APM Reports

APM Reports is a collection of investigative journalists and documentary producers, editors, researchers and digital producers dedicated to producing high quality reporting on issues that are often shrouded from public view.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Permalink

Bought and Sold: The New Fight Against Teen Sex Trafficking


Airs May 17 in place of Insight at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. 


Advocates for kids are pushing for a new approach to combating underage prostitution: treating young people caught up in sex trafficking as victims, not delinquents. This documentary looks at how police and lawmakers are increasingly turning to a public health approach to help vulnerable young people break free of sex trafficking. And it explores efforts to stop traffickers and buyers.

Decriminalizing prostitution for minors began in New York and the "safe harbor" concept has spread to other states. Minnesota has invested more than any other state to create a network of shelters and support for trafficking victims. This story features riveting police interview tape with victims, and stories from young people about how they got into the life and why it is so difficult to pull them out.

In Boston, survivor-advocates have developed a nationally recognized program for girls who are at high risk of being trafficked. We'll listen as girls in a group home learn to recognize the signs that a pimp might be grooming them to sell their bodies.

We'll embed in a "john sting" and listen as men respond to an online ad, only to find their texts and calls to an undercover officer have all been recorded. We'll also spend time with a detective in Austin, Texas, working human trafficking cases.

Male sex-buyers in Seattle who've gone through an intensive program to change their behavior describe what drove them to purchase sex and what got them to stop.


Producers: Sasha Aslanian, Stephen Smith, Emily Haavik, Kate Ellis 
Editor: Catherine Winter
Digital Editor: Dave Peters
Executive Editor: Stephen Smith
Managing Director, Editor in Chief, APM Reports: Chris Worthington
Digital Producer: Andy Kruse
Associate Producers: Suzanne Pekow, Ryan Katz
Audio Mixing: Craig Thorson
Project Manager: Ellen Guettler
Researcher: Emily Haavik
Fact-checker: Eva Dasher
Special thanks: Liz Lyon, Samara Freemark

This program is part of a reporting collaboration between American RadioWorks and Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Support for this program comes from Laura and John Arnold.