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.
Two Freedom Project iReport videos have been nominated for the annual iReport awards.
South Korean teacher Sunny Yang pledged to "Take a stand against slavery" as part of CNN's Freedom Project and vowed to get her students involved in the cause.
She used a stop-motion drawing to show the difference that we can make in the lives of people living in slavery.
And iReporter Renee Hong created this video to draw attention to the problem of human trafficking. The video uses stop-motion photography and statistics to educate viewers in an entertaining way.
Check out all the iReport nominees here including the Freedom Project stories in the compelling images category
In December, CNN visited a school for escaped slaves and their children in Mauritania, a West African country that was the last in the world to abolish slavery, and where an estimated 10% to 20% of people are still enslaved.
There, in a small, concrete building surrounded by dusty streets, 30 women who escaped slavery are learning new skills - sewing, cooking, hair braiding - that they plan to use to start small businesses.
iReport wants to show these women that the world supports them in their fight for freedom. What can you do? It's simple:
Share your message of hope and include the phrase "Nahana maakum," which means "We are with you" in Hassaniya, the language these women speak.
A selection of your video messages of hope will be shown in the school, and they may also appear on CNN. (Check out some of the submissions we've received so far in the compilation video above.)
[Update] Here are some of the submissions so far, coming from all around the world:
Hossain Riazati and his wife hold a Baha'i devotional gathering once a month at their home in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, for friends and neighbors of different races, religions and backgrounds. On Sunday, the group recorded a message of hope for the former slaves in Mauritania (“Nahana maakum, we are with you.”) He read the CNN piece about slavery in Mauritania on Sunday and was happy to see the Monday piece on “how you can help.” He says, “We all can take a part according to our capacity and resources in making a difference toward betterment of the world.”
Tens of thousands of children toil in cocoa fields in the Ivory Coast, some against their will, to create the chocolate bars that many of us enjoy.
In a CNN Freedom Project investigation, David McKenzie traveled to the West African country and discovered that despite promises the global chocolate industry made a decade ago to end forced labor, there are still child slaves harvesting cocoa, even though some have never tasted chocolate and some don't even know what the word "chocolate" means.
It can be hard to find ethically produced cocoa, but the "fair trade" designation helps ensures that farmers receive a fair price and prohibits the use of slave and child labor.
For this Freedom Project challenge, we invite you to create a dish using fair trade chocolate, with bonus points to those who make a delicacy that’s special to their country or region.
Submit a photo or video showing off your creation, and tell us about the experience, including any obstacles you faced in finding or using fair trade chocolate. Please include the recipe you used.
In today's world, it can be tough to determine whether products have or have not been produced through slavery. A specific component of a product – the cotton used to make a T-shirt, for example – may be the result of human trafficking.
Thankfully, there are products in our lives that we know are slavery-free, like the homegrown tomato you had for lunch. (More: What is your slavery footprint?)
CNN iReport is inviting you to participate in a special assignment to identify items that you know are slavery-free. Was the exercise easy or surprisingly difficult? Do you make an effort to shop slavery-free, or is this the first time you've thought about where products come from?
Upload photos of your slavery-free items and share your perspective with CNN. The best stories will be featured here on the Freedom Project blog. You can check out the iReport assignment for additional details.
Late last month, we asked iReporters to help us spread the word about the global problem of human slavery by creating paper airplanes, the symbol of CNN’s Freedom Project.
Though it may seem like a lighthearted assignment for such a serious subject, the planes offered the important opportunity to educate the world about slavery. Each plane included a hard-hitting statistic about the prevalence of slavery in today’s world and a personalized message of hope. After making – and flying – their planes, iReporters then passed them along to friends and family in hopes of spreading the word.
So far, iReporters in 26 different countries, from Nigeria to Sweden to Indonesia, have created airplanes and passed them along. Although the planes are a symbolic statement, they are proof that many of you care about abolishing slavery and are committed to educating others about its prevalence worldwide.
And while the response is impressive, we don’t want to stop there! CNN is taking an in-depth look at the Freedom Project all week and we want to continue spreading the word about slavery with the iReport community. We hope you’ll join the effort and create a paper airplane of your own. Together, we can make a difference.
The Yeong Gwang Girls High School in South Korea has taken the pledge to help end slavery in the world. Elizabeth Pruitt, who teaches English at the school, read about CNN's Freedom Project and brought the issue to her students.
Pruitt told iReport's Daphne Sashin in May that the issue of modern-day slavery was particularly relevant "for these students, since they are all young women, and so many of the victims of modern-day slavery are women and children."
Have you taken a stand to end slavery? Join the dozens of other CNN iReporters who have taken the pledge.
-Each year, between 600,000 and 800,000 human beings are captured and transported across international borders.
-There are at least 10 million slaves in the world today.
-There are more slaves now than any point in human history.
Here's your assignment:
1. Build it. CNN is using the paper airplane as a symbol of the path towards freedom. We want you to make a paper airplane of your own. On one wing, write one of the three statistics above. On the other wing, write a message of hope for the victims. Then add your name.
2. Show it. Upload a close-up photo of your airplane on CNN iReport. Extra points if you also upload a video of your plane flying through the air.
3. Pass it on. Give your plane to a friend or a stranger. Encourage that person to write their name and pass it on to others.
The deadline is June 15. Check out the submissions we've received so far, then add your own. We look forward to seeing planes and messages from across the world and sharing them on CNN.
An entire high school in South Korea is taking a stand to end slavery.
It started when Elizabeth Pruitt, an English conversation teacher at Yeong Gwang Girls High School in Gunsan, South Korea, and her co-teacher assigned their class to make group presentations about a current event. They pulled up CNN.com on a big screen to give them some project ideas.
One group of girls selected the topic of modern-day slavery right away. FULL POST
When Illinois lawyer and mother Karen Riley Gilles saw a promo for The Freedom Project on CNN this spring, she saw a learning opportunity for the children in her mothers' group. She felt it was important for them to understand that oppression continues against kids who look just like them in other parts of the world.
The boys and girls she talked to in her west suburban Chicago chapter of Jack and Jill of America, a national mothers’ organization, may have been young - 4, 5 and 7 - but they were old enough to have heard the word "slavery."
"'I asked them if they knew the definition of slavery and it was no surprise that the first little girl to answer identified it as concerning the American slavery system of the 19th century," Gilles said. "I took several comments and added more definition before telling them that there are children today all over the world that are enslaved without any of the freedoms we enjoy."
"My next question was, 'Do you want to take a stand and help?' They all said 'Yes.'"
If you're a parent or educator interested in talking to children about modern-day slavery and the CNN Freedom Project, check out these questions and learning activities to help children understand the crisis and steps that can be taken to end it.