according to Dr. Miro, the girls at Vestalis Academy were sold as babies to the facility by their parents. Whether they knew their daughters were going to be used as Human Resources donors for skin transplants at the doctor's rejuvenation clinic is left a mystery.
  • The Mongolian Connection: What Serik is up to in Texas, smuggling in Mongolian women to work as prostitutes. It's a huge problem in Ulaanbaatar, with news reports of gangs snatching women off the street.
  • The antagonists in Rambo: Last Blood are a gang of traffickers who kidnap women and force them into sexual slavery in an unnamed Mexican seaport. They come into conflict with Rambo when they take a young woman he helped raise.
  • A Deleted Scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End reveals that Jack's Pirate Brand came from his refusal to participate in this under the British Empire and Lord Cutler Beckett.
  • In 68 Kill, Liza is revealed to have been doing this on scale: selling women to her brother Dwayne, who kills them, rapes them, and dissects them (yes, ...In That Order). It is not made clear where she sources the women, but she does mention that the last one was a crack whore. This is her plan for disposing of Violet: rather than just killing her, selling her to Dwayne will have the same outcome and make her some money in the process.
  • Skin Trade: The main antagonists 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.
  • Skin Traffik: The villains are all involved in selling women's bodies for profit. One of the major baddies, Sergei is more directly involved in forcing the women into slavery.
  • Sound of Freedom: The film's primary antagonists are those who specifically specialize in trafficking children for sexual purposes.
  • Spectre: During the SPECTRE meeting, it's mentioned that one of the Nebulous Evil Organization's many sources of revenue is human trafficking, including child prostitution. This is one of the reasons why Mr. White, a former member, defected and went into hiding, since he was appalled by the levels of evil that Oberhauser sank to. Mr. White's actions here are interesting considering that he made his introduction in Casino Royale (2006) brokering a deal between Le Chiffre and Obanno, the latter of whom uses Child Soldiers. In that scene, Mr. White does seem mildly uneasy as he watches one of the children serving Obanno, foreshadowing his later defection.
  • The Taken series is about an American man who gets into a lengthy feud with a gang of Albanian sex traffickers, initially after they kidnap his daughter while she's on holiday in Paris. As shown in the first film, however, the Albanians are just the bottom of a much larger organization that includes corrupt French and Swiss officials as well as an Arab Oil Sheikh.
  • In Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Harvey Keitel gave us the Faux Affably Evil Matthew "Sport" Higgins, who pimps a twelve-year-old runaway played by Jodie Foster.
  • In The Terror of the Tongs, Tang How boasts to Captain Sale that the Red Dragon Tong runs the largest white slavery operation in the world.
  • The Transporter has Jason Statham as Frank Martin, who battles an Asian trafficker who is kidnapping people and bringing them to France to become slaves. And one of the trafficker's victims is his own daughter, whom Martin breaks his personal rules in order to help.
  • Virgins of the Seven Seas: The villains are pirates working for a ruthless brothel owner, who kidnapped the five titular virgins intending to sell them off to wealthy clients.

  • In The Chosen (1997), the villains are a group of vampires and werewolves who are kidnapping human girls to sell them into slavery to Night People. This is illegal under Night World law because it potentially attracts too much attention, though it still happens occasionally. Because the regular human authorities won't be able to do much, vampire hunters take it upon themselves to investigate and shut the slave ring down. Rashel later learns that the slavers aren't taking the girls to sell them but instead to serve them as the main course for a Blood Feast for powerful law-breaking vampires.
  • In Darkblade Assassin note , the first book in the Hero of Darkness series note , the evil cult The Bloody Hand have human sex trafficking as its source of income.
  • The Fragility of Bodies: Rivero used to be a human trafficker for Garcia before he took charge of the Buenos Aires Game of Chicken. It's not relevant to the story, other than to enforce Rivero's status as a Hate Sink.
  • In Death:
    • Origin in Death has an illegal cloning program that has for decades cloned people for willing buyers. These clones are used for everything from prostitutes, soldiers, spies, or even disposable cannon fodder.
