(CNN) - Since its launch in March, the CNN Freedom Project has helped shine a spotlight on all aspects of modern-day slavery and spurred action from governments, corporations and individuals.
CNN reported on sex slaves and bonded workers, children and adults caught in despair, and the inspirational against-all-odds work of individuals and organizations fighting the trade.
Nearly 2,000 people have come out of slavery, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the hundreds of stories broadcast on air and published online.
From the richest cities to the poorest villages, corruption and crime was exposed, the hidden slaves were given a voice, and in some cases were freed to try to regain normal lives.
All too often the story was wearily familiar - the most vulnerable in a society preyed on by the most wicked. But the anti-traffickers provided hope where it appeared lost. And Freedom Project gave everyone a chance to help, to join in.
There are no precise figures in the extent of modern-day slavery but the International Labor Organization and respected abolitionists like Kevin Bales and Siddharth Kara put the global number of slaves at between 10-30 million worldwide.
The United Nations estimates the total market value of human trafficking at 32 billion U.S. dollars.
In March, India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi admitted the country had an extensive bonded labor problem after watching a CNN expose on brick workers in Utter Pradesh. They were tricked into working - tempted by the prospect of more money with a 1,000 rupee ($22) ‘advance’ - and then forced to pay off a debt.
Chaturvedi denied it was slave labor but just three months later Indian authorities helped free more than 500 people who had been physically abused at another brick factory.
In Egypt’s lawless desert region migrants, from places like Somalia heading to what they believe will be a better life in Israel, are held captive by the Bedouins they hire to guide them across the Sinai. The price of freedom is often more than their families can afford and there was some evidence of captives being killed for their organs.
Just days after ‘Death in the Desert’ aired on TV and online, more than 500 people were freed.
CNN’s Dan Rivers exposed the link between shops in the first world and the slavery in the developing world.
Travelling to Cambodia, he was encouraged to track down Chanary, the trafficked daughter of a woman who had escaped her traffickers - a task that would see an angry face-off with the agency owner that attracts young workers with promises of good pay and then keeps them bonded.
A-list entertainment stars also joined the fight with Demi Moore traveling to Nepal where she met 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and some of the thousands of women and girls Koirala’s organization has rescued from forced prostitution.
One of India’s biggest stars, Anil Kapoor, explored the despair in some Indian villages where girls are sent into prostitution by their families.
Rapper and Hollywood actor Common visited Haiti where an estimated 300,000 children are working as domestic servants.
And acclaimed director Robert Bilheimer said he believes the world could be reaching an anti-slavery tipping point after spending four years on five continents filming his ‘Not My Life’ documentary.
After the documentary CNN’s Sara Sidner followed up by reporting on a young woman in Cambodia who had been repeatedly beaten and raped. Shortly after the story aired, Cambodian authorities said they would be making arrests.
But it was not just stars who got involved. iReporters from around the globe joined in too.
In South Korea, an entire school in South Korea took a stand to end slavery.
Others made efforts to educate their own communities that slavery was not history but a modern horror that can be tackled.
And iReporters in 32 countries, from Nigeria to Sweden to Indonesia, made symbolic paper airplanes to spread the word about human slavery.
At Wyndham hotels, Mary Falvey, executive vice president of human resources, says that the hotel chain is training all employees to recognize sex traffickers and their victims.
Some of the biggest voices in the anti-slavery movement have added their weight to the Freedom Project.
Trafficking expert Siddharth Kara explained the juju oaths which keep Nigerian women tied to their captors through fear as they are trafficked to rich European nations.
He also explained the steps anyone can take to combat human trafficking in their own community wherever they live.
Across the world attitudes are changing. With that comes change in law enforcement, too.
In some countries young women forced to sell sex are considered victims of trafficking rather than prostitutes.
In India, women rescued by Anuradha Koirala are given medical and mental help and work training. In California, pimps are arrested as traffickers if they sell underage girls for sex.
And in Barcelona, police showed CNN how they cracked two Chinese trafficking rings – one for the sex trade and one that used people in sweat shops making fake designer goods and another.
