Human trafficking is globally pervasive, economically motivated, and emotionally overwhelming. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are nearly 21 million victims worldwide, more than half of whom are women and girls. It’s a horrific industry that pulls in about $150 billion every year – and it isn’t just an issue for developing countries. Polaris estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of victims in the United States.
Despite increasing efforts and a global movement to raise awareness about the atrocities of human trafficking, many people remain unaware that modern day slavery persists in alarming numbers.
The Faces Behind Atrocity series aims to advocate for and alongside the survivors, amplifying their voices and documenting their healing and the organizations that support them through it. The project has roots in Nairobi, where local nonprofit HAART Kenya works within national borders to rescue and rehabilitate human trafficking survivors. The original series involved seven young women of four different nationalities, ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old. They were rescued from the horrors of the trafficking world and are in various stages of the healing process. Masked to protect their identities, the survivors allowed me to capture a visual representation of their resilience, beauty, and strength, while also providing a written account of how they were trafficked and the atrocities they faced.