The American capitalist saving children in Philippines, 'one at a time'
The Lingap Center offers children shelter from human traffickers in the Philippines
May 18th, 2014
10:11 PM ET

The American capitalist saving children in Philippines, 'one at a time'

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.

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Topics: How to Help • Solutions • Voices
May 7th, 2014
01:51 PM ET

Slavery in Nigeria 'based on lack of respect for girls' rights'

The world is paying attention to the abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls because the numbers are so high, but the slavery of girls is prevalent in northern Nigeria, and is often not reported when the victims are taken in ones and twos, says Aidan McQuade, Director of Anti-Slavery International. The abuse stems from a lack of respect for women and girls, he tells CNN anchor Jim Clancy.

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
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.

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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.

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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
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