    • Born In Death has a group that takes in mothers and sells their babies to rich customers.
    • Faithless in Death features the Breeding Cult known as the Natural Order, run by Reverend Stanton Wilkey. The Natural Order kidnaps women and tortures them into submissive brides to be sold off to politicians and other high-ranking officials.
    • Desperation in Death features the "The Pleasure Academy", which is run by Jonah K. Devereaux. The Pleasure Academy kidnaps young girls and women and indoctrinates them into sex slaves for the wealthy elite.
  • The Japanese Lover: Irina's mother, Radmila, meets a woman in her native Moldavia who promises a lucrative job as a server. She ends up as a prisoner in a bordello in Turkey for two years until she is able to escape to Italy.
  • In Juni Taisen: Zodiac War, Dog's backstory was that he used his job as a daycare attendant to pick potential Child Soldiers from the kids. He has his limits over where they end up, though, as he killed a customer who was planning to make a Sex Slave out of a trafficked kid as well as everyone involved.
  • Lost Time has ghoulish vampires in The Horde working as human traffickers for their vampiric cousins the Sanguine Collective. Blake's first recruit, sans Zea and Mara, is one of these victims, Nathan, whom he saves from being enslaved after The Horde led a raid on his village in post-apocalyptic America. More of these survivors also end up working for him at his home base, since they've been taken from across the world with very few chances of returning.
  • In The Mister, it's revealed that the men stalking Alessia are this; they abducted Alessia and took away her passport when she was trying to get into the UK with the intention of selling her into sexual slavery; she managed to escape but now they're trying to re-kidnap her so she won't threaten their schemes. This plotline is mostly used as an excuse for Alessia to meet her love interest Maxim and further their relationship.
  • In the Modesty Blaise series, this was one of the lines Modesty refused to cross during her criminal career, and she and her organisation would sometimes go out of their way to put a spoke in the wheel of rival organisations that did take part in the trade. In the prologue of The Night of Morningstar, she and her team take down a crime boss who specialises in trafficking underage girls.
  • Nadia Stafford: The novel Made to be Broken follows a ring that has been kidnapping teenage mothers, stealing their babies, and killing the mothers afterwards. The babies are then sold by an illegal adoption agency.
  • Pinot Noir has a subplot involving the child-trafficking preacher Kleetus Klementine, who has children kidnapped, caged, and sold to twisted clientele.
  • Rebuild World has a twist on this: it's mostly male Private Military Contractors who are shown being trafficked when they fall into debt, being made to fight as a Cannon Fodder Boxed Crook by people like Viola (who gets called a trafficker). Carol, a Predatory Prostitute, has an arrangement with Viola where Carol gets men addicted to her and charges them more and more money until they can't pay, at which point Viola steps in to profit off their labor.
  • The Running Grave: Just one of the crimes of the Universal Humanitarian Church, which is actually a Cult and Scam Religion. The leaders of the church sell off the newborn babies of cult members to the black market adoption racket.
  • RWBY: After the Fall has the protagonists finding out the two Huntsmen that seem to be around every incident are traffickers who capture powerful people for an unknown party.
  • RWBY: Before the Dawn reveals that not only are there more human traffickers than the first two from the last book but that the Huntsmen are working for an organization called The Crown led by a pair of twins named Jax and Gillian Asturias who have the goal to destroy Shade Academy and restore what was once a monarchy in Vacuo's past.
  • In Secrets Not Meant to be Kept, Martha Plunkett runs a reputable preschool that is actually a front for a toddler sex ring, where preschoolers have been molested and exploited for child pornography for nearly twenty years.
  • In She's Not There, Caroline becomes convinced that this has happened to her missing daughter — that she wasn't kidnapped and murdered, but was taken by someone and smuggled over the Mexican border, to eventually be sold off for adoption.
  • 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 the city-states of Astapor (which specializes in Child Soldiers), Yunkai (which specializes in sex slaves) and Meereen (which specializes in domestic slaves).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Sky: Ronald and Legarski sell the woman he kidnaps as sex slaves.