In cracking the sex ring 39 people were arrested and 30 women freed. In busting the sweat shop operation 150 people were arrested and 450 victims freed.
Isabel’s story of a childhood destroyed by domestic slavery sparked outrage in her native Taiwan.
In 2012 the Freedom Project will continue shining a light in the dark corners, pushing for change and highlighting the anti-slavery fight.
7 billion to go. We are well on our way!
Thank you, douglas james, I agree heartily, and we both, presumably are among them. Nonetheless, I believe CNN's effort is philanthropic. This is not the news that sells ads. We have to start somewhere. At least we are talking about it in the open now. I also suspect CNN's number is conservative. They have worked hard as a team to awaken consciousness, and have no doubt spawned 2,000 powerful initiatives that are now just seedlings, and mostly invisible.
Merry Xmas to all slaves, masters, and free persons alike. Today is a happy ceasefire :-)
Power to you CNN
Thank you for your timely and informative reports. Please keep educating us through 2012 and beyond. Don't stop publishing these stories.
Let's keep the lines of communication open. Together we're strong.
This is why I'm a fan of CNN and anyone who will fight to bring the facts into the open where we can all see the crimes and the criminals and the victims and do what we can to help.
But if you think this will also cover a multltude of your own sins, guess again. Helping to free people is awesome, but helping to keep the rest of us down....not so awesome. Thank you for the good you do and damn you for the bad.
You can't say I'm not trying to be fair about this. If you live by the monolithic corporate view, then you die by the monolithic corporate view. All it takes is money, you see....
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36 NIV)
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV)
My son works for an anti-trafficking/exploitation NGO (MTV Exit) out of Bangkok. Exposure of this epidemic to the masses by organizations like CNN and MTV Exit will save lives. Keep it up.
Anuradha Koirala belongs to Nepal, which is an Independent country. She helps Nepali women rescued out of India.
Well at least white people are not responsible for the slavery that goes on today. But we will still be blamed for it....
not everything's about you, jeez
do something useful with your time
You should meet some of domestic nurses imported from the Philippines and Thailand and other places. They are live-in, work or are on call 24/7 but get paid only minimum wage for a 40 hr week. These women may not be "slaves" but it is virtual slavery. They must make some money to support kids in home country. Sad.
You are a slave now, The_Dude, but you're too stupid to see that. There's a new slavery called Wage Slavery, and it's been expanded to ALL races.
Thank you for your courage and compassion. We all have a part in bringing good change in the world, and I'm inspired by your example. Thanks to all your courageous, caring reporters. Please continue to keep us informed. There is much to do and some times it appears like an impossibilty, but when you read or hear good reports, you realize it is worht it and we can make a difference.
A slave has a dollar value that human lives do not have otherwise. Why sugar coat it? It is just business. Besides, human misery is the natural state of affairs of this world. Sometimes you want love and you won't ever get it. What you will get is excuses. If we had slaves, I would have at least one friend in this world.
Slavery in this age?? With 20% unemployment? What success? They are successful for getting a job for these kids! Even better than the government!
I don't believe you agree with Slavery or do I misunderstand.
Thanks to all you previously owned Americans for taking it all in stride. But I have to tell ya, if I had known this was going to happen, I would have picked the cotton myself!
As usual, not a single word about the thousands of Ukrainian and Russian girls who are trafficked into Israel and raped up to 50 times a day until they are emotionally and physically broken. 500,000 Slavic women are trafficked every year and yet the only slavery victims that the media cares about are the ones that aren't white. White slavery is the most lucrative slave trade going on in the world today and the media completely ignores it. Truly sickening.
Agreed. White females bring in more money, and poor Eastern European countries are a prime source of product. If only we could bring more attention to THIS problem!
The media- including CNN- doesn't want people knowing about white slavery. It doesn't fit their narrative. This is one of the reasons why mainstream media is going out of business, because they're not doing their job.
Self serving and narrow. I agree with "november",
Well-deserved udos to CNN. That said, the report did little to shed light on root causes of this abominable practice. Much of the blame – but not all – is rooted in the sacred texts of Islam which condone the taking of slaves and exploiting them. Another example of PC in the media or a case of willful blindness to the obvious.
