Slavery Inc.

The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking

Lydia Cacho

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

Translated from the Spanish 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 exploited 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. 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.

About the author

Image of Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho (born 1963) is a Mexican journalist, author and a feminist activist against violence. In 2000 Ms. Cacho founded and directed a high security shelter for battered and sexually exploited women and children in Cancun, Mexico. She was the first woman in Mexican history to take to trial an organized crime ring involved with child pornography, sexual tourism and trafficking of women. She filed a successful counter-suit for corruption and for violation of human rights. In this regard, Ms. Cacho was the first woman in Mexico to file a federal suit against a Governor, a District Attorney, and a judge for corruption and for attempted rape in prison. Ms. Cacho herself has been imprisoned for her work and has put her life on the line on behalf of women and children in Mexico. As a consequence of her unwavering defense of human rights and journalistic freedom, her own life has been repeatedly threatened. Despite these dangers, she continues to champion the advancement of human rights for all women and children because she believes that every single person deserves to live a life of dignity. With more than twenty years of experience as a workshop teacher and keynote speaker, Ms. Cacho has toured the globe with her inspirational conferences on peace education, freedom of expression, and ethical commitment to changing the world. She has spoken at the United Nations General Assembly, UNESCO, and the European Union. She was recently appointed by the UNODC and the Spanish Government as Ambassador for the Blue Heart Campaign against sex trafficking. Ms. Cacho has published seven books, one of them is the award-wining Manual to prevent, detect and heal child sexual abuse (Con mi hijo no). Currently, Ms. Cacho is a columnist with El Universal, the main daily newspaper in Mexico, and a workshop teacher on successful approaches to help trafficking victims and on Community Schools for Peace: a holistic approach to negotiate conflicts. Her new book, Slaves of power: a journey into sex trafficking around the world, will be released in many countries around the world during 2010-2012. A sampling of Ms. Cacho's awards include: Human Rights Watch Premio Nacional de Periodismo Ginetta Sagan Amnesty Award 2007; OXFAM award 2007; IWMF award; CNN Hero; UNESCO- Guillermo Cano freedom of expression award; The Wallemberg Medal; The Tucholsky Award; PEN Canada Award; UNANIMA World Press International Hero 2010 (for the International Press Institute in Vienna). More about the author


‘[An] urgent feminist message’ Arifa Akbar (editorial mention)



‘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

‘Cacho inspires, encourages, protects, empowers. She has modelled what investigative journalism should be for generations to come... She has stood for women's rights when many of us would have retreated... She has faced violence, abuse, imprisonment and death. Her countless international awards and personal courage testify to [her] exceptional display of courage and determination’ Agnes Callamard, Director, Article 19

‘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, and tells their stories with power and compassion... She is an inspirational journalist and campaigner who casts an unflinching, unswerving gaze, not only upon her native Mexico, but on the world’ Gillian Slovo, President, English PEN

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

‘Cacho writes fearlessly’

‘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

‘Powerful, brave and compassionate; reportage of the first order’

‘This is a brave book by a brave woman’ Joan Smith

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts