One year ago this month, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau released a video announcing a new, reprehensible front in its bloody attempt at forced Islamism: his fighters will begin abducting girls and selling them. The terrorist group has just done that.
For months the incidents received little attention beyond Nigeria. Now the disgust is spreading worldwide.FULL STORY
By John Lyon, Special for CNN
Editor's note: John Lyon is the President and CEO of World Hope International. Based in the United States, WHI is a direct partner of Sierra Leone in the fight against human trafficking. In Sierra Leone, WHI helps trafficking victims find a safe, healthy life through emergency after-care and community education programs.
(CNN) - Selina was just 10 years old when her parents sent her off to Freetown to live with her uncle, who promised education and better opportunities.
Her parents, petty-traders in a small fishing village in Sierra Leone, barely made enough to feed their children.
The uncle's offer seemed like the break they had been waiting for - an opportunity to give their daughter a better life than the one they could provide for her. They never anticipated the nightmare that would ensue.
When Selina, whose name has been changed to protect her, arrived at her uncle's house, it quickly became clear she would not be getting the education she had hoped for.
Instead, Selina was immediately locked inside her uncle's house, where he proceeded to sexually assault her over the course of the next several months, often raping her multiple times a day.
Selina’s story is one of many that have been shared with World Hope International’s staff since we started anti-trafficking prevention and rehabilitation efforts in Sierra Leone in 2004.
Unfortunately, stories of exploitation and servitude are not unusual in this country where more than 60% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day.
By Shasta Darlington, CNN
The newly-renovated Castelao football stadium looms into sight up ahead. Driving just past it, we see women standing on street corners, leaning into cars and flashing nearly naked bodies in the low light.
We're in Fortaleza in the northeastern corner of Brazil, one of the World Cup host cities but also known as a magnet for sex tourism.
The chocolate industry is worth an estimated $110 billion a year, and yet its key commodity is grown by some of the poorest people on the planet, in plantations that can hide the worst forms of child labor.
Two years ago CNN uncovered slavery in the plantations of Ivory Coast. Now manufacturers are facing up to the growing demand for "ethical" chocolate and are taking measures to clean up their supply chains.
But do these measures go far enough and are they fast enough? In the forthcoming series airing on CNN International from February 27, CNN returns to Ivory Coast. Ahead of that, you can read more background about how slavery has tainted the industry. You can find out where in the world the demand for and supply of chocolate is greatest, look at the true cost of a bar of chocolate and see how it is made from bean to bar by scrolling through our info-graphics.
You can also take part in our iReport challenge to eat ethically, and you can meet the village elder who gets to taste a KitKat for the first time.Read more about what Nestlé found when it sent a team to the Ivory Coast.
Two years ago, the documentary Chocolate's Child Slaves exposed the plight of youngsters forced to harvest the beans that make the chocolate we eat around the world. Many of the children made to work in the cocoa plantations in countries like Ivory Coast have never even tasted chocolate. Now CNN has returned to the plantations, this time with the Executive Vice President of Nestle, to find out if anything has changed and to see if the chocolate industry is willing and able to eradicate slavery from its supply chains.
Cocoa-nomics, presented by Richard Quest, will air on CNN International for the first time on February 27. You can watch the trailer above. And we'd like to hear from you too if you are taking steps to make sure the food you eat is not produced by slave labor. Find out more in our iReport assignment.
Carpets woven by slaves are could be for sale in some of the world's biggest stores. Researchers investigating the hand-made carpet industry documented thousands of workers in northern India and found widespread slave labor, bonded labor and human trafficking in the supply chains. Siddharth Kara, who worked on the report for the Harvard School of Public Health, said that the reality may be far worse because they were violently turned away from many of the operations they tried to visit. Read his report in full here.
Law enforcement officers arrest 29 people in a clampdown on the organized sexual abuse of children online. The arrests include men in the UK and the Philippines. Stephanie McCourt of the UK National Crime Agency warns sex predators: "These people need to realize that what they are doing leaves a trail. They will be found."
In parts of Africa, still haunted by the 19th Century trans-Atlantic slave trade, new forms of slavery are thriving. According to the 2013 Global Slavery Index, four of the world's worst 10 countries are in west Africa. In this film, CNN reporters examine why slavery still exists, including among children. They talk to victims, activists and politicians accountable for stamping it out.
This Freedom Project film aired on CNN International TV in January. Now you can see it here in its entirety without commercial breaks.
CNN Correspondent Vlad Duthiers starts in Ghana, where many of the trans-Atlantic slaves were captured and where slavery now has its roots in different forms. The film also includes reports from Ivory Coast, The Gambia and Mauritania, the last country in the world to make slavery illegal, but where many people remain in servitude.
In The Gambia, child marriages help alleviate poverty for many families. But Ramatoulie Jallow, a straight-A student with ambitions to be a doctor, wanted a different destiny and stood up to her father. Now she is an activist for children's rights, fighting to replace a culture of silence and early marriage for girls with education and the confidence to speak out.
Police in Ghana storm a camp being used to keep children in slavery after one journalist spent weeks infiltrating the traffickers. In this video, CNN correspondent Vlad Duthiers meets the journalist and asks the minister responsible for protecting children what the government is doing to help.