Three "extremely traumatized" women are being cared for by a charity after managing to leave a London house where they had allegedly been held captive for more than 30 years. Experts say compassion, time and allowing freedom of choice are essential to the rehabilitation process.
Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, which was contacted by one of the victims, tells CNN how they worked with police and what happens next for the victims.FULL STORY
Ima Mutal was 17 when she left her home in Indonesia to work as a nanny in Los Angeles. As soon as she entered the U.S. her passport was confiscated by her new "employer" and her servitude began. Hundreds of thousands of people are thought to be enduring forced labor in the United States. This is just one story.FULL STORY
Sophie Hayes' love story started out like so many Hollywood rom-coms. He was a man she knew and trusted, and who knew everything about her, what made her laugh and cry and what her favorite song was. He was there for her when she had bad days, a quick phone call away in times of trouble. She was just a normal girl and he a normal guy.
But this love story turned into a horror story on a holiday with the man she had grown to love. Forced to work on the streets as a prostitute, emotionally isolated, miles from her British home, suffering mental and physical abuse, rape, and torture.FULL STORY
Anti-slavery campaigner Sophie Hayes has released a powerful campaign to draw attention to the dangers of women who get lured into relationships, only to lose their freedom. Women like her.
Editor's note: Richard Stearns is the author of “The Hole in Our Gospel” and president of the U.S. office of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Follow Stearns on Twitter @RichStearns. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Richard Stearns.
By Richard Stearns, special to CNN
This February, I visited Cambodia, where my heart was broken by the evils of the sex trade in that country. Too often there is an acceptance of prostitution that leads to a male culture that believes sex with virgins improves health has created an epidemic of young girls and boys trafficked into the cities. Roughly 30,000 young women and men in that country (some estimates are as high as 100,000) are trapped in slavery. When imprisoned in the brothels, these young women and men serve roughly 700 people every year.
I interviewed a young woman named Ruse (not her real name) who had spent three years in a Cambodian brothel before being rescued and sent to World Vision’s Trauma Recovery Center in Phnom Penh.
Ruse’s story was heartbreaking. Her family was extremely poor, and when she was just 13, her mother became very ill and needed medical attention. Her father had left, and she had two smaller siblings as well. The family desperately needed money. Ruse told me, “My virginity was the most valuable possession my family had.” FULL POST
By David Batstone, Special to CNN
Editor's note: David Batstone is the co-founder and president of Not For Sale, which fights human trafficking and slavery. The opinions in this guest post are solely those of David Batstone.
On February 2, faith leaders gathered in the U.S. capital to pray. What difference will it make? What is the role of prayer, worship, and faith in ending social problems that I care about, like extreme poverty and modern-day slavery? FULL POST
Editor's note: Actor and activist Robin Wright recently traveled to eastern Congo with the Enough Project, a Washington-based group focused on ending genocide and crimes against humanity. Her video trip diary appears as a special feature on a new UK edition of "Blood in the Mobile," available on DVD.
(CNN) – A 10-year-old boy, his face still innocent, abducted from his village and forced to kill alongside ruthless militia fighters. A 60-year-old grandmother too ashamed of the injuries caused by a brutal rape to leave her house for five months, even though her wounds worsened. A girl who reminded me of my own daughter, bridging the years between youth and womanhood, who had been dragged into a forest near her house by a group of men and raped, over and over again.
Images of these people, whose quiet but warm personalities barely hint at the atrocities they have survived, give a human face to the conflict in eastern Congo that has long moved me as an activist. With well over 5 million people dead through war and its accompanying hardships spanning more than a decade, it is difficult to imagine the daily impact of a conflict of this magnitude, much less to feel empowered to do anything about it.
Recently, a series of reports from CNN's Dan Rivers traced slavery in the supply chain. He began in Cambodia, where a woman grieved for her daughter, to a factory in Malaysia where the girl was forced to work for no pay and, ultimately, went to shops in London that sell the products made by slaves.
Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. human trafficking czar - more formally known as the ambassador-at-large for the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons - sat down with CNN's Max Foster to talk about what consumers can learn from the reporting and other tips for keeping slavery out of the supply chain. FULL POST
By Siddharth Kara, Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Trafficking expert Siddharth Kara is a Harvard fellow and author of the award-winning book, "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery." For more than 15 years, he has traveled around the world to research modern-day slavery, interviewing thousands of former and current slaves. Kara also advises the United Nations and governments on anti-slavery research and policy.
When I walked into a brothel in Mumbai for the first time 11 years ago to research sex trafficking in South Asia, I was exceedingly nervous and did not know what to expect. The brothel was on an alley off Falkland Road, a well-known red light area in Mumbai. A middle-aged gharwali (madam or house manager) named Bipasha sat in a chair near the front door, chewing betel nut. Posing as a customer, I told her I wanted a Nepalese girl. She took me to a back room and had several young girls line up in front of me, hands folded. Most had at least one visible bruise or scar. FULL POST
By Jesse Eaves, Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Jesse Eaves is non-profit World Vision’s policy adviser for children in crisis. He is based in Washington, D.C.
When 16-year-old Kyaw left his home and a life of poverty in Myanmar five years ago, he vowed he would never return. He was on a quest to find a steady job, and he’d heard that he could earn up to $150 a month if he traveled across the border to a fishing port in Thailand.
However, what he discovered would soon make him wish he had never left. Kyaw had been trafficked onto a Thai fishing boat operating illegally in Indonesian waters, and, according to him, the conditions were worse than those on an 18th century slave ship.
“They allowed us to sleep only about one hour per day,” said Kyaw.
Surrounded by a crew with guns, he and his fellow workers were treated as animals.
When we think of trafficking today, images of young girls forced to work in dark, back-alley brothels in Bangkok or Phnom Penh often come to mind.
But the issue of trafficking is much broader than that. FULL POST