February 20th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Trafficking in Mozambique: 'Every minute was the worst'

By Brent Swails, CNN

The mansion sits in the heart of Maputo, Mozambique. From the street it looks abandoned. Its walls are crumbling, the windows are broken and overgrown shrubs and trees hide the once grand entrance.

But inside there are signs that this place is still a home. The ceiling is black from cooking fires. In the bedrooms, mattresses line the floors and pages torn from magazines decorate the walls.

Local anti-trafficking activist Katie Magill often visits the mansion and other squatter housing in the city. She says its residents are at an age where they idolize the singers and actresses pictured on the pages. But they are much too young for the work they’re forced to do every night.

Many here say that Mozambique’s label of “the land of prawns and prostitutes” is well deserved. Prawns dominate trade by day, and at night, it’s Mozambique’s girls that are for sale. FULL POST

January 19th, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find

In "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields. (More information and air times on CNN International.)

By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN

Daloa, Ivory Coast (CNN) - Chocolate’s billion-dollar industry starts with workers like Abdul. He squats with a gang of a dozen harvesters on an Ivory Coast farm.

Abdul holds the yellow cocoa pod lengthwise and gives it two quick cracks, snapping it open to reveal milky white cocoa beans. He dumps the beans on a growing pile.

Abdul is 10 years old, a three-year veteran of the job.

He has never tasted chocolate. FULL POST

Slavery in cocoa fields: A horrible ‘normal’
January 19th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Slavery in cocoa fields: A horrible ‘normal’

In "Chocolate's Child Slaves," CNN's David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields. (More information and air times on CNN International.)

By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN

The Freedom Project wanted our team to answer one question: Ten years after all the major players in the chocolate industry promised to end trafficking and child labor in Ivory Coast, was that promise kept?

So that's how we found ourselves, four journalists and a driver, crammed into a silver SUV, driving toward Daloa with the faded luxury of Abidjan’s skyscrapers behind us. Market towns became bush and the traffic thinned as we chewed up the miles. FULL POST