  • Bones deals with this in the episode "Lost Love in the Foreign Land". It starts as a typical murder case but escalates when someone who's questioned reveals that she was trafficked. In the end, a group of women are found hidden under the killer's floor in a secret room. The victim was killed trying to escape.
  • Charlie's Angels: Several episodes, including a large part of the cringe-worthy criminal enterprise the Angels take down in Season 5's "Angel in Hiding" (a "modeling agency" used as a front to sell "failed" models — i.e., those who refuse to give into sexual harassment — into, among other things, human trafficking and prostitution).
  • Cold Case: The episode "Cargo" is about a human trafficking organisation that is running Eastern European girls as sex slaves and using Philadelphia's docks' cargo containers as a means of transport. The organisation is run by the crime boss Nachalnik (Russian for "Boss"), who keeps the girls in line by using cigarette burns on their feet to prevent them from leaving.
  • Criminal Minds occasionally deals with human trafficking.
    • "Supply & Demand,'' the season six finale, focused on a human trafficking ring whose clientele had gotten bored with the "mundane" sex slavery and decided to graduate to holding annual events where they watch the ring's leader beat up and kill the well-to-do college kids they've abducted while bidding on the implements and methods they use to do so.
    • Season ten's arc expanded on the same concept, following a ring that used the dark web to sell victims to serial killers. Why go through all the trouble of stalking a surrogate of the girl who rejected your proposal when you can just type "brown-haired, blue-eyed white girl" into dark Google and have one delivered right to your in-home torture cellar?
  • CSI-verse:
    • The "CSI Trilogy" revolves around an organized nation-wide ring of human traffickers. The story begins in Miami when Langston is invited to come take a look at some evidence that links to a case of his from Vegas, then movs on to NYC, before concluding back in Sin City.
    • CSI: NY: "She's Not There" involves a Russian man who is killed while searching for his missing daughter who, as it turns out, had been lured into a sex-trafficking ring after being promised a modeling career in the US.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • The Russian syndicate that Wilson Fisk has an alliance that is trafficking in girls at the docks. Matt is introduced attacking them as a container of girls is being unloaded at the docks, then tells the terrified captives to run to the cops.
    • The Yakuza, actually a front for the Hand, are also doing this, with one subplot in season 1 being that Nobu and his people need Fisk to secure the docks as they bring in a Black Sky (which turns out to be a young boy).
  • Dexter: One of Dexter's victims was a businessman who was smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States in containers and murdering those who couldn't pay him. What was more surprising to Dexter is that the man's wife, whom he initially believed to be in the dark about her husband's crimes, was a co-conspirator in their trafficking ring.
  • Doctor Who. In "Warrior's Gate", the Villain of the Week is a crew of humans trafficking in a race of aliens called Tharils. For Dramatic Irony, the Tharils themselves once kept slaves, including humans.
  • One of the main plots of the third season of Engrenages pits Laure and her police team against a vicious Albanian pimping gang who force Eastern European immigrant women into sex-slavery and knowingly hand them over to a local Serial Killer when they get too rebellious.
  • In a Space Opera variant, the Farscape episode "Scratch 'n' Sniff" involves sex trafficking on a corrupt mob-run Pleasure Planet.
  • Human Trafficking is a Lifetime miniseries about the FBI going after an international human trafficking ring.
  • The Mentalist: In Season 6, Jane and the FBI come across a human trafficking ring involving women who are kidnapped, taken in trucks to Mexico, and later sold to clients in South America. These women get selected by a fake model agency that takes their headshots (and their blood) and later drugs these women on the night they're celebrating getting the job so they can kidnap them. There are certain women who get withheld from the group and are branded with a heart-shaped symbol on their hands. Turns out they've been selected to get their organs harvested.