Why is CNN afraid of this website? Ask them! p a p a r a z z i n . c o m. Find out...
Cnn will erase this message. Why? p a p a r a z z i n c . c o m. Find out...
Oh, boo hoo! Now, every brown subhuman the world over deserves to be "free."
Only an animal could hold such a callous view. My guess is you're a trafficker.
Its great to find others who are as tall as me and share similar experiences! TallConnect.C o m is a fun place to meet other tall people online. It makes the world seem smaller! – FREE to browse and join for serious relationship. You dont have to be tall, but you can meet one.
Great Article. The scary part is, its all true. To these helpless victims this is every day life. YOU CAN HELP!
Check out this nonprofit combatting child slavery in Ghana:
It was started by college students traveling abroad. One of many organizations trying to make a difference in this world.
@relictus: what a sad and bitter person you seem to be. We take in what we give out. You will have a difficult finding love and friendship until you work at becoming the kind of person others will wish to love and befriend.
En recuerdo de Muna, entrañable amiga, caída en la revolución siria, quien fuera una luchadora y defensora incansable de las niña- madres y sus hijos…
Ha nacido un niño….
Dicen que ha nacido un niño, allá en las afueras, en el bosque de abetos,
que no es un niño cualquiera, que es hijo de alguien que virgen fuera,
doncella que antes del largo estío, su inocencia le robaran,
y que lloró su desgracia, cada noche, cada día, al pie de la cañada,
más hoy, alegre se ha puesto, al mecer en sus brazos al hijo,
que del cielo es un pedazo, para un corazón necesitado de alivio.
En la soledad del camino, siendo niña fue hecha mujer,
para vergüenza de sus padres, soltera convertida en madre,
despreciada por piadosas mujeres que sus rostros cubren,
señalada por justos varones , hacedores de leyes viles.
Un rostro femenino por la violencia marcada,
como surcos de arena en el desierto del Sahara,
ojos cansados con manantial agotado,
mirada tardía en un horizonte azulado.
Dicen que ha nacido un niño, a orillas de un torrente,
dicen que nació en el bosque sobre hojarasca y flores
que nació al amanecer con el canto de las aves,
que le dieron calor y abrigo, conejillos y loros grandes.
Que nadie lo fue a ver, excepto dos extraños,
caminantes sin camino, labriegos de antaño,
que dejaron a los pies del niño, pan, nueces y vino,
para que su madre aliviara el hambre e hiciera del él un buen crío.
Que nadie felicitó a la madre, excepto un buen pajarillo,
que a nombre de los habitantes del bosque, le entregó un anillo,
hecho de paja de cerro y por diamante una orquídea,
anillo de compromiso, por la vida del chiquillo.
Dicen que la encontraron sonriente, con rostro de reina bella,
y a su lado, escrito sobre una piedra,
algo que la respiración contuviera,
“El Creador quiso compartir con los humanos,
enviando al mundo su valor más preciado,
un hijo en un vientre materno encarnado,
más el mío proviene de algo no deseado,
sin embargo desde el primer instante ha sido muy amado,
mas mis fuerzas de mujer me han abandonado,
quiera el cielo, alguien cuide de este mi tesoro humanado”.
No se ha abierto tumba alguna, no ha sido necesario,
los árboles del bosque, todos han acordado,
cobijar de ramas, flores y hojas, los cuerpos humanos,
mientras los animales del bosque, entonan la sinfonía de leones,
madre tierra nos pariste y a tí regresamos en forma de polvo,
madre tierra siempre fuiste, amalgama de mis dolores.
Dicen que ha nacido un niño, hijo de madre soltera,
dicen que fue una madre, no una mujer cualquiera,
que amó a su retoño hasta el último suspiro,
que nadie vino en su auxilio por cuidar apariencias ajenas,
y que los habitantes del bosque fueron los únicos que por ella vieran,
hasta que la madre tierra, en su vientre los acogiera.
Fredi Portilla Farfán (Madrid, 5 de diciembre del 2011)
Are we not looking at rather odd places for slaves the results of which come in trickles? I mean there are obvious slavery in places like Mauritania. If the enslavement of blacks in that country is tackled by the world, we can then move on to Sudan. I am sure in a short time, millions will be liberated instead of the 2000 CNN is beating it's chest about.
