Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation (NPR/All Things Considered)
Youth Radio’s Trafficked investigates society’s most troubling underground industry from the point of view of its survivors. The setting is Oakland, California, though the girls’ stories and interviews with local officials remind us that child sex trafficking is a national epidemic. The multi-platform project addresses the many sources of the problem, from desperate home lives and abusive relationships to citizen intimidation and the criminalization of youth victims. An estimated 100 young people are trafficked in just one area of Oakland every night. Once released from police custody, many of the victims go back to the streets, having no home or support network to turn to. Advocates fighting to rescue these children explain how California law makes it difficult to prosecute those in power, resulting in enforcement practices that unfairly target the girls. Complications and frustrations are exacerbated by internet sites marketing underage girls under relative anonymity. Youth Radio’s collaboration with The Huffington Post expanded this investigation, not only allowing for greater distribution, but also sparking the dialogue necessary to solve the problem. For foregrounding the voices of those most vulnerable and for raising important questions about enforcement and prevention of this most heinous crime, Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producers: Ellin O'Leary, Christopher Turpin. Producers: Brett Myers, Charlie Foster, Graham Smith. Reporter: Denise Tejada. Editor: Lissa Soep. Music: Brandon McFarland. Legal: Bill Sokol.