  • Part of Me: The main business venue of The Cartel that Carlos runs is to trick/kidnap young women and force them into prostitution, which is what happens to Adriana/Mónica, Maite, and Valeria at the start of the story. They manage to escape his clutches in Mexico and end up in Miami, but he follows them there with the intention of getting them back.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: In the season three episode "Cuts Like A Knife", The killer in the episode, named "Cutthroat", traffics young women in from Croatia and auctions the virgin girls to the highest bidder.
  • In Star Trek, this is one of the crimes of the Orion Syndicate, as demonstrated in Star Trek: Enterprise when they kidnap nine Starfleeters to sell them into slavery (fortunately, all nine are rescued). The Orion even sell their own women into sexual slavery; though this is mitigated (for a very loose definition of the term) by the fact that the women seem to enjoy being enslaved — and because of their pheromones, it's actually their masters who are held in thrall.
  • Trapped (2015): In one subplot of the first season of this Nordic Noir series, the Captain and the purported Chief Engineer (actually just a gangster) of a ferry between Scandinavia and Iceland are involved in a conspiracy to smuggle African women into Iceland for prostitution.
  • True Blood:
    • One of the things that's mentioned about vampire monarchs in the show is that they regularly have humans procured for them and that they hire other vampires to do this on their behalf. Procuring by definition is when you obtain someone as a prostitute for a client. And considering that vampires have a history of taking humans against their will (either through glamouring or kidnapping) and that when vampires feed on humans, sex usually goes with it regardless of whether or not the human can consent. This leads to some icky implications.
    • In season 3, it's revealed that Bill has been a procurer for Queen Sophie Anne for 35 years and was tasked with sampling humans before bringing them to her. Russell Edgington later hires him to procure a woman from a strip club, and the results are not pretty.
    • In season 5, the Authority (now under command of the human-hating Sanguinistas) start a human trafficking ring where humans are brought to their headquarters and kept naked in cells until they are brought out to be fed on, raped, and then disposed of. Once again, Bill not only is a part of this but also sanctions it.
  • True Detective season 2 kicks off with a raid on a house where a bunch of women are working as webcam models. But in an aversion, it turns out the operation is fully legal, staffed by documented consenting adults, one of whom is the sister of the leading officer, Ani Bezzerides who staged the raid out of her own disapproval.
  • Vera: While investigating a murder in "The Sea Glass", Vera discovers that the Victim of the Week was involved with a human trafficking ring. The skipper of the trawler would smuggle in illegal immigrants and drop them on a remote part of the coast, where the victim would pick them up in a van and deliver them to various locations. While Vera shuts the operation down, it turns out only to be tangentially connected to why the man was murdered.
  • The Wire: The Greeks, an international crime syndicate that first appears in season 2, engages in sex trafficking among several other illegal activities such as the drug trade. They first come to the attention of the BPD when a group of Eastern European girls are left to suffocate in a crate in the Baltimore docks.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: The city of Babylon in the Book of Revelation is judged because among her merchandise that the nations buy of is "the bodies and souls of men", implying that human trafficking is permitted by her. However, the Old Testament has Hebrews themselves permitted to buy Hebrew and foreign slaves (though there are limits on the former). Slavery was ubiquitous in the Middle East at the time of course.

  • Podcast His Night Begins has protagonist Virat Nariman go up against an Indian child-trafficking operation as the plot of its first two seasons.

    Video Games 
  • Alice: Madness Returns: Dr. Angus Bumby and his Wonderland counterpart the Dollmaker use hypnosis to erase the memories of young girls and boys for the purpose of turning them into prostitutes and sex slaves.
  • Call of Juarez: The Cartel: One mission has your characters rescuing a group of American women being trafficked into Mexico. The developers caught flak for this mission, as in reality most Mexican human traffickers target poor and destitute women in their own country and traffic them across the border to the US.
  • In Caravaneer 2, the Drekar tribe sell slaves in their market. If you encounter them in battle, they will have slaves, which you can free or capture for yourself. You can also support them.
  • In The Council of Hanwell, the school headmaster has a chamber for displaying kidnapped children in the school basement. He is murdered by one of the kids who was transformed into an anomaly.
