The 12 Best Documentaries About Child Trafficking

Jul 7, 2023 | Best Of, Crime

The global issue of child trafficking is an urgent one, and the consequences for those affected can be devastating. It’s a crime that has been gaining more attention in recent years due to personal accounts of survivors, testimonies from those who have lost loved ones, and documentaries that shed light on how prevalent it has become. In this article we will explore this terrible phenomenon together through a selection of five powerful documentaries about child trafficking. We’ll look at what occurs during sex trafficking, as well as the aftermath of what happens afterwards – providing us with an important understanding into why it must be stopped.


1. Operation Toussaint (2018)

In a world where the government turns a blind eye to the atrocities of child sex trafficking, one man dared to leave his safe and comfortable job to make a difference. Tim Ballard, a former special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, founded Operation Underground Railroad – an organization dedicated to rescuing innocent victims from this heinous crime.






2. Silent Cry: The Darker Side of Trafficking (2020)

Discover the shocking reality that lurks beneath the surface of our seemingly ordinary society. A darkness so insidious, it defies all expectations and operates in secrecy. From child sex trafficking to even more unimaginable horrors, this groundbreaking documentary delves into the sinister depths of evil that we never knew existed. Brace yourself for a harrowing journey that will forever change your perspective on the world we live in.





3. The Pedophile Hunters (2014)

Uncovering the dark underbelly of child sex tourism, this thought-provoking documentary delves into the world of American pedophiles in Cambodia. Through intimate access to Homeland Security agents, viewers are taken on a journey to expose the disturbing reality of sexual predators exploiting vulnerable children. Working alongside local activists and law enforcement, cutting-edge investigative methods are used to gather damning evidence against these despicable criminals.





4. We Were Children (2013)

As young children, Lyna and Glen were forced to leave their families and attend church-run boarding schools. The lasting pain of this ordeal was compounded by years of unimaginable physical, sexual, and emotional mistreatment. Today, as adults, they still bear the deep scars inflicted by Canada’s residential school system.







The Best Free Documentaries About Child Trafficking


1. Nameless: a Documentary about Child Sex Trafficking

Child sex trafficking is a global epidemic that needs to be addressed and brought into the public discourse. Nameless sheds light on this issue through interviews with experts, advocates, and activists who are fighting against it. The documentary explores the systemic gaps in current treatment for those being trafficked as well as its deep historical-cultural roots. It features 15 interviewees on the front lines of this topic, helping viewers recognize and combat this crime. By providing education about these issues, we can bring justice to victims instead of leaving them hidden away or forgotten under their abusers’ guises. Watch Nameless to learn more about child sex trafficking and how you can help fight against it!


2. Going Undercover As A Predator To Catch Child Traffickers

This documentary follows a brave man who went undercover to investigate the dark and disturbing world of child trafficking. He infiltrated the child pornography industry in order to expose these predators, risking his own safety in the process. His mission was successful as he was able to catch some of these criminals in action and shed light on how easy it is for them to get away with their heinous crimes. This video provides viewers with an important insight into this crime that needs more attention and awareness.


3. Nefarious: Merchant of Souls

Human trafficking is a pervasive issue that affects millions of people around the world. Nefarious: Merchant of Souls is an eye-opening documentary that takes audiences on a journey across 19 countries to expose this hidden industry and its victims. Through interviews with international humanitarian leaders, survivors, and traffickers, viewers get an inside look at the harsh realities of modern slavery. The film also features triumphant testimonies from those who have escaped their captors and are now working to raise awareness and galvanize hope for others in similar situations. With powerful footage shot from over nineteen different countries, Nefarious provides both education and inspiration about how we can all help fight human trafficking!


4. Child Sex Trafficking on the Internet- Selling the Girl Next Door Documentary


5. Children for Sale: Texas’ Trafficked Kids

Unreported World shines a spotlight on the heartbreaking search of one mother trying to locate her daughter who was trafficked into prostitution when she was only 15 years old. The city of Houston, Texas has more cases of child sex trafficking than any other US city and across Texas it’s estimated that at least 80,000 children have been forced into the industry in recent years. To combat this issue, Texas is now the first state to make buying sex a felony which comes with a punishment of at least 6 months in prison. Follow private detectives and armed bounty hunters as they try to rescue teenagers from Houston’s sex trafficking underworld in this powerful documentary about child trafficking.


6. A Shocking Documentary About Sex Trafficking In America

The film is an eye-opening look at how society has failed these victims, leaving them vulnerable to traffickers’ clutches. It’s an essential piece of work that serves as an invaluable source for advocacy and law enforcement agencies working against this terrible crime. CONTRALAND effectively shines a light on both the monstrous perpetrators and courageous survivors dealing with such inhumanity. This gripping documentary is one not to miss if you’re looking for a deeper understanding into child trafficking.


7. Child trafficking in Afghanistan

The film sheds light on this devastating reality by following two Afghan siblings, who are sold into slavery in Iran, as they struggle to make it back home. It is an eye-opening narrative that speaks volumes about child traffickers’ mercilessness and how even law enforcement in some countries can be complicit in this criminal enterprise. At the same time, it celebrates human courage and resilience when facing hardship.


8. Trafficked in America

Another important documentary illuminating the realities of child trafficking is “Selling Children”, which exposes how vulnerable children in Western Africa are exploited as domestic servants by unscrupulous employers who promise them a better future but instead subject them to gruelling conditions and physical abuse. The film follows two sisters from Benin who have been sold into slavery and brings attention to an issue that has long gone unreported.

Watch this documentary on PBS for free

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David B