Iconic fighters saving kids
May 9th, 2013
03:43 PM ET

Iconic fighters saving kids

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has spent her life fighting - as a child for some education, as a teen rebel against a dictator, and for more than 20 years against human traffickers.

She has become the face of the Philippines anti-trafficking movement - a woman who has the ear of presidents, royalty and philanthropists around the globe.

Along the way she persuaded the biggest name in the Philippines - boxing legend Manny Pacquiao - to join her fight.

After two years of reporting in the Philippines – from going on police raids in Manila to going undercover in search of human trafficking in remote provinces - CNN can now tell their story.

Rescued girls describe how they were recruited by traffickers, the ordeals they endured - sometimes by men a computer click and half-a-world away - and how Oebanda saved them.

And we go undercover in Manila's bars where girls are available for tourists.  

Now Oebanda is fighting a battle that could truly ruin her reputation and the organization she created - fraud allegations made by Philippine investigators.

SPECIAL REPORT
March 20th, 2013
01:11 AM ET

Toddlers freed from brick kiln bondage

(CNN) – A flaring furnace blasts another wave of searing heat on the faces of workers hauling bricks under a southern Indian sun.

They work up to 22 hours a day propping heavy stacks of bricks on their heads. None expects to be paid for this labor. None knows how long they'll be kept here. Some are as young as three years old.

Manoj Singh was one of 149 people rescued this year from a brick kiln outside Hyderabad, India. Like millions of other Indians, the toddler was born into extreme poverty.

When CNN correspondent Mallika Kapur visited Manoj's family, now back home, he and the some of the 34 other children freed, showed her how they would make the bricks from wet clay.

"They recall from their muscle memory," says Anu George Canjanathoppil, of International Justice Mission, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating slavery around the world. "So if you ask them to explain what they did, they cannot say."

Older laborers, however, had plenty to say. FULL POST

Lincoln's chair helping today's slaves
This chair is part of an Abraham Lincoln collection up for auction.
February 15th, 2013
01:59 PM ET

Lincoln's chair helping today's slaves

Looking to add a conversation piece to your Oscar viewing party?

How about the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was reputedly sitting when he received the news he'd been nominated as the Republican candidate for president.

It's the star attraction in a collection of more than 50 historical documents, rare books, images and artifacts related to the 16th President of the United States currently up for bid on eBay.

Ten percent of the final sale price from the auction will support the U.S.-based international non-profit, Free the Slaves, which works with local communities across the globe to end modern-day forms of slavery. FULL POST

Photographer changed by Haiti's Restaveks
November 23rd, 2011
07:29 PM ET

Photographer changed by Haiti's Restaveks

Steven Taylor is a 24-year-old music and celebrity photographer. In the past two years, Steven has photographed Common, John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, John Legend and more. FULL POST

Haitian kids exploited by tradition
November 23rd, 2011
07:14 PM ET

Haitian kids exploited by tradition


Editor's note: "Common Dreams", which aired on CNN at the weekend, can now be viewed online in its entirety. Find out more about how you can help the Haitian children at CommonDreamsHaiti.com

A Grammy Award-winning musician and actor is using his star power to help rescue children being exploited in Haiti, a nation founded by freed slaves.

In a Freedom Project documentary, Common shines a light on the plight of the Restaveks, the estimated 300,000 children working as domestic servants in Haiti.

FULL POST

June 22nd, 2011
07:33 AM ET

Saving Nepalese children from a life in slavery

Actress Demi Moore partners with CNN Freedom Project for a compelling documentary. A passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking herself, Moore travels to Nepal to meet 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and some of the thousands of women and girls Koirala’s organization has rescued from forced prostitution. Premieres Sunday, June 26 MORE DETAILS & TIMES

At a busy, exhaust-choked checkpoint along the India-Nepal border, Anuradha Koirala moves briskly among the box trucks, ballast tractors and passenger buses hastily queued up for inspection.

This is Koirala’s best, and possibly only, chance to save stolen Nepalese children from a life in the sex trade.

“Girls are brought from the villages by people who can lure them and tell them they are getting a nice job,” says Koirala, winner of CNN’s 2010 “Hero of the Year” award.

Her organization, Maiti Nepal, intercepts 4 to 5 girls a day. It’s an exhausting, unending endeavor. FULL POST