  • Cytus II has human trafficking as a major plot point. The perpetrators are the Mogura gang from Node 03. Nora's DLC chapter elaborates that not only do they force victims into prostitution, but they use babies for human experimentation. It's later revealed that PAFF/Aroma White, one of the main characters, is actually a girl named Kaori who was kidnapped by traffickers and transformed into a Clone by Conversion of Aroma via Magic Plastic Surgery and brainwashing.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has the Dvali crime family, which deals in smuggling. One sidequest has Adam encounter a woman who seeks to use them to escape from Prague to avoid being sent to an aug ghetto.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has a particularly disturbing sidequest where the Courier is tasked with investigating some missing persons from a refugee camp just outside of Vegas. Their search leads them to a pair of slavers who have been snatching people from nearby settlements to sell to the Fiends for torture and other unsavory activities. They even keep a log detailing their recent transactions, including the fact that they even raped the slaves themselves until they realized it lowered their value. Popping these psychos is easily one of the most satisfying moments in the entire game.
  • The antagonists of Far Cry 3 are involved in this, among other things. The Establishing Character Moment of the Big Bad is him welcoming some recently-hired mercenaries into his organisation, where he details the rules about keeping "the product" in good condition: "You can fuck 'em, boys, but be gentle".
  • Unsurprisingly for Grand Theft Auto games, given their nature of their criminal underworlds it should be expected to involve this:
    • Advance: One of the Yakuza missions involves the player kidnapping Mafia goons and bringing them to the docks, where they are sailed off to Asia as slave servants.
    • San Andreas has a mission where CJ storms a Yakuza slave ship, rescues the Vietnamese refugees, and kills the traffickers all by his lonesome.
    • IV: Niko Bellic, in the past, was a human smuggler for Ray Bulgarin's trafficking ring, until one incident which left Niko running for his life and Bulgarin very pissed.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: In the second game of the trilogy, we learn the backstory of the Angel of Slaughter, that she was sold by her parents to a child trafficking ring (serving as a Cynicism Catalyst) where she suffered until the Big Bad's enforcers brutally killed her captors. The brutal fashion of her rescue turned her into a Sadist, and she joined her saviors to become a terrifying Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Mafia III: The Southern Union deals in kidnapping black people off the streets and selling them to rich people through auction. Which Lincoln does not take kindly to at all. After he rescues the slaves, kills the slavers, and takes over this operation, he makes it VERY clear to his underbosses that they will need to find another way to earn money than dealing in the slave trade.
  • In Marco & the Galaxy Dragon, large numbers of people were kidnapped by aliens ten years before the start of the game. Some of the victims, like Marco, were sold into slavery, while others were dismembered and sold as Human Resources. Astaroth was behind the kidnappings.
  • In Palworld, the Player Character can enslave humans alongside mons and sell both on the Black Market.
  • Alluded to in Persona 5, when the team confronts Junya Kaneshiro's Shadow after he tries to blackmail them for 3 million yen:
    Shadow Kaneshiro: [to Makoto] Your sister is quite a beauty, though. I'll be sure to make her my personal slave. Once I get bored, I'll just sell her off...
    Makoto: My sister has nothing to do with this!
    Shadow Kaneshiro: Then you better start taking customers tomorrow. All you gotta do is endure it and do as you're told. You'll earn three million yen in no time.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: One of the Brother Dorkins' sidequests has the player shut down a trafficking ring operating out of the Saint Denis Fence.
  • The first Resident Evil: Gun Survivor has a diary you can collect in a prison which reveals where Umbrella got their "volunteers" for their T-Virus experiments - by recruiting youth from across the world and sending them to Sheena Island as workers, only to have them sent to the Umbrella Lab at where they're never seen again.
  • Saints Row: The Third has a controversial mission where the player intercepts a Syndicate boat transporting sex slaves and rescues them... so that they can work for a local pimp and earn money for the Saints instead of their enemies.
