State Department Honoree Was Trapped In A Brothel For Nearly 20 Years

Alika Kinan, a victim of sex trafficking in Argentina, made history when she sued her captors — and won. This week, she was honored as a "hero" for her activism.
Alika Kinan was one of eight international activists honored at the State Department for their work against human trafficking. Source: Shelby Knowles/NPR

When Alika Kinan was a teenager in her native Argentina, she thought was going to go on a great adventure. A woman offered to buy the 18-year-old a plane ticket to Ushuaia, a port city about 2,000 miles away from her hometown. Kinan imagined she'd work at a shop in the bustling tourism or industrial district.

Instead, she was trafficked — stripped of her travel documents and taken to a brothel, where she was expected to have sex with 15 to 30 men a day.

It was nearly 20 years before she

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