January 31st, 2013
04:32 PM ET

Trafficking raids across Europe

In one day, 103 suspected human traffickers were arrested in 117 different locations – with raids carried out by some 1,200 police officers from more than a dozen countries.  Europol the European Union's law enforcement agency, says it is one of the largest ever operations against human traffickers on the continent.

Topics: In The News • Uncategorized
Students inspire MTV anti-slavery campaign
The Backstory campaign uses digital storytelling to take viewers inside the stories of labor and sex trafficking victims.
January 30th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

Students inspire MTV anti-slavery campaign

MTV has launched a new interactive, anti-slavery campaign inspired by a winning entry in its “Against Our Will” project on the college network, mtvU.

The Backstory” contains a series of dance videos that show how women can be trafficked into prostitution and immigrants into forced labor.

Rapper Talib Kweli and dancers from Ailey II have joined the campaign which features choreography by Ailey II’s artistic director, Troy Powell, and music scored by Kenna.


January 25th, 2013
05:08 PM ET

Afghans sell daughters to pay drug lords

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The mother of a little Afghan girl cannot even turn to face her daughter. She looks down in shame and explains why she must hand the girl over to drug lords.

The father of the girl has done what many Afghan farmers must do to finance their opium farms: borrow money from drug traffickers.

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Topics: Uncategorized
January 19th, 2013
10:19 AM ET

Inside look: How an alleged sex slavery ring is dismantled

By Vivian Kuo, CNN

Savannah, Georgia, (CNN) - An agent presses against a light blue wall and it gives way. Behind it is a makeshift room made of foam insulation and a cheap plywood frame.

The woman inside is believed to be a victim of a human trafficking ring that law enforcement agents busted during a four-state coordinated raid Wednesday.

She is on a small bed with a thin mattress on springs. A large free-standing mirror sits to the side, and clothes are strewn across the floor.

Upon surveying the scene inside the Savannah, Georgia, townhouse, Brock Nicholson, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge, said he's never witnessed a situation like this.

"[This] is basically where they had the victim, where she serviced commercial sex acts, her hellish life is. She lived - all of her possessions, the tools of the commercial sex trade - all in this one little 10 by 12 box," he says.


Topics: Life In Slavery
Trafficking survivor: It's time to help others
Ima Matul was trafficked to the U.S. Now she is helping other survivors.
January 17th, 2013
06:13 PM ET

Trafficking survivor: It's time to help others

Ima Matul, a survivor organizer with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)

You might not know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You might not even know why we need such an awareness campaign, or that, right here in America, women, children and men are trafficked every day into forced labor or the sex industry.

More than likely, though, you do know that modern slavery exists, but do not know all of what it looks like or what you can do about it. As both a survivor of human trafficking and an advocate working to free and support others, I can tell you.

Some victims are American citizens, others hold valid visas, and some are undocumented immigrants. They are educated or illiterate, young or old, native English speakers or barely fluent. They are found in factories, farms, nursing homes, on the streets, or in your neighbor’s house. In other words, modern slavery fits no stereotype. FULL POST

A life saved: How a U.S. law helps fight slavery
Cambodian police trained by the FBI in anti-trafficking techniques helped save Savoeun when she was lured from her home.
January 15th, 2013
05:22 PM ET

A life saved: How a U.S. law helps fight slavery

By Jesse Eaves, Senior Policy Adviser for Child Protection, World Vision

Simean knew something was wrong when her 15-year-old younger sister Savoeun failed to show up at the factory where they both worked.

With both daughters helping to support their family, even one day off would put a great deal of strain on the family. What concerned Simean the most was a woman she had seen hanging around Savoeun at the factory the previous few days.

Simean asked her coworkers where her sister was. The answer sent a chill through her body: her sister said she was leaving Cambodia for Malaysia. Simean then ran to call her mother. She knew time was not on her side.


It's time for anti-slavery action, Mr. President
President Obama, in front of Lincoln's Memorial which honors his fight against slavery, can act against modern-day slavery.
January 10th, 2013
06:10 PM ET

It's time for anti-slavery action, Mr. President

By David Abramowitz, Special for CNN

Editor's note: David Abramowitz is Vice President, Policy & Government Relations for Humanity United and Director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), a coalition of U.S.-based human rights organizations working to end modern slavery and human trafficking in the United States and around the world. ATEST recently issued “The Path to Freedom,” a road map for the second-term Obama Administration to follow as it works to fulfill its commitment to eliminate modern slavery.

It’s been 150 years since President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared in the midst of the U.S. Civil War that all slaves “shall be free.”

Today, the word “slavery” still conjures up horrifying images and stomach-churning thoughts about the most disgraceful days in U.S. history.

This shamefully evil chapter still cannot be fully explained, because no facts can possibly answer how humanity allowed it to happen, and why we didn’t stop it sooner.

Similar questions haunt the United States and countries around the world today - how has slavery evolved into a multi-billion dollar illicit global industry, overshadowed only by drugs?


January 4th, 2013
10:57 AM ET

Christian students fight slavery

Young Christians from around the world pledge to fight human slavery. Jim Clancy reports.