Taking a stand to end slavery
April 11th, 2011
01:17 PM ET

You are taking a stand to end slavery

Modern-day slavery is not often talked about, but we’ve learned that people all over the world are passionate about stopping the problem.

Last month, CNN iReport and GOOD asked readers and viewers to join the fight against human trafficking by taking a virtual pledge to end slavery.

We’ve received more than 100 pledges from people in dozens of countries. Of those, we’ve spoken to 50 submitters and found that our audience is committed to educating themselves and those around them about sexual exploitation and forced labor beginning with a simple message:

"I’m taking a stand to end slavery."

In Queens, New York, Ramel Sumter was intrigued by the concept that "a simple photograph taken by individuals and shared with other individuals bolstered by a platform as large as CNN could help shed light on a serious issue like modern day slavery."

Tanya Baity, a home care nurse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote her pledge backwards, "because I want to be reminded every time I look in the mirror that slavery is still real in this world, and that I can choose to fight or, or to contribute to it by doing nothing."

She went on to say, "It breaks my heart when I hear about men, women, and children in slavery around the world, especially when so many people think that slavery ended in the late 1800s. If good people do nothing, the bad guys win."

The Freedom Project has sparked discussions about child labor between parents and children, and teachers and students. Rachel Hanna of Melbourne, Australia, explained to her young boys "that there are people out there who have no choice about their lives, who are taken from the people and places they love and are forced to work for people who care nothing about them."

It may seem like a small step, but taking the pledge is one concrete way we can spread the word about an issue of which most of the public is unaware. Together, by forming a community of people committed to this issue, we hope to make a difference in future Freedom Project challenges.

Have you taken a stand to end slavery? What are you waiting for?

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Kingsley Edey

    This is sad news to be heared,i never knew slavery trade is existing in some part of the world today,But why people like this should alow on this earth abusing our mothers of tomrrow? This is wicked act. I think the wolrd leaders should come together to discouse how to put this to an end.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:17 am | Reply
    • Joe in Colorado

      The reality is, "employed" = "slave".

      Why aren't we yet at a point where robots are doing everything and we can actually ENJOY life?

      April 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Reply
      • K

        Wow, @Joe in Colorado... seriously? Sure, some of us can get 'stuck' in a job, but when I come to work in the morning, I'm not beaten, raped or psychologically abused. I'm paid a livable wage that I'm allowed to keep and can leave if I choose. I also wasn't purchased by my boss to work here, nor will they try to sell me. I don't know what type of job you have, but I doubt you experience any of those things during your 8-5. Your comment and comparison is insanely disgusting and ignorant.

        @EddieG– Most prostitutes aren't prostitutes by choice. You would be shocked to know how many women and children are bought and sold like cattle everyday and forced into prostitution... you would be even more shocked to know that at least 1 million US citizens are trafficked and forced into prostitution in their own communities each year. But clearly you don't know these things and are limited by antiquated, myopic assumptions about the reality of the sex industry.

        April 13, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  2. Nagaraj KUlkarni

    Beauty qeens, cricketers, sport personalities, filmstars etc who paid for endorsing brands and till the contact treated like allmost bounded labours and slaves, any voilation treated like stripping of title or heavy penalties. Why can't it be consider as a modern days slavery?

    April 12, 2011 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • Neil

      By that definition, work itself is considered slavery. Agreeing to a contract is different because the person could simply walked away and chose a different vocation. Modern day slavery can start as early as children where they have no choices and lose everything. While some may agree that there are certain global economies that create slave like environments, it is the lost of the choice of which misery you will live your life, which is the great question.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
  3. thomas boyle

    While most people wouldn't think of it as such, family law in western countries is difficult to distinguish from slavery – in fact the distinction is rather technical. A person is compelled to make payments to another. Those payments are not based on their income, like a tax, but rather on their assessed ability to earn. In other words, their labor potential is the property of another person. If they fail to pay that person the value of their potential labor, they are subject to imprisonment (note that ordinary debts cannot lead to imprisonment in the west). The only technicality that differentiates it from slavery – and makes it legal (but hardly even close to ethical) – is that the victim is allowed to decide for himself (the victims are almost always male, in practice) how to raise the funds to pay his owner.
    These people's labor is even traded, in a sense, as (for example) lenders will take the value from their labor into consideration when making a loan to their owner.
    Family law goes too far. As a tax it would arguably be justifiable. In its current form, it is ethically a form of slavery. It needs to be reeled back.

