Check out a round-up of the fight against slavery in the news:
Hilton hotel vows to fight child sex trafficking
Hilton Worldwide, the well known hotel chain, is joining the fight against child sex trafficking, USATODAY reports on its website.
Hilton is signing the tourism code of conduct, written by ECPAT International, a global network created to "end child prostitution and trafficking." It is only the second U.S.-based hotel to do so, along with Carlson, parent of Radisson, Radisson Blu and Country Inns and Suites. FULL POST
By Jenifer Fenton, CNN Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates (CNN) - From the outside it looks no different from the luxury villas that dot this affluent emirate. Inside the modern building, though, are secrets: stories of depravity and horror that sound out of place in the 21st Century.
The Ewa'a shelter is an oasis for women and girls whose lives have been filled with pain and tears.
We meet a 15-year-old girl, who will not tell us directly who she is or about what she has experienced. The other six victims we are introduced to are older, but in the past some of the victims who've passed through the shelter have been as young as 11 or 12 years old. All of them, shelter officials say, have been trafficked and sexually abused. The officials recount how these women have been raped, locked up or forced into prostitution. FULL POST
Chris Davis of The Body Shop talks about the company's commitment to fight human trafficking.
Slavery is everybody’s business. Its reach is vast — so vast that it affects each and every one of us in some way. Slavery can be found in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, across the world and in our very own backyard. But we all have the power to push back.
Recently, CNN has explored what businesses and consumers can do to promote ethical production and consumption. FULL POST
CNN's Ramy Inocencio breaks down the who, what and where of modern-day slavery.
LOS ANGELES, California - The federal government is calling a human-trafficking lawsuit against a California-based farm labor contractor and eight farms the largest case of alleged forced labor of farm workers in the United States.
The lawsuit, made public Tuesday in Los Angeles by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accused Global Horizons Manpower Inc., based in Beverly Hills, California, and eight farms in Hawaii and Washington state of luring more than 200 men from Thailand to work at farms where they were subjected to abuse. FULL POST
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
The president of the world's largest employment agency explains what large and small businesses can do to fight slavery.
Forced labor, bonded labor, slaves, human trafficking - a broadly accepted definition of what modern slavery encompasses has been elusive. There are many horrible stories of abuse, but not all can be considered slavery. Here is the definition CNN is using to make that determination:
“Slavery occurs when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing and they cannot walk away.”
What about human trafficking? Human trafficking is defined in the U.N. Trafficking Protocol as "the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of adbuction, or fraud or deception for the purpse of exploitation."
The definition on trafficking consists of three core elements:
1) The action of trafficking which means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons
2) The means of trafficking which includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability
3) The purpose of trafficking which is always exploitation. In the words of the Trafficking Protocol, article 3 "exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs
By Brian Byrnes, CNN
Buenos Aires - Maria Velasquez was in need of work. She had no prospects in her hometown of La Paz, Bolivia, so when she was offered a bus ticket to Argentina and assured of steady work and a home there, she jumped at the chance.
It was a trip that would take her to the depths of the garment industry's slave labor trade only to emerge as a member of a cooperative credited with raising awareness about slave labor on two continents.
"I was promised a sewing job in Argentina that would pay a dignified salary of $200 a month. But just like so many other victims, I was lied to," says Velasquez, 31.
She quickly became a victim trapped inside a vast network of workers who are lured from Bolivia to Argentina on empty promises. FULL POST
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout highlights iReporter Renee Hong's short film on human trafficking.
How did the video come about? Hong, a graphic designer, says she was part of a program called YWAM which stands for Youth With a Mission. Her six-month training in Germany focused on art and social injustice. "And so one of the graphic design assignments was to create a stop-motion video that somehow got awareness to the topic of human trafficking," she said.
As she says in her iReport submission, "It is a video that brings awareness to human trafficking in all of its forms: labor, prostitution and child soldiers."