They walk across deserts or use false passports to reach wealthier countries so they can escape poverty or persecution—but are imprisoned while they await asylum, or are deported and lose their children to foster care.
Or their hands explode when, while working their own land, they jostle unexploded bomblets dropped fifty years ago in the U.S.’s Southeast Asian war. Or they follow a labor recruiter who promises work on a far-off plantation or fishing boat—and are forced to work long hours for little or no pay in hazardous conditions. Or they send their children off to a charity school that promises education, medical care, room, and board—and only later discover that their children have been adopted to the West and will never come home.
Global inequality’s costs are paid by those who have the least. Here we tell some of their stories.
Our recent investigations include:
Schuster Institute Senior Fellows Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern spent seven years in Laos investigating the lingering devastation of America's secret bombing mission over Laos fifty years ago. In their book, "Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos," Coates and Redfern reveal the cost of those bombs, millions of which remain undetonated, and portray the heroes trying to make the land safe again.
Schuster Institute Senior Fellow Erin Siegal reports on crime, migration, death, and injustice on the Mexico-U.S. border.
Today’s most widely used vegetable oil is derived from the fruit of palm trees. Our investigation, published in Bloomberg Businessweek on July 18, 2013, exposed slavery and child labor in the palm oil produced on plantations in Indonesia owned by Kuala Lumpur Kepong, the grower-producer of palm oil purchased by such corporate behemoths and familiar brands as Procter & Gamble, Archer Daniels Midlands, Unilever, Nestle, Kellogg, Kraft, and General Mills.
Our three-continent investigation into slavery in deep-sea fishing, published in Bloomberg Businessweek on Feb. 23, 2012, tracked slave-caught seafood from New Zealand to such well-known chains in America as Walmart, Safeway, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and Sam's Club.
For decades, Western adoption agencies poured millions of dollars of adoption fees into underdeveloped countries. Too often, that money induced the unscrupulous to buy, defraud, coerce, or even kidnap children away from their families. Our multiyear investigation revealed many of the faces, sites, and sources of this injustice—and offers some solutions to the problem.