April 21st, 2011
01:41 PM ET

The who and why of modern-day slavery

CNN's Ramy Inocencio breaks down the who, what and where of modern-day slavery.

Topics: The Facts
Feds file human-trafficking suit against farm labor contractor
April 21st, 2011
12:12 PM ET

Feds file human-trafficking suit against farm labor contractor

LOS ANGELES, California - The federal government is calling a human-trafficking lawsuit against a California-based farm labor contractor and eight farms the largest case of alleged forced labor of farm workers in the United States.

The lawsuit, made public Tuesday in Los Angeles by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accused Global Horizons Manpower Inc., based in Beverly Hills, California, and eight farms in Hawaii and Washington state of luring more than 200 men from Thailand to work at farms where they were subjected to abuse. FULL POST

Your tomato’s possible ties to slavery
April 21st, 2011
09:57 AM ET

Your tomato’s possible ties to slavery

By Amanda Kloer, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Amanda Kloer is an editor with Change.org, where she organizes and promotes campaigns to end human trafficking. She has created numerous reports, documentaries and training materials on human trafficking in the United States and around the world. Here, she examines the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group that represents around 4,000 farm workers in Florida. In November the group partnered with Florida Tomato Growers Exchange – a trade association that represents the majority of Florida’s tomato farmers – to create a code of conduct which includes a zero tolerance policy on forced and child labor for farm workers. The code covers about 90% of the Florida tomato industry, and is in effect beginning with the 2011 – 2012 season.

Antonio Martinez stood in the hot sun, exhausted from a cross-country journey, and waited. Just 21 years old, he had traveled from Mexico to the U.S. with the promise of a well-paid construction job in California. But now he stood in a field in central Florida, listening to one man pay another man $500 to own him.

“I realized I had been sold like an animal without any compassion," Antonio thought at the time, more than 10 years ago.

He was right. In modern times, in the United States, Antonio had been sold into slavery in Florida's tomato fields. FULL POST