Your tomato’s possible ties to slavery
April 21st, 2011
09:57 AM ET

Your tomato’s possible ties to slavery

By Amanda Kloer, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Amanda Kloer is an editor with Change.org, where she organizes and promotes campaigns to end human trafficking. She has created numerous reports, documentaries and training materials on human trafficking in the United States and around the world. Here, she examines the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group that represents around 4,000 farm workers in Florida. In November the group partnered with Florida Tomato Growers Exchange – a trade association that represents the majority of Florida’s tomato farmers – to create a code of conduct which includes a zero tolerance policy on forced and child labor for farm workers. The code covers about 90% of the Florida tomato industry, and is in effect beginning with the 2011 – 2012 season.

Antonio Martinez stood in the hot sun, exhausted from a cross-country journey, and waited. Just 21 years old, he had traveled from Mexico to the U.S. with the promise of a well-paid construction job in California. But now he stood in a field in central Florida, listening to one man pay another man $500 to own him.

“I realized I had been sold like an animal without any compassion," Antonio thought at the time, more than 10 years ago.

He was right. In modern times, in the United States, Antonio had been sold into slavery in Florida's tomato fields. FULL POST

5 things to know about human trafficking
Human trafficking doesn't just happen in far-away places. It can happen anywhere in the world.
March 15th, 2011
05:05 PM ET

5 things to know about human trafficking

By Amanda Kloer, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Amanda Kloer is an editor with Change.org, where she organizes and promotes campaigns to end human trafficking. She has created numerous reports, documentaries and training materials on human trafficking in the United States and around the world.

Human trafficking might not be something we think about on a daily basis, but this crime affects the communities where we live, the products which we buy and the people who we care about. Want to learn more? Here are the five most important things to know about human trafficking: FULL POST