May 6th, 2014
03:08 PM ET

Eight more girls kidnapped in Nigeria

A new attack is reported in Nigeria, with eight more students abducted in a region where terrorist group Boko Haram says it will sell girls.

Six reasons we need to care about Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram
May 6th, 2014
10:09 AM ET

Six reasons we need to care about Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram

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
April 29th, 2014
05:21 PM ET

Opinion: Cocoa farmers need bigger slice of profits

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
Topics: Solutions • Uncategorized
April 10th, 2014
10:49 AM ET

Drive to end child marriage stalls, but fightback begins

By Gordon Brown, U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education

Editor's note: Gordon Brown is a United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education. He was formerly the UK's prime minister.

It is a descent into barbarism. This month’s plan by Iraqi parliamentarians to legalize girl marriage at nine follows the Pakistan Islamic Council’s demand last month that Pakistan abolish all legal restrictions on child marriage, the revelation that Syrian refugee girls are being sold into marriage against their will and the increased pressure in many African countries to ease the restrictions on selling child brides.

As one who has believed that worldwide disgust at child marriage would end it within our generation, I now find that progress has stalled. In the last few months Mauritania, at the center of allegations of girls’ genital mutilation to make possible the early marriage of eight and nine year olds, has resisted pressure to enforce a legal minimum age for marriage.

Attempts in Yemen to do so have also failed. Even Nigeria has been considering reducing the age of marriage.

In India, the rape of girls has brought millions on to the streets in protest and it has now been exposed as the country with 40% of the world's child brides.

The U.N. says one in nine girls is a bride by the age of 15 and that by 2020 142 million - or one in three girls in developing countries - will be married before they are 18. For example, in Afghanistan 60% are married before they turn 16 and in Niger 74% of girls are married by the age of 18.

Fortunately, the reluctance of governments to end abuses is being met with an even stronger movement from girls themselves.

FULL POST

Topics: Uncategorized
Pineapple program fights traffickers in Sierra Leone
April 2nd, 2014
04:36 PM ET

Pineapple program fights traffickers in Sierra Leone

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.

FULL POST

Topics: Life In Slavery • Solutions
April 2nd, 2014
02:42 AM ET

Brazil tackling child prostitution for World Cup

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.

FULL STORY

March 21st, 2014
03:48 PM ET

Australian billionaire unites religious leaders in an anti-slavery initiative

This week Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury who is head of the Anglican Church, and the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, Islam's highest-ranking Sunni cleric, united to tackle modern day slavery.

Their representatives gathered at the Vatican to sign on to the Global Freedom Network, an initiative launched by Australian billionaire and mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

“I got dragged, really, kicking and screaming, into this cause by my daughter, Grace,” Forrest said. “When she was 15, she worked in an orphanage in Nepal and our intelligence was that there was something suspect about the orphanage.”

The Global Freedom Network wants international support. It wants 50 multi-national businesses to free their supply chains from slavery. And it wants to convince the G20 to adopt an anti-slavery initiative.

Christiane Amanpour spoke to Forrest, along with Archbishop David Moxon of the Anglican Church and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo of the Catholic Church.

FULL STORY
Topics: In The News
'Every Day in Cambodia' repeat showing
March 21st, 2014
09:57 AM ET

'Every Day in Cambodia' repeat showing

The Freedom Project documentary, "Every Day in Cambodia", first broadcast last year, airs again this weekend. The film, presented by actress Mira Sorvino, documents the appalling plight of children sold into sex slavery, sometimes by their own mothers, and the people fighting to stop the practice.

Watch it on CNN International at the following times in ET: Saturday March 22 at 0400, 1500 and 2100; Sunday at 0600.

Oscar-winning Steve McQueen remembers today's slaves
March 11th, 2014
10:40 AM ET

Oscar-winning Steve McQueen remembers today's slaves

Director Steve McQueen dedicated his Oscar for "12 Years a Slave" to the "21 million people who still suffer slavery today". The British director is a patron of Anti-Slavery International, an organization that seeks to eradicate modern-day slavery around the world.

FULL STORY
Topics: Life In Slavery
March 6th, 2014
04:10 PM ET

Can the chocolate industry change its ways?

Is change really happening in the cocoa fields? Is child labor actually being eradicated, is slavery in the plantations finally coming to and end and are conditions improving for workers? After watching Cocoa-nomics, CNN's investigation into the chocolate industry's supply chains, Richard Quest challenged a panel of experts. Here are the highlights of his discussion with Guy Ryder of the International Labour Organization, Nick Weatherhill of the International Cocoa Initiative, Ben Skinner of Tau Investment Management and Bryson Vogeltanz of the End It Movement.

March 4th, 2014
10:36 AM ET

Cocoa-nomics: Watch the documentary in full

Two years after exposing slavery in the cocoa plantations of Ivory Coast, a CNN team went back to see how the chocolate industry and the Ivory Coast government were tackling the problem. Watch the documentary, presented by Richard Quest, in full.

March 3rd, 2014
04:30 PM ET

Ivory Coast PM: Two goals to improve conditions for cocoa workers

As part of the Freedom Project documentary Coaco-nomics, which investigates how the chocolate industry is trying to eradicate slavery from its supply chains, Richard Quest interviewed Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Duncan. He said the government was committed to improving revenues for famers and building schools for children.

« older posts
newer posts »