  • Tales of Crestoria: the Inciting Incident of the game is the reveal of a child trafficking ring run by the protagonist Kanata's father where orphaned children are harvested for their organs and sex. Misella, Manata's childhood friend, was one of these orphans.
  • Watch_Dogs: Several story missions and side activities have Aiden fighting against these guys, including a mission where he storms one of their auctions, guns down half of the traffickers, and then calls the cops on the survivors. The Chicago South Club led by Dermot "Lucky" Quinn ran an international auction by selling kidnapped American and European women to the highest bidder.
  • Watch Dogs: Legion: Clan Kelley has this as one of their main business models, regularly buying immigrants and political prisoners from the European Processing Centre and pimping them or selling them at auctions.

  • Dana's Story is based on a true account given to aid agency CARE International by a woman fleeing war and persecution in Syria with her two young sons after her husband is murdered. She is trying to get to Vienna, Austria where her sister and daughter are and has to resort to human traffickers to smuggle her from Turkey to Europe and then throughout Europe from Greece. The Algerian people smugglers she depends on extort her, uping their fees out of the blue when she reaches Kosovo and threatening her sons - she's terrified they will kill her son's and sell their organs.
  • Danger Zone One has the criminal "Miss Bliss" from the "Fantasy Funland" two-parter, who has just established an organ trafficking operation underneath the Fantasy Funland theme park where young women are kidnapped to be sold for their organs.
  • Girl Genius: Bang's pirate crew was involved in selling people, and had planned to sell Zeetha (without Bang's knowledge) before Zeetha recovered enough and killed all of them.
  • Metompsychosis Union: Tilo, a dock worker, discovers that one of the shipping crates at the dock he works at contains restrained people in the first chapter. He's informed, by the revolutionary that's taken him captive, that the business he works for OPAL is secretly partaking in a very lucrative black market on "labor".
  • Unsounded: Starfish smuggles people across borders to sell as slaves, but when Sette and Duane come across him his current human cargo has actually been cut open to stash what he's actually smuggling inside them so he can look like he's just a slaver, when he's instead smuggling a pymaric weapon.
  • Your Throne: Lord Solon is a beloved war hero who runs an orphanage where orphans are cared for. In truth, this orphanage is a scam and the children are taken and sold to willing buyers.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: The Iron Shepherds are a band of thugs based in Shadycreek Run who abduct people from the surrounding area, break their spirits through brutal torture, then sell them as slaves. The Mighty Nein's first experience with them is when they abduct Fjord, Jester and Yasha, and when the rest of the Nein break into the Shepherds' fortress, they find more people imprisoned, including an elderly farmer and a father with a young child. Lorenzo, their leader, is a Complete Monster who eats babies, punishes the Nein for their first failed ambush by brutally murdering Mollymauk in front of them, and during their assault on the fortress, taunts the Nein by telling them he's going to turn them into his personal pets.

    Western Animation 
  • DC Showcase: Catwoman features the title character going after a small-time diamond smuggler who has taken up human trafficking. In the end, it's revealed that they kidnapped Selina's teenage friend Holly Robinson.
  • Spicy City: Otaku is a computer technician who abducts prostitutes, extracts their consciousness, then programs them to be complacent as virtual prostitutes.
  • In Season 3 of Young Justice (2010), meta-human trafficking has become a global pandemic as every unscrupulous major player in the world considers meta-humans to be the next-gen superweapons. This is made worse because Lex Luthor has used his position as UN Secretary General to hamstring the Justice League's efforts to combat the trafficking. What makes this extra disturbing is that many of the meta-humans are young teenagers.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Human Trafficking


The Slave Merchant

The kingdom Naofumi finds himself trapped in practices human supremacy and BeastMan and Demihuman are offered as slaves to perform menial labor or serve as body guards. They are sealed with a curse that forces obedience. At the end of the episode, Naofumi comes across a shady merchant offering slaves for sale. While Naofumi initially rejects the offer, when the Slave Trader points out that slaves cannot lie or betray their masters, Naofumi chooses to listen and looks over the slaves.

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Main / HumanTraffickers

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