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.

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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.

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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
Between borders
May 4th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

Between borders

Globally, some 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, according to a 2007 report from the U.S. State Department. Of that number, more than 70% are female and half are children. However, a 2009 United Nations report stated that around 20% of all trafficking victims are children.

April 21st, 2011
01:41 PM ET

The who and why of modern-day slavery

CNN's Ramy Inocencio breaks down the who, what and where of modern-day slavery.

Topics: The Facts
April 20th, 2011
10:47 AM ET

The Facts: Slavery, human trafficking definitions

Forced labor, bonded labor, slaves, human trafficking - a broadly accepted definition of what modern slavery encompasses has been elusive. There are many horrible stories of abuse, but not all can be considered slavery. Here is the definition CNN is using to make that determination:

“Slavery occurs when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing and they cannot walk away.”

What about human trafficking? Human trafficking is defined in the U.N. Trafficking Protocol as "the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of adbuction, or fraud or deception for the purpse of exploitation."

The definition on trafficking consists of three core elements:

1) The action of trafficking which means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons

2) The means of trafficking which includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability

3) The purpose of trafficking which is always exploitation. In the words of the Trafficking Protocol, article 3 "exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs

Topics: The Facts
The Number: Average price of slave has decreased
April 6th, 2011
12:29 PM ET

The Number: Average price of slave has decreased

The average price of a slave has decreased during the past 200 years, according to Kevin Bales, a leading abolitionist who has written several books about modern-day slavery.

In 1809, the average price of a slave was $40,000 when adjusted to today’s money. In 2009, the average price of a slave was $90, Bales says.

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