If you think slavery in America has been eradicated, think again: Nicholas Kristof tells the story of a college graduate from China brutally forced into prostitution on her arrival in the US. While many think that commercial sex in the US is voluntary, in fact, sex slavery here “should be a national scandal,” he writes in the New York Times.
Yumi Li had agreed to be smuggled to the US for an accounting job; instead, when she entered the country, men took her to a Midtown Manhattan office, beat her, raped her, and made a degrading video they said they’d send to her family if she didn’t work for them. She spent three years working for johns who "all mistakenly assumed that she was working of her own volition." It’s not an isolated incident. A solution to the problem isn’t easy—but a “critical step” is for authorities “to focus more on customers and, above all, on pimps,” Kristof notes.