Slavery Inc.

The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking

Lydia Cacho

Published: 6 September 2012
Trade Paperback, Royal PB
153x234mm, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781846274213

Other Editions


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Published: 5 September 2013
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 320 pages
ISBN: 9781846274220

Ebook Available

Translated by Elizabeth Boburg


Illegal, inhuman, and impervious to recession, there is one trade that continues to thrive, just out of sight. The international sex trade criss-crosses the entire globe, a sinister network made up of criminal masterminds, local handlers, corrupt policemen, wilfully blind politicians, eager consumers, and countless hapless women and children. In this ground-breaking work of investigative reporting, the celebrated journalist Lydia Cacho follows the trail of the traffickers and their victims from Mexico to Turkey, Thailand to Iraq, Georgia to the UK, to expose the trade's hidden links with the tourist industry, internet pornography, drugs and arms smuggling, the selling of body organs, money laundering, and even terrorism. This is an underground economy in which a sex slave can be bought for the price of a gun, but Cacho's powerful first-person interviews with mafiosi, pimps, prostitutes, and those who managed to escape from captivity makes it impossible to ignore the terrible human cost of this lucrative exchange. Shocking and sobering, Slavery Inc, is an exceptional book, both for the colossal scope of its enquiry, and for the tenacious bravery with which Cacho pursues the truth.


‘A woman of great strength and courage, who is deeply committed to ethical journalism and the advancement of human rights.’ Marianne Pearl



‘An extremely valuable contribution to knowledge and debate on this contentious human-rights and feminist issue’ Niamh Reilly

‘Cacho has brought to light information that was previously unavailable and she has exposed herself to enormous risk by informing against powerful businessmen and politicians.... The importance of her evidence has universal validity.’ Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorra

‘Cacho uncovers some of the most harrowing tales from kidnapped sex trafficking victims, those who save and protect them, as well as traffickers themselves’

‘Courageous... [Cacho has] risked her life in order to report the truth’ Lucy Popescu

‘Independent and critical journalism has become a high risk profession, but Lydia has spent seven years living under impending threats from the people in power that she has so bravely identified in her books... The work that Lydia Cacho does is as indispensable as the air we breathe’ English PEN

‘Lydia Cacho inspires, encourages, protects, empowers. She has modelled what investigative journalism should be for generations to come. She has attacked and shaken a Mexican elite who thought their power allowed them to act in all impunity. And she has stood for women's rights when many of us would have retreated. She does not. I suspect she never will. Lydia is never scared to uncover the truly ugly: that hatred which runs deep in all societies, that which rapes, abuses, maims and kills millions of girls and women. Her voice, modest for herself, is strident for others, the small, the forgotten, the victims. For that, she has faced violence, abuse, imprisonment and death. Her countless international awards for investigative journalism, human rights, anti-corruption, women's rights, and personal courage testify to Lydia's exceptional display of courage and determination.’ Agnes Callamard, Director, Article 19

‘Lydia Cacho is an extraordinarily brave writer who, despite having been subject to repeated attacks and threats, never fails to give a voice to those unable or unwilling to speak out for themselves. Whether victims of domestic violence, child prostitution, sex trafficking, organised crime, or corruption, or fellow journalists reluctant to publish their findings for fear of the possible repercussions, Cacho tells their stories with power and compassion. This willingness, or compulsion, to tackle the thorniest of issues, led to Cacho being named the winner of the PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage in 2010. She is an inspirational journalist and campaigner who, in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel Speech, certainly casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze, not only upon her native Mexico, but on the world.’ Gillian Slovo, President of English PEN

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