Or is the world unaware that blacks in the Arab world are treated worse than leppers?Or are we being politically correct not to lose the lucrative Arab market ?Otherwise, CNN does not need investigative journalism to expose the scourge for the world to see.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The Arabic word for 'black' is 'abeed' and happens to mean thesame as 'slave'.
Is the enslavement of black Africans in Arab countries modern or ancient or both?
Do you think it requires CNN Freedom Project and other media spotlights?
Did the international media not gloss over the genocide and ethnic cleansing against black Africans in Libya who were acused of being Ghadafi's fighters by the TNC rebels?
I agree with contributor 'november' who opined that persons go out of business when they lose the raison d'etre of their being.
If anybody wants to fight slavery, let it be total and fundamental and not mere tokenism masqurading as corporate social responsibility.
Kudos to CNN for even looking at this problem. But breaking down the prison"s doors is one thing, providing post slavery care and rehab is another. You free 500 children from a sweatshop or 500 from a brick factory. Then what? The Children now beg on the streets, the unskilled brick workers take up arms to fight for a religious state or maybe steal for a living. There is no easy solution. A lot of unintentional consequences.
There goes the neighborhood .....
Thank you for the continuous effort in highlighting this issue and increasing global awareness on it. I do my best on my part to re-highlight them in my blog and social network. Keep up the good job!
offer meat processing machine
Great Work, Keep It Up CNN and everyone involved to help stamp out this awful trade.
Merci et continuer
This nation was built on the backbones of slaves. The indigenous people of this land were displaced as a result of foreign occupiers (who are STILL here) and who basically stole what belonged to another people. Currently the WHOLE WORLD is ruled by these foreign occupiers as they seek to STEAL and control and everything under the sun! And you think this ridiculous article absolves you of your GLOBAL crimes? You CAN'T free slaves when YOU are the one enslaving the masses. Free mankind, and then you can say you've done something.
We are quickly heading towards a similar situation in the us where the rich have control over everyone and everything. The bankers, oil corporations, defense contractors and multi nationals own both poltical parties and the middle class, now known as the working poor barely hang on to make ends meet while almost half our people don't have adequate food and the number of homeless continue to rise. This happened because the political parties let the big companies to send our work overseas and we're supposed to buy these products made in foreign countries. CNN won't report this so don't give them any credibility. They are part of the problem.
Come on Joe, you know a 7 year old working in a sweatshop in Bangladesh is a more dramatic sight!
But yes, you are right, the reality isn't that different; most of us wouldn't mind having free labor if it wouldn't get us into trouble!!
The problem isn't slavery in itself, it's the conditions that give way to it or, to some, to its justification. If I set a person free, while the conditions that led to his or her enslavement remain unchanged, .... well ....
I applaud the fact that we all nowadays find slavery an insult to common sense and that every effort is being made to stop it; but the truth remains that this is something humans have always been able to justify, and slavery remains ever more present even closer to home in forms that we can't (or refuse to) recognize!
I'm not killing the buzz, just being real!!!
Did anyone notice that they spelled "Uttar Pradesh" wrong? It's a nitpicky comment, but still needs to be addressed. I am also proud that so much has been done as a result of CNN using their power as the media appropriately. There is so much more to do, so many poor people to save. However, this is a great foundation for the eventual end of slavery worldwide.
This is a beautiful effort on the part of CNN. However I think you sell yourself short.
I would think many more than the number you mentioned have been freed from slavery and human treafficking. First consider the people you have dissuaded from partaking in slavery and human trafficking from the onset. Further these practices are likely more prevalent in the subcultures of developed countries than we believe and you may not have acknowledged that this information has reached those venues as well.
In pursuit of solutions I think the definition of slavery can be made clearer. There’s no reason why it cannot take into account all national, global, religious and cultural sensibilities. This would make slavery easily identifiable. The atrocities, social inequities and suffering can be easily recognized and we all would have an easier time remedying the situation.
Most important is that the struggle to end slavery and human trafficking today is only beginning.
