South Africa's New Slave Trade and the Campaign to Stop It

In South Africa, host of this year's World Cup, thousands of women and girls are held as modern-day slaves. E. Benjamin Skinner takes a rare look inside the underworld of sex trafficking--and one man's campaign to stop it

Melanie Hamman

A teenage girl waits near a hotel in Bloemfontein

For a South African victim of human trafficking, this was the endgame. On a freezing night last July, Sindiswa, 17, lay curled in a fetal position in bed No. 7 of a state-run hospice in central Bloemfontein. Well-used fly strips hung between fluorescent lights, pale blue paint flaked off the walls, and fresh blood stained her sheets, the rusty bedpost and the linoleum floor. Sindiswa had full-blown AIDS and tuberculosis, and she was three months pregnant. Sweat poured from her forehead as she whispered her story through parched lips covered with sores. A few blocks away, the roars of rugby fans...

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