July 6th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

U.N.: Journalism can 'spark action' to help end human trafficking

Investigative journalism can "spark action" when it comes to helping end human trafficking, according to a recent United Nations report that examined CNN Freedom Project's "Factory Slaves" investigation

The U.N. Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) details how CNN senior international correspondent Dan Rivers and his colleagues uncovered bonded labor in Southeast Asia, where workers had been sent abroad, burdened with large debts and forced to work long hours for years at a time. The practice was part of the complex trail of exploitation in a business supply chain.

In one bonded labor scheme, recruiters got jobs for Cambodian workers at a Malaysian factory. As part the Factory Slaves investigation, which debuted in late 2011, CNN alerted a client company to the factory and the recruiters that employed the migrant workers, who were stranded abroad after surrendering their passports to their employer. 

That client company "was moved to action by the (CNN) report," the UNIAP report states, and "quickly took action through an on-site audit at the factory in Penang (Malaysia), and ultimately ensured that their supplier improved the pay and conditions at their factory."

Read the full UNIAP report here.

Topics: Business • In The News • The Traffickers