Why this project?

In 2012, Radio Free Asia published a series of investigative video reports documenting the plight of trafficking victims in China and Southeast Asia. Since then, the phenomenon has worsened. Throughout Southeast Asia, women and girls are still recruited by brokers to be sold as brides in China. And men, in search of an income to support their families, are still being lured into fishing work they are not free to leave.

But some escape. And their stories reveal what could be the beginning of a wider response to entrapment through trafficking. Led by their own will to break free, and with the support of local NGOs, they come home to speak openly about their experience. This new series lets the victims speak in their own words, or through their own art, to communicate directly to their peers and warn them to “be careful out there.”


Beware of Traffickers

Based on a true story and drawings by the Burmese illustrator Ye Manh, this graphic novel tells the story of two young Burmese women and their search to escape the Chinese “husbands” who had bought them through a Burmese broker. While documenting the lack of economic opportunities and the domestic abuse that so often plague women in developing countries, the story also highlights the young women’s determination and courage. Download the Ebook in Epub, iTunes, and Google Play


Survivor Stories

Survivors describe how they managed to escape and break free from their entrapment. In these revealing testimories, men and women overcome shame and stigma to speak directly to their peers. Hearing stories about what appeared to be lucrative jobs overseas, they had fallen prey to misinformation sometimes peddled by their own relatives. Our reporters traveled to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam to listen to them.

The End of the Line

The port of Samut Sakhon is home to the third largest fishing industry in the world. But last year, it became synonymous with exploitation, corruption and human trafficking.

Vietnam: Cost of Living

When Xuan accepted a job in Malaysia, it was not what she expected, and she ended up having to make a daring escape.

Sold to China

Drugged and tricked into prostitution, a young Vietnamese woman dares to escape.

Child Labor: Thai Housekeeper

Money sent home to Laos helps alleviate family poverty. But abuse by employers is often the price these workers pay.

Undocumented Labor

The Chai Lai Eco Retreat in northern Thailand is an organization that helps undocumented migrants escape exploitative employment.


The discovery of a small island serving as a prison for fishermen may have turned the tide on inhuman practices.

A Landmark Court Case

Only one company has ever been convicted of trafficking men onto fishing boats in the ASEAN region.

The Bride Market

"Please don’t go, you could be cheated like me," warns Lina, who was sold as a bride against her will.


In Their Own Voice

"I thought my life was over. I could have died and been buried there." Prum Vannak, a Cambodian trafficking survivor and self-taught artist, brings to life the stories of those who suffered through long years as “brides” in China and others who lived through brutal slavery on Thai fishing boats and plantations in Indonesia. His drawings form the basis for compelling graphic animations, which are narrated by the survivors themselves.

Infamous Island

Survivors of brutal and illegal detention on Benjina Island speak about the cruelty of the fishing industry in the South China Sea

Fishing Trap

They thought they accepted high paying jobs. Instead, they found themselves trapped at sea.


Lured by the promise of a high salary, young women become prey to Chinese bride traffickers.

One Child Policy

For the past 35 years, China's One Child Policy has become one of the major contributors to the growing problem of human trafficking.


Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

In 2012, RFA published an award-winning, investigative report on human trafficking in China, North Korea and Southeast Asia. In a series of videos, our reporters documented the incredible cruelty and corruption that feeds this underground market. Very little has changed today.

The Child Soldiers of Burma

August 03, 2011

In a new series on human trafficking and modern slavery, our reporters speak to young survivors of forced and brutal military service inside Burma. For these lucky few who escape, the ordeal is not over.

Traffickers Target Refugee Camps

September 30, 2011

In the second part of a series on human trafficking and modern slavery, our reporters speak to Burmese residents of a refugee camp in Thailand. Many of these refugees are forced to take dangerous work through traffickers to feed their families.

North Korean Mothers

November 10, 2011

"I wanted to feed them warm rice," says a North Korean woman who thought she was going to get a job by defecting to China. Instead she was forcibly married to an "unmarriageable" man.

In Search of Lost Children

November 16, 2011

Our reporters join Chinese parents looking for their abducted children. The parents try to recruit the help of the police, only to find that law enforcement agents are sometimes accomplices.

China's Trade in Babies

January 13, 2012

Between a strong demand from overseas adoptive parents and the willingness of Chinese families to abandon their child - particularly if they are girls - a lucrative market is striving.

Beyond Borders

Febuary 03, 2012

Cambodian men and boys in search of work fall prey to the dark world of international fishing.

New Roads to Trafficking

Febuary 21, 2012

In remote parts of Southeast Asia new roads are seen as a sign of prosperity. But for people living there they often open pathways to exploitation.

Rohingyas: No Place in the World, Part 1

September 18, 2012

In the first of a two-part series, our reporters explore the root cause of human trafficking through the story of the Rohingyas, a stateless Muslim minority living in Burma and Bangladesh.

Rohingyas: No Place in the World, Part 2

September 28, 2012

In the second of a two-part series, our reporters explore the root cause of human trafficking through the story of the Rohingyas, a stateless Muslim minority living in Burma and Bangladesh.

The Survivors: Trafficked Women and Girls of Vietnam

November 05, 2012

'I never thought I'd be tricked like that,' said one of the women who were duped into following a trafficker to China.

The Invisible Children of Ho Chi Minh City

November 22, 2012

In this film, young Vietnamese describe the risks and sufferings of life on the streets.