    April 12, 2011 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • Western Girls

      I believe you're referring to a loan, also known as, debt to raise capital, leverage, "other people's money." Key disinctions you're missing is that slaves can't go out and make purchases like, cars, boats, homes or they can not potentially turn their relationship into a fortune, with something like a Business Loan. Also, I don't think slaves are given the option to enter the agreement or not.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:06 am | Reply
  4. hyper_ion

    This is admirable but we should also include slavery by muslim arabs of the black sudanese in africa.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  5. Judith Omolara Ogunmuyiwa

    Let us stop slavery and child molestation now. No child have to be oppress by an adult.

    April 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  6. Phil in Oregon

    Stop slavery! Don't hire illegal immigrants(slaves) or support businesses that do.

    April 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  7. slong

    Modern slavery is not being talked because the victim sector of this country is still using slavery as a crutch

    April 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • Julian

      Here we go with this nonsense again. So, you're arguing that people have kept slavery out of popular dialogue b/c of victimization? People keep the memory of slavery alive for the same reasons we keep the memory of the holocau$t alive... as a reminder of the humanity's macabre potential. You probably had horrible history teachers and don't value the relevancy of history as a blueprint. Really? If you want a forum to tirade against minorities why not just start your own h*te group web page. Apparently humanity has learned little from the atrocities of trans-Atlantic slavery.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
  8. Eddie G

    Never confuse slavery and prostitution.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  9. jona

    taking a stand.. holding up a sign.. worthless.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • yup

      My thoughts exactly.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • yup

      Next thing you know a "facebook group" will be started and this movement will be considered validated by social media-tards.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • Jonesy

      Holding up a sign isn't all that they are doing. They are letting people know that they are aware of the problem and they want to do something to help contribute. I will gladly hold up a sign that says I want to stand up for people who never even had a chance to do it for themselves. But you had better believe

      April 15, 2011 at 4:58 am | Reply
    • Jonesy

      Holding up a sign isn't all that they are doing. They are letting people know that they are aware of the problem and they want to do something to help contribute. I will gladly hold up a sign that says I want to stand up for people who never even had a chance to do it for themselves. But you had better believe I will be doing alot more than just holding up a sign.

      April 15, 2011 at 5:00 am | Reply
  10. karma

    Look at Charlie Sheen and his women, and ask yourself, is this 'slavey'. Why is this being 'promoted' as though the use of women as sex toys is to be condoned. Why would anyone in their right mind pay this mentally ill man, to be in any type of television show. What are advertisers thinking when they see their product linked to this maggot.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  11. Arcilla Richards

    Yes I now take a stand against slavery by joining in partnership with A21 ..making as many people aware of this ongoing atrocity... I also PRAY for more awareness and the release , and restoration of the victims along with GOD'S justice to the perps....

    April 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  12. small dog trucking at myspacedotcom

    this is why cloneing should be encouraged, my clone could go to work and i could be enjoying life.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  13. Darren Sisco

    Human trafficing is not that bad. What should be looked at is Bovine slavery! Forced breeding, confined spaces, milked to death and as a reward, killed for pleasure. This is what is abhorent with the world, not people who can think and do for themselves, but the ones who can't speak or cry for help. Ones trapped behind steel fences, thats where you should set your sights.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • jim

      NO! These animals are large enough to take care of themselves! We must turn our eyes to the plight of the lowly insect world. Consider the much maligned chegro, still referred to in much of the deep south as a "chigger". Shameful!!!!!

