Subtitle: A Close Look at Human Trafficking
Category All , Current Affairs , Human Interest , Human Rights , Women
Year: 2010
Country: USA / Austria
Running Time: 80'
Production: GreenKat Productions
Director: Kat Rohrer
Official Website: www.fatalpromises.com
Trailer: http://www.fatalpromises.com

Human Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation and harboring of persons, by means of threat of violence, use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, or the abuse of power for the purpose of sexual exploitation or labor servitude.

Every year, an estimated 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international borders from countries of origin to countries of destination. It is a multibillion-dollar global criminal enterprise, third in size after drugs and arms smuggling.

Through personal stories by victims of trafficking, and interviews with politicians, Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) representatives and prominent spokespeople like Emma Thompson and Gloria Steinem, FATAL PROMISES provides an in depth look at the realities of human trafficking suffered by victims and struggled against by NGO’s and activists versus the rhetoric of politicians and pundits who claim to be making significant strides into combating this horrific crime against humanity that in spite of all that is said, is just on the rise.

More on Film


The first time I consciously read anything about Human Trafficking was an article in the New York Times in 2005. I was so deeply moved and angered by what I read that I decided to do research on the topic. The more I read the more questions popped up in my head and the more interested I became in the issue. I started to feel the urge to do something about this problem the only way I know how to - through film. I had personal contact in Ukraine and started to focus on this interesting country as a country of origin and the US as a country of destination. At first, my intent was to capture the realities of these unfortunate women, who fall victim to these schemes and deceptions that brought them into a situation of being trafficked into to lives of sexual exploitation. However the deeper we looked the more we found.

I have been working on "Fatal Promises" for more than three years. During that time, my crew and I have traveled to Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria and throughout the US. We met with NGOs, the International Organization of Migration, UN representatives, former Ambassadors of the US, experts, activists and, most importantly- Victims, both male and female. As a result of these interviews, my concept for this film shifted from telling the horrifying stories of victims showing how we as a society are failing our fellow human beings and tolerate, manly through ignorance and apathy, modern day slavery of women, children and men.

Through "Fatal Promises" I want to expose how the politicians in power in both the developing as well as the developed countries pay more lip service than action to the demands of NGOs struggling to get laws passed and help the victims of this horrific crime. The survivors I met and with whom I have spoken are truly remarkable people who have been through ordeals we could not even imagine. It is their voices and their anger that I want the public to hear in this film. I want to put their questions to those who have to pay attention to them: governments and  politicians. How can we tolerate slavery in 21st century?

I fully realize that the world community is faced with a myriad of tough issues, from hunger to war and disease, but this crime of modern day slavery not only violates our basic human right of freedom but also our dignity as a civilized society.

My duty is to those survivors who shared their stories with us and who were brave enough to step forward and tell their stories. I hope that "Fatal Promises" will do it’s part in helping to fight this horrific crime that should no longer exist in this time in age.

- Kat Rohrer

Press & Reviews

“[Fatal Promises]…is a reminder that sexual slavery is only one part of this ugly phenomenon.”
Neil Genzlinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“…[Fatal] Promises is a disturbing documentary, shining a much needed spotlight on the hidden horrors of a shameful practice… it might sound like a depressing viewing experience, Promises is an informative film, produced with admirable passion.”

“I saw Fatal Promises on Saturday and I have not stopped thinking about the topic.”
Melissa Silverstein, THE HUFFINGTON POST

“[Fatal Promises] is a frank look at the global human-trafficking industry, which is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.”
Monica Racic, NEW YORKER.COM

“[Fatal Promises] horrifying first-person testimonials of exploitive abuse are what makes this call to arms resound loudly, angrily and urgently.”
Nick Schlager, TIME OUT NEW YORK

“…Fatal Promises outlines a culture of cross-border corruption that preys on poverty and has become so widespread that it can now be mentioned in the same breath as the drug trade.”
Andrew Schenker, THE VILLAGE VOICE