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Tonight on FRONTLINE, we’ll bring you not one, but two new documentaries about young people stuck in vulnerable situations.

Our multi-part hour begins at 10/9c with Kids Caught in the Crackdown, a joint investigation into the scope and consequences of the Trump administration’s mass detention of migrant children.

With our partners at The Associated Press, we reported today that the U.S. held more migrant kids in custody over the past year — 69,950 — than ever before. Tonight’s new documentary expands on that reporting, going inside the growing network of federally funded shelter programs and exploring the lasting impact on children held in U.S. government custody.

“I’m still scared that something bad could happen … the way how I look at things has changed ... I don’t feel safe anymore,” a 16-year-old boy tells FRONTLINE and AP.

Then, in our second segment, we travel to Iraq, investigating how — to increasing concern among other Iraqi Shias — some Iraqi clerics are abusing an ancient Islamic marriage practice to exploit women and girls.

With undercover reporting, Iraq’s Secret Sex Trade exposes clerics who offer to perform what’s known as muta’ah or munqata’a — “pleasure” or “temporary” marriages — between adult men and girls as young as 13 in exchange for money.

The documentary also shows clerics essentially acting as pimps, and offers the chilling accounts of young women who say they were exploited and forced into repeated “pleasure marriages.”

“When a girl starts, she’s destroyed,” one such girl, who is now 16, tells FRONTLINE. “Her life ends the first day she takes this road.”

Our two-part hour featuring Kids Caught in the Crackdown and Iraq's Secret Sex Trade premieres tonight at 10/9c (check local listings). Tune in or stream on PBS, at pbs.org/frontline or on the PBS Video App.
 
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