June 30th, 2014
05:18 PM ET

'End Slavery Now' relaunches Website

"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 site, which took 16 months to develop, includes a news feed, a calendar of events, photo galleries and suggestions of practical ways to help fight slavery.

The group has also produced a video to help people understand its mission.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the relaunch.

Topics: How to Help • In The News • Solutions • The Facts • Voices
June 20th, 2014
09:21 AM ET

Opinion: U.S. must practice what it preaches as it judges others on human trafficking

By Melysa Sperber

Editor’s Note: Melysa Sperber is Director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), a U.S. based coalition that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author.

(CNN) - For the past 14 years, the U.S. State Department has used its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report to judge how well the world is addressing modern slavery.

Each year, the report draws much-needed attention to the horrors of human trafficking that flourish everywhere from fishing boats in Thailand and palm plantations in Malaysia, to brick kilns in India and the sex industry in just about every country worldwide.

Hidden behind the shadows, traffickers prey on men, women and children, luring the vulnerable among us with promises of honest employment that are merely a facade for work conditions that are dangerous, exploitative and sometimes deadly.

To date, the TIP Report’s country-by-country assessment has proven to be a powerful motivator, inspiring governments to improve efforts to reduce modern slavery in order to avoid the report’s lowest Tier 3 ranking - a diplomatic black eye that comes with the threat of U.S. sanctions.

The State Department’s power to influence other countries’ anti-trafficking efforts depends on the TIP Report’s integrity.

FULL POST

Topics: Government • In The News • The Facts • TIP Report
June 20th, 2014
09:05 AM ET

Human Trafficking: U.S. downgrades four countries in TIP Report

By Leif Coorlim

Washington, DC (CNN) –- After several years of what it says are broken promises, the U.S. government has singled out Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela and The Gambia for taking insufficient action against human trafficking.

In its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, released Friday, the U.S. State Department downgraded the four countries to Tier 3, the lowest possible ranking it gives for national responses to fighting modern day slavery.

The report says there is evidence of forced labor and sex trafficking in Malaysia and Thailand. It highlights Malaysia’s problem with migrants from other Asian nations who seek work on farms, factories and construction sites only to be trapped and have their passports taken and wages withheld.

FULL POST

Topics: Government • In The News • The Facts • TIP Report
May 7th, 2014
01:34 PM ET

Nigeria and the ongoing battle against slavery

There are 700,000 people currently in slavery in Nigeria, according to Walk Free. They are often abducted from extremely poor rural areas. Some are trafficked for slave labor including prostitution, occasionally to criminals in Europe and the Middle East. Others are forced into marriage.

CNN anchor Jim Clancy looks at the wider issues around slavery in Nigeria and west Africa.

Topics: In The News • Life In Slavery • The Facts
Cocoa-nomics: Will the chocolate industry now end child labor and slavery?
February 17th, 2014
04:48 PM ET

Cocoa-nomics: Will the chocolate industry now end child labor and slavery?

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.
October 18th, 2013
05:13 PM ET

Bales: Why Brazil leads the world in fighting slavery

Professor Kevin Bales, co-founder of Free the Slaves, explains to Max Foster how his organization calculates the total number globally - and says 30 million is a conservative figure.

Bales examines how different countries face the problem, and explains why Brazil is setting the best example.

Topics: The Facts • The Number
U.S. states of play in anti-trafficking laws
The Polaris Project map splits the U.S. into four tiers, one being the best, based on anti-trafficking measures.
August 8th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

U.S. states of play in anti-trafficking laws

The state of Massachusetts was named among the most improved in the U.S. in 2012 after it passed wide-ranging anti-human trafficking laws.

A report published by Polaris Project, one of the leading organizations in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, rated and placed all 50 states plus the District of Columbia in one of four tiers based on the human trafficking laws in the state.

South Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio were also rated 'most improved' for taking concrete steps to address human trafficking. Of those states, Massachusetts was singled out for particular praise as it is now also ranked in the top four states having the strongest legal framework.

FULL POST

Rights group: 21 million now in forced labor
June 1st, 2012
09:58 AM ET

Rights group: 21 million now in forced labor

One of the world's leading workers' rights groups has revised upward its global estimate of the number of people working in forced labor.

Almost 21 million people are now in forced labor, according to the new study from the International Labour Organization.

That is up from a "minimum estimate" of 12.3 million in ILO's similar report in 2005 - but the group says the increase is down to better research methods rather than indicative of a trend.

FULL POST

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Topics: In The News • Life In Slavery • The Facts
A profitable enterprise
July 29th, 2011
04:08 PM ET

A profitable enterprise

Ranking behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking, human trafficking is estimated to be the third largest international crime industry, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It is believed to generate profits of an estimated $32 billion, according to a 2005 report from the International Labour Organization. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.

Trafficking and the U.S.
June 17th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Trafficking and the U.S.

Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year, according to a 2005 report from the U.S. State Department.

The traffickers
June 1st, 2011
01:38 PM ET

The traffickers

According to a United Nations report, the recruiter in 54 percent of human trafficking cases was a stranger to the victim. In 46 percent of the cases, the recruiter was known to the victim. The U.N. report said that the “majority of suspects involved in the trafficking process are nationals of the country where the trafficking process is occurring.”

May 27th, 2011
04:51 PM ET

The Facts: Forms of modern-day slavery

What is slavery? See a definition here. But the following is a list of common words and phrases used by slave holders in order to avoid using the word "slavery," according to Free the Slaves:

- debt bondage
- bonded labor
- attached labor
- restavec
- forced labor
- indentured servitude

Source: Free the Slaves

Topics: The Facts
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