Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "slavery" ...

  • The Girl From Kathmandu: Twelve Dead Men and a Woman's Quest for Justice

    A nonfiction narrative of Iraq war profiteering, human trafficking, and the battle to defend human rights in U.S. courts. "A powerful work of investigative journalism, one that speaks volumes about the business of war and of human slavery alike.” -- Kirkus Reviews.
  • Qatar: The Price of Glory 2015

    The Price of Glory is an HBO Real Sports investigation into Qatar’s plan to achieve international recognition through sport and the price it has exacted in fair play, human rights, and even human lives. Our investigation found that the Qatari sports plan is one of unprecedented ambition and ruthlessness, based on the exploitation of foreign labor on and off the field. To build world-class athletic teams, Qatar has crisscrossed the world, paying athletes from the poorest countries on earth to become naturalized Qatari citizens. Real Sports heard it first hand from an entire team of Bulgarian weightlifters paid by Qatar to assume Arabic identities and represent the Gulf state in international competition. Our story detailed the systemic bribery that allowed this stiflingly hot desert sheikhdom without a soccer tradition to improbably win the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Ten months before a series of arrests of FIFA officials suspected of taking bribes, Real Sports spoke with a former FIFA insider about the corrupt bidding process, and detailed how Qatari officials bought their way to the very top of world soccer by plying FIFA officials on five continents. Off the field, Real Sports documented how Qatar’s sports glory is built on the backs of hundreds of thousands of the poorest people in Asia, imported and indentured to create a lavish World Cup city in the desert. Our team watched workers toil in 117-degree heat and followed them into the decrepit labor camps few outsiders have seen in order to expose the brutal conditions in which they are bonded into effective slavery. Viewers will see why thousands of these migrant workers are projected to die on the job by the time the 2022 World Cup games begin. When we first aired the piece the Qatari government told us changes were coming and that we should stand by. We took them up on their offer and revisited the situation a year later, only to find that none of the changes to the bonded labor system—known as Kafala—had taken place. In fact Nepali migrant workers were even prohibited from returning home after a massive earthquake ravaged their country. Worse still—our follow-up investigation found that some of the top people in Qatari sport weren’t just using their money to buy athletes, they were using it to fund terrorist organizations and invite radical jihadi clerics to speak at their elite sports academy. Our project spanned four years of research, four continents, and scores of interviews with athletes, activists, migrant workers, FIFA insiders, and US government officials.
  • The Fighters: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

    "The Fighters" is a feature-length documentary looking at human trafficking in the Philippines. The two-year investigation into child prostitution, domestic servitude and allegations of fraud surround the country largest anti-slavery organization, stirred a massive response in the Asian nation.
  • Women and Danger

    The four stories in this entry zoom in on women and families battling crime and punishment across the world. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath, a saga that raised questions about the courts and free speech in the age of social media. In "Laws Gone Wild," Michigan mother Francie Baldino starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in prison with predators and pedophiles for more than six years. Pesta was the first to report on this new movement of mothers and tell this family's personal story as well. The stories sparked a discussion across the media and blogosphere about crime and modern law, bringing in a slew of letters and comments.
  • Women Warriors

    The 10 stories in this entry all focus on women and families battling crime or questionable laws around the country and around the world—from sexual slavery, to cyberstalking, to "honor killings," to rape. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath. In "Laws Gone Wild," a Michigan mother, Francie Baldino, starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in jail for more than six years. Pesta was the first to tell this family's narrative. The stories all sparked conversation across the media and political spectrum. One, "An American Honor Killing," was adapted into an hourlong documentary for the CBS News show "48 Hours." To tell these stories, Pesta pored through mountains of police reports and court documents, and spent months convincing some of the subjects to tell their tale.
  • Thai Shrimp Industry Exploits Workers to Whet Global Appetite for Cheap Shrimp

    Shrimp is big business in Thailand, thanks to an appetite in the United States that continues to grow. Today, a third of country’s exported shrimp goes to the U.S., its top customer, where retail giants like Walmart and Costco do high-volume sales and suburban Red Lobsters offer bargain blue plate specials. Breakthroughs in aquaculture have helped Thai producers keep up with the rising demand, but there’s a catch to their success: an invisible underclass of Burmese migrant workers, thousands of whom labor in sub-human conditions to keep costs down. Of the estimated 200,000 Burmese migrants working in Samut Sakhon province, the heartland of the Thai shrimp industry, about a third are unregistered and subject to rights abuses. Independent monitors say that thousands desperate to escape the poverty and dictatorship of their homeland cross the border only to find themselves trapped in bonded labor that’s tantamount to slavery. Sold by brokers to crooked factory owners, they are forced to endure long hours for pitiful wages, physical abuse and intimidation. Many are children who do not meet Thai working age requirements. Their plight is made worse, critics say, by the profit-induced apathy of Thai authorities who turn a blind eye or are complicit in abuses. Reporters Steve Sapienza and Jason Motlagh investigate exploitative labor practices at the lower levels of the supply chain.
  • Mauritania: Slavery's Last Stronghold

    Two CNN Digital reporters traveled to Mauritania -- a West African nation that became the last country in the world to abolish slavery – to document a practice the Mauritanian government denies still exists. Spending nearly a year to gain entry into the country and conducting many of their interviews at night and in covert locations, John Sutter and Edythe McNamee went to great lengths to uncover the tragedy of multigenerational servitude in Mauritania. They met people who’ve never known freedom; people who escaped slavery to find their lives hadn't changed; and abolitionists who have been fighting against slavery for years with minimal results. It was only five years ago -- in 2007 -- that the country finally passed a law that making slavery a crime. So far, only one slave owner has been convicted. The United Nations estimates 10% to 20% of Mauritanians live in slavery today. But the country continues to deny slavery’s existence and attempted to subvert Sutter’s and McNamee’s reporting by assigning to them a government “minder.” Nonetheless, the two succeeded at putting a face on a shocking practice that is similar to slavery in America before the Civil War, in which people are born into slavery and rarely escape. Their report – “Slavery’s Last Stronghold” -- featured a variety of mediums, including personal video accounts and written stories featuring firsthand accounts from freed slaves and one man’s transformative journey from slave owner to abolitionist. It also included related stories – such as the story of escaped Mauritanian slaves now living in Ohio. In response to the initiative, CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community, gathered messages of hope and support to be shared at a school for escaped slaves in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
  • Human Trafficking in America

    In this series, Kansas City Star reporters find that the U.S. is way behind in its efforts to squash human trafficking. If found, many victims are denied assistance and sometimes deported, placing them right back in harms way. Reporters also find that U.S. authorities, despite spending millions of dollars, have only located a small portion of the victims they estimate to be here.
  • Investigation into the Chinese Sex Mafia

    A series of investigations uncovers a human trafficking ring in Ghana. Chinese girls are lured to the country by being promised singing careers in African operas but are then sold to wealthy individuals for sex.
  • A Crime So Monstrous

    "Skinner digs deep to find slaves, slave traders and slave masters in the frontlines of the third world war zones, in rotting urban ghettos, even in suburban America."