iReport links with End It campaign
April 9th, 2013
01:44 PM ET

iReport links with End It campaign

CNN and iReport is joining the #enditmovement to help shine a light on slavery.

Join us by drawing a red X on your hand, window, wherever – be creative! – and sharing your photos by tagging them #enditmovement. You can also send them to iReport here. We’ll share some of the best on CNN.

You can find out more about the End It Movement here or watch this interview where actor-comedian Nick Cannon talks to CNN about the movement.

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Topics: How to Help • iReport • Uncategorized
April 5th, 2013
02:33 PM ET

'America's Got Talent' host fighting slavery

The host of hit U.S. TV show “America’s Got Talent” is getting behind a new campaign to end modern-day slavery.

Actor-comedian Nick Cannon told CNN he wanted to use his celebrity to encourage others to join the anti-slavery fight.

Seven non-profits formed the End It Movement to fight modern-day slavery all over the world.

End It and Cannon hope people will join the campaign on social media and agree to put an X on their hands as part of the organization’s ‘Shine a light on slavery day’ on April 9.

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Hong Kong students take a stand against slavery
March 7th, 2013
11:58 PM ET

Hong Kong students take a stand against slavery

Hong Kong (CNN) – College students in Hong Kong stood on campus for 27 hours to raise awareness of modern-day slavery, in a campaign that ended on Thursday.

The “Stand for Freedom” event, which was organized by students from the University of Hong Kong's International Christian Fellowship group, raised HK$10,000 (U.S.$1,300) for human rights agency International Justice Mission. FULL POST

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Topics: How to Help
March 5th, 2013
12:22 PM ET

Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex workers

It started with a Facebook "Friend" request.

"I was just, 'oh, he's cute, I'll accept him,'" a 22-year-old called "Nina" recalls.

She was 18 at the time, and didn't imagine that clicking "accept" would start her on a path to four years of prostitution across the country. "Nina" is a pseudonym; CNNMoney agreed to change the names of the victims in this article to protect their privacy.

Upper middle-class and college-bound, Nina had her plans derailed in her senior year of high school after her mother was sentenced to two years in prison for financial crimes. Lonely and looking online for male attention, she started messaging back and forth with a man who said he was falling for her. They talked about trips they'd take together as a couple, and about marriage, maybe kids.

"He sold me the biggest dream in the world," she says. "I thought he really did like me and we were going to live this fairy-tale life together.

Full story from CNNMoney.com
Lincoln inspiring today's anti-slave activists
February 27th, 2013
01:14 PM ET

Lincoln inspiring today's anti-slave activists

In his acceptance speech after winning the 2013 Oscar for best actor Daniel Day-Lewis acknowledged "the mysteriously beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln."

There was applause from the audience. It was a celebration of Day-Lewis's talent and performance as the 16th U.S. president. But in a sublime way, it was also a celebration of Lincoln himself - his life, his words and his actions, most notably his fight against slavery.

One organization is trying to connect the historical Lincoln with the issue of modern day slavery.

Lincoln fought to end slavery 150 years ago. But how can we follow his lead to put this practice to an end for good? FULL POST

February 12th, 2013
07:14 PM ET

Mozambique or Bust: How you can help

Editor’s note: Watch “Mozambique or Bust” on CNN international Friday, February 15 at 1630 GMT, Saturday Feb. 16 at 1400GMT and 2130 GMT, and repeats Sunday through Wednesday.

There are several ways you can help the people featured in the CNN Freedom Project documentary, Mozambique or Bust, narrated by Mira Sorvino, an Oscar-winning actress and goodwill ambassador to combat human trafficking for the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime which tackles human trafficking. She says everyone can play a part in the fight against human trafficking.

There's more information at Free the Girls about the program that provides donated bras for sex trafficking survivors. The organization currently supports women in Mozambique, but plans to start programs in four other countries later this year.

If you are interested in Mozambique specifically, you can reach out to Project Purpose.

You can also learn more about Truckers Against Trafficking, a group educating drivers about human trafficking. On the TAT website, there's also a training video that shows drivers how to recognize victims on the road.

And there's more about Mira Sorvino’s work for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the fight against human trafficking.

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.

FULL POST

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

December 6th, 2012
09:36 PM ET

Operation Hope: How you can help

We have had huge interest in the incredible story of Okkhoy, the seven-year-old boy from Bangladesh who was mutilated by a gang of men because he refused to beg for them - and his subsequent surgery and recovery in the U.S.

Many among our audience asked what they could do to help.

There is no formal helpline set up to assist the family. But Aram Kovach, the businessman who helped bring Okkhoy to the U.S., has launched a fundraising site called Donate and Help to finance trips for other children who need life-changing medical treatment.

The wider issue behind Okkhoy's story is how to eradicate the practice of forced begging. Among the organizations involved in this work in Bangladesh and elsewhere are Save the Children and UNICEF.

You can also donate to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where Okkhoy had his surgery.

Thank you to everyone for your comments and interest in Okkhoy.

Topics: How to Help
Helping to take a stand in the Sinai
September 20th, 2012
01:44 PM ET

Helping to take a stand in the Sinai

In the Sinai Desert a handful of groups is fighting ruthless people-traffickers who prey on desperate migrants trying to reach Israel from war-ravaged and poverty-stricken parts of Africa.

Many of them also live in an unwired world such as the Bedouins who operate a safe house and have persuaded others not to allow the traffickers to shop at their stores – a kind of localized sanctions.

FULL POST

Opinion: Anti-slavery law needs saving
August 31st, 2012
09:54 AM ET

Opinion: Anti-slavery law needs saving

Editor's note: Jesse Eaves works as the senior policy adviser for child protection with World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian organization working in nearly 100 countries around the world. Mary C. Ellison currently serves as the director of policy for Polaris Project, a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. Together they are calling on U.S voters to make sure their senators pass a key anti-slavery bill.

With the upcoming elections, you can’t turn on the television without seeing a negative campaign ad or heated news segment giving Americans a glimpse of the political divisions that currently exist in our country.

While politicians argue over our future government, we lose sight of how the actions of our current government are impacting the lives of real people right now, like the millions of enslaved men, women and children in the U.S. and around the world at risk if Congress fails to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act by the end of the year.

FULL POST

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Topics: Government • How to Help • In The News • Uncategorized
June 20th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Swedish queen battles child sex exploitation

Most royals don't speak openly about subjects like sex-trafficking, much less child sex-trafficking, but for Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden it’s a cause that needs shouting from the rooftops.

The global problem of child exploitation has long been her passion.

The mother of three set up the World Childhood Foundation 13 years ago, which has since given nearly $70 million dollars to more than 600 projects fighting child abuse and sexual exploitation in 16 countries.

Financial grants range from a few thousand to as much as a million dollars – a big deal for anti-trafficking groups on the front-lines in the fight against modern slavery.

CNN had a rare opportunity to sit down with Queen Silvia and learn more about her mission.

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