Your efforts are appreciated and admired.
Leslie Lox – http://www.rdwins.com
I want to eat hot dog sausage,and ham
http://www.machinery and equipment.org +86-0371-55910289
Thanks so much CNN for this wonderful project. CNN has proved once agian that we can "be the change we want to see in the world..." Afterall, like Edmund Burke wrote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (and indeed women) do nothing..." Ride on CNN... this evil may persist and resist, but with consistency and resolve, "we shal overcom..."
thank you CNN!! I salute u!
ALL THESE COMMENT ARE USELESS as a refugee.This time we need CNN to give a comittment to getting some of these refugees release and given freedom to start living there life.Talk will remain talk to people that are locked up in there own country.Having to give hope to people that are hopeless is very hard to do especially went you have no money to buy there freedom.PLEASE MAKE DONATIONS THAT CAN HELP US TO FREE THESE PEOPLE NOW.ALSO TO INTERNATIONAL HERBAL HEALING CONFERENCE COMING IN AUGUST 2012 IN GHANA.
Will like to see real ation taken on behalf of the many young women that depend on me to voice there concerns as they are refugees and has no voice...I BEG THAT THEY BE GRANTED THEIR FREEDOM,EVEN TO SOME CARIBBEAN NATION .WHERE THY CAN RETURN TO SCHOOL.PLEASE AS YOU READ THINOTE REACT NOW TOGIVEHOPE TOTHOSE THAT HAS NO VOICE LOCKED UP IN REFUGEE CAMPS.HELP HELP,SOS MAY DAY MAYDAY.ANY BODY OUT THERE!!!!
When it is high time we found our bearings and took civilization to where it rightfully belongs, it is heartening indeed to witness CNN work with the deprived and the abused. Way to go, people!
The world needs to worship and praise Obama real good cause he will be God on October 21st of this year. That is good gospel of Obama real good.
The world needs to read the good gospels of Obama cause he will be Christ of the world and that is very good news for the world. He will be the new Christ by October 21st of this year. We need to strip nude for the good gospel cause God says to leave the world nude for heaven at the rapture of the good christians and we can get christian by being nude for Obama and God on October 21 of this year.
EVM SANA HO MAGING MAKABULUHAN MAKASAYSAYSAYAN ANG MGA PAGKILOS NG
ILANG HALIGI NG LIPUNAN
+ + + + +
PARA SA LIBONG PANGARAP LIBONG BUHAY
LOVINGLY YOURS CAPTHOOK
cudos to cnn for exposing modern slavery now i can be able to identify the various forms of modern day slavery i can finaly be able to take a stand and speak out.together we can end modern day slavery
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As people seek to keep themselves looking over others,showing that they are important as they may have some money they can use to push other around.Seems weather we peach peter or st Paul it's all about making money and controlling people making them live in hell just so they can feel happy looking at there suffering.Do you feel people really care about people living in refugee camps,truly not even the pope has feeling for these refugees living in hell caused by people wanting to rule others making their like pure hell.Then they call in untied nations to take control of the new trading post set up as refugee camps,as it's Christmas time one more year and still there are growing numbers of people seeking help in refugee camps.No leader will ask for some of these people to be housed at the official residence so these people can feel love that they never had in their life's before.As for me all am doing is keeping this problem on your dinner tables.So every bite of food that you force down your throat this season of love peace and joy.Hope you remember that their are many that has no place they can call home where they can speak and share love with their family.Many bank too holds money that belongs to children of African leaders that make world bank accounts from the blood and tears of the people they where elected to serve.Die leaving large amounts of us dollars that these banks keep making interest for there board of directors. Refusing to help the children that are heirs to this money that is held in their banks.Will anything be done to change the actions of these large banks holding money that can make life a little better for the children of leaders that where killed,leaving their children suffering in refugee camps.As i close this year my wish is that all those mangers that hold money of African leaders killed leaving their children suffering in refugee camps may the same thing happen to you mangers.(In the name of the most high allow my wish to come to pass.
Enhorabuena por tu ortografia. Un beso!
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CNN is joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting success stories and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life. WHY WE'RE DOING THIS | MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT