One Man's Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
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From living the rock star life to wading through the world's war zones, refugee camps, and brothels, Aaron Cohen left behind his closest friends, his dying father, and his partnership with a legendary musician to take on treacherous rescue missions in search of modern-day slaves
Years of drug addiction and late-night partying led Aaron Cohen, one-time best friend and business partner to Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, on a path of spiritual discovery that has both transformed and endangered his life -- a path that has drawn him into the shantytowns of Cambodia and the hidden brothels of Latin America, across the sweltering savannahs of Sudan, up to the Dalai Lama's Himalayan retreat, and through the unforgiving jungles of Burma and the deserts of Iraq. At a time when more people than ever before are enslaved somewhere on the planet, Aaron Cohen is a slave hunter -- working to find and free human beings from various forms of bondage.
The flesh trade is the world's fastest-growing and most deadly illegal enterprise -- even more profitable and easier to hide than guns, drugs, and precious gems. Free from diplomatic restrictions and political agendas, Cohen is a unique asset to government agencies, think tanks, and anti-slavery organizations. He navigates the oppressive territory of pimps and drug lords, cloaked in the all-too-familiar world of substance abuse, oversized egos, and changing rules. Working alone and posing as a sex tourist, he slips into brothels, urged by madams to select from a lineup of women and girls as young as six. Sometimes he can save them from their captors, but more often than not, he must leave them behind, taking only the evidence he hopes will eventually lead to their rescue.
Struggling to make ends meet on his own negligible salary, Cohen faces temptations few could resist and witnesses atrocities his friends and family cannot understand. And though many assignments over the years carry him away from his ailing father, his commitment to protect, assist, and empower human trafficking victims -- and to disrupt the patterns that lead to all forms of enslavement -- is unyielding.
In a remarkable exposé of a sinister trade most of us will never experience first-hand, rocker-turned-antislavery activist Aaron Cohen reveals the fast-paced, timely, inspiring, and unforgettable story of a real life Slave Hunter.
Christine Buckley wrote a profile on Aaron for" LA Weekly "titled "From Hunter to Hunted." She has contributed articles and essays to a wide range of publications including "LA Weekly", "OC Weekly", and "Lonely Planet", and has contributed to NPR's" Weekend Edition."