Editor’s Note: Tammy Lee Stanoch is the Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Carlson. She has more than a decade of executive leadership experience in the airline and travel industry. The opinions expressed are her own.
I have an 11-year-old daughter and, as a mother, would risk everything to keep her safe. So today, I shuddered to learn that 180 Degrees, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, just rescued a 10-year-old girl from sex trafficking.
The good news: She’s now safe. The bad news: There are countless more like her. But with the passage of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor law, we are now able to provide shelter, services and a safe haven to help this girl and others like her.
Where I live isn’t India, which has the largest number of people in modern slavery, 14 million, according to the Walk Free Global Slavery Index. It’s Minnesota – largely Scandinavian, the setting of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon.
But here, and around the world, girls and boys are falling prey to human traffickers. FULL POST
They work on U.S. construction sites and farms, in restaurants and hotels, even in homes.
Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, according to a new report published by the nonpartisan Urban Institute and Northeastern University.FULL STORY
By Dan Viederman, CEO Verité
If you are reading this on a tablet, smart phone or computer monitor, then you may be holding a product of forced labor.
Verité's two-year study of labor conditions in electronics manufacturing in Malaysia has found that one in three foreign workers surveyed was in a condition of forced labor.
Because many of the most recognizable brands source components of their products from Malaysia, almost any device you purchase may have come in contact with modern-day slavery.FULL STORY
"End Slavery Now' has relaunched its website to help people understand more about global slavery and unite those fighting to stop it.
The U.S.-based abolitionist group, founded in 2009, produced the new site to show the global reach of modern day slavery, but also, crucially, to showcase its partners around the world who are tackling the issues.
The group has also produced a video to help people understand its mission.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the relaunch.
Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen tells CNN why "12 Years a Slave" was such an important film to make, and says news events like the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls should encourage everyone to spread awareness of modern day slavery and expose its horrors.
According to the FBI, an estimated 293,000 American youth are at risk of being trafficked in the nation's underground sex trade.
Now lawmakers in Washington have passed a broad package of bills aimed at trying to shut down America's multi-million dollar sex trafficking industry.FULL STORY
By Jason Evans
(CNN) - It was 2002 in the Philippines, and American business traveler John Drake was presented with a disgusting offer.
He says a pimp offered him a four-year-old girl for sex "for about 25 bucks".
Drake returned home to Jackson, Michigan, but couldn’t forget the heart-breaking and disturbing scenes of child exploitation.
So, aged 58, he retired from his job as senior vice president of human resources for CMS Energy and Consumers Energy, where he'd worked for 32 years, and began a new phase of his life.
After seeing Cocoa-nomics, the documentary about the chocolate industry's efforts to end slavery and child labor in its supply chains, Han de Groot, Executive Director of UTZ Certified, which promotes sustainable cocoa, coffee and tea, was prompted to write about his experiences working with farmers in Ivory Coast.
He says progress is being made. But there is much to do, especially alleviate crippling poverty and ensure that farmers get a greater slice of the industry's revenues. If not, he argues, chocolate will become an expensive niche product and communities which depend on cocoa will suffer further.Read Han de Groot's article in Confectionery News
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.
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.
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.