Walking Merchandise: Child Trafficking and the Snakehead Trade

Walking Merchandise exposes the tragic story of middle-school-aged, Chinese children trafficked to the United States by smugglers known as “snakeheads.” Sent by their parents to work as low-wage laborers as a source of income, the children embark on a perilous journey that can include physical harm, sexual assault, and even death. Once in the U.S., they are trapped in a life of debt-bondage and forced to work around the clock in dangerous conditions with the hope of paying off debts as high as $100,000.

Produced over two years, this short film tells the story of five children trafficked to the U.S. and the lawyers, social workers, and journalists who have dedicated their careers to helping them and understanding the global forces that brought them to the U.S. Walking Merchandise premiered at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival and is an official selection of the Artivist Film Festival - an NGO partner of the U.N.

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Walking Merchandise: Child Trafficking and the Snakehead Trade