      April 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  14. Jesmine

    Its about time to quit Hobby Lobby I've been a thinking.

    April 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  15. narniagirl55

    How about men who make women get abortions who don't want them? Or women who "choose" to end the life of the unborn as if that child is her property? Slavery goes far beyond what happens in our world.. the unborn child has become a slave to the depravity of our culture who insists it's okay to snuff out the life of a small human being in the process of development just because having it doesn't fit into the mother's schedule and lifestyle.

    Our how about how Planned Praenthood and other abortion facilities "use" women to make money from their misinformed..If we can dispose of the unborn, then that child is being treated as property to throw away...and not being treated as a human!

    April 13, 2011 at 12:19 am | Reply
  16. Jeb

    I think slavers should be executed for their crimes.
    They think so little of how evil they are that they should not be allowed to live on the same planet with the rest of us.

    We allow other countries to have slavery, yet no one mentions that some of those slaves are American Citizens kidnapped and sold into slavery.

    I think we should invade those countries and free every single slave.

    Just imagine, it would be the first war worth fighting that America has seen in decades.

    Too bad this country doesn't free American slaves.
    It's what the Civil War was all about, yet there have always been some who never stopped supporting and engaging in the world-wide slave trades even here in America.

    And we let it happen because they hide it very well and have very powerful friends to make sure it stays that way.

    Now they can come and kill me. I have spoken the dangerous truth on CNN.
    They can hunt me down and kill or kidnap me, never to be seen again.

    Terrorism doesn't just wear explosives, it can threaten every person you know and love with slavery, kidnapping, and other forms of death.
    How long until we even do anything about it?
    Those victims need help NOW, not twenty years from now!
    They needed help long ago. They've always needed help from all the free peoples of the Earth.
    Free the slaves! Show the world we can do something right once in a while!!!

    April 13, 2011 at 12:47 am | Reply
    • Floyd P.

      you are the only one that seems to make any sense here.....

      April 14, 2011 at 6:47 am | Reply
  17. Illuminati

    To get rid of slavery we need to get rid of
    The family

    April 13, 2011 at 7:52 am | Reply
  18. Help them

    Please Help

    April 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  19. John Nielsen

    I and a group of like minded people have just launched an new non-profit organization focused on stopping human trafficking in Eastern Europe. Our first project is to get place three posters and conduct a large group seminar in each of the 21,900 educational institutions in the Ukraine and Moldovia, educating students on the deception tactics of the human traffic cartels. WE WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO LINK UP WITH THE FREEDOM PROJECT, perhaps by being one of your recommended charities. I do not see that you have a charity representing Eastern Europe. We are a program operating under United Charitable Programs in VA, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. Our website is: http://justiceforyouth.org. Please contact me! Thanks...John Nielsen CIO, Justice For Youth

    April 14, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply
  20. Dele David

    Human trafficking is a global illness that has eaten up most part of Africa especailly Nigeria, and the business of this horriable act is still going on right now... I ve stand to put a stop.. – David

    April 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  21. prisca Hoga

    Dele David is right..... It is happening in Africa and Nigeria! We are happy that CNN is doing something about it! We want action not critics! I am gladly taking a stand, its a way of showing and informing others that we have a problem and it has to stop.

    April 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  22. billy koffi zonyrah

    Im against the slavery. please help put stop to it now...

    April 20, 2011 at 3:54 am | Reply
  23. Mona Mainali

    Yes, I do think that the world should be united for such a noble cause. In this modern days we talk about technologies, luxuries but it is so sad to hear that still slavery does exist in the society. Lets stop the slavery and make the world a happy place to rest. I'm taking a stand and want to plead the rest of the people to do the same.

    May 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply

    Today millions of our own sisters are sold for sexual exploitation in and around the globe. i have made up my mind to continue with fight till the last drop of my sweat.

    what about you?


    July 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  25. pinayako

    stop slavery!!! i felt like a slave in my own house

    August 13, 2011 at 8:45 am | Reply
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