April 15th, 2011
11:22 AM ET

1st person charged under Rhode Island trafficking statute

The first person charged under Rhode Island's human trafficking statute was sentence to 10 years this week, according to CNN affiliate WPRI.

Andy Fakhoury was accused of enslaving teen girls and forcing them into prostitution in Providence. 

In court, victim statements highlighted the torture the victims endured. "You brainwashed me into believing I was nothing. You made me feel worthless," reports WPRI.

Related: How California is fighting trafficking 

Topics: In The News
April 14th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

Moore, Kutcher: Join our crusade to end child sex trafficking

"There's between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," Ashton Kutcher tells CNN's Piers Morgan. "If you don't do something to stop that - that's when there's something wrong with you."

In their first-ever joint prime time interview, actress Demi Moore and actor Ashton Kutcher joined Thursday's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

The husband-and-wife team launched The Demi & Ashton Foundation (DNA) after a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in January. They met a girl who had been trafficked into the United States by her pimp, who brought her into a field where she was repeatedly raped on a trash bag by 30 men. The DNA Foundation stands for the fundamental right to freedom for every person - because it's within our DNA.

"It just seemed impossible to live in a world where that was going on and not do something about it," said Moore. FULL POST

April 14th, 2011
11:32 AM ET

How to help: The role of technology

Although the basic characteristics of slavery haven’t changed over time, the ways in which we can fight against this atrocity have. Victims around the world are still being physically and emotionally abused, as well as economically exploited, but we are constantly learning and developing new ways to assist the victims and track down the traffickers.

A good example of this is how the role of technology has evolved within the abolitionist movement. FULL POST

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Topics: How to Help
April 14th, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Saving a stranger from slavery

[cross-post from NewsStream]

Right now, imagine you are reading a plea for help from someone you have never met. You believe the two women in a photo are about to be forced into a life of prostitution.

Do you carry along as usual? Should you write back with advice? Or do you take action?

Last May, a tale of suspected human trafficking unfolded in real time on MetaFilter.com. A regular user of the community weblog started a thread called, "Help me help my friend in DC." FULL POST

April 14th, 2011
09:54 AM ET

Attacking the demand for child sex trafficking

By Siddharth Kara, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Trafficking expert Siddharth Kara is a Harvard fellow and author of the award-winning book, "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery." For more than 15 years, he has traveled around the world to research modern-day slavery, interviewing thousands of former and current slaves. Kara also advises the United Nations and governments on anti-slavery research and policy.

I recently had the privilege of talking to CNN’s Piers Morgan about the “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s DNA Foundation.

Siddharth Kara

This effort is intended to attack male demand to purchase commercial sex from minors, many of whom are by U.S. law prima facie victims of sex trafficking. (Related: Real men join stars in fight against slavery)

The importance of this effort cannot be overstated.

Most NGO’s and policy makers focus on the supply-side of sex trafficking, with efforts intended to protect people from being trafficked, such as awareness campaigns, education and economic training, and other efforts that attempt to mitigate the forces that render people vulnerable to being trafficked. All such efforts are crucial and should be expanded.

However, sex trafficking – like all forms of human trafficking – is a business, and for any business to survive it requires two forces: supply and demand. FULL POST

April 13th, 2011
04:19 PM ET

Tools used by modern-day abolitionists

What are some of the tools used by modern-day abolitionists? CNN's Kristie Lu Stout talked to Not for Sale president and co-founder David Batstone about technology that is helping the fight against slavery. FULL POST

Topics: Solutions
April 13th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

An app to help end slavery

Not only are apps making our lives a lot more convenient, now they can help us be better humanitarians.

Demand the Brand is an app that allows you to take a picture of a product, place a "SlaveFREE" logo on it, and post it to an interactive map where users ask whether products they consume are produced by slaves. The purpose of the app is for consumers to demand that the brands they use are not produced by slave labor.

The app was launched alongside Call+Response, a documentary directed by musician Justin Dillon that exposes modern-day slavery across the world. It features political leaders, actors and musicians in the film speaking up about anti-slavery efforts.

“I realized that people don’t just want to be aware. They really want to have things to do, and that’s what Call+Response is about,” Dillon said. FULL POST

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Topics: Solutions • Technology
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." FULL POST

April 11th, 2011
01:04 PM ET

Tracking slavery around the world

All week, CNN examines the technology that is helping to track and tackle slavery around the world.

Which countries produce the most slaves and where are these slaves employed? And which international borders fail the test when it comes to human trafficking? CNN's News Stream mapped it all out – and illustrated the extremes. As the video above shows, the developing world does not have a monopoly on this degrading trade.

Topics: Technology • The Traffickers
April 11th, 2011
09:29 AM ET

Reader: Humans have good track record in the impossible realm

The debate about how we can end modern-day slavery is happening all across the web, including reader comments on The CNN Freedom Project blog, Twitter and the project's Facebook page.

Here's just one opinion from a reader on Facebook, Aya Reall Hansen, arguing why people are trying to end this.

"Yeah, it may be hard to win the battle, but heck, I'd say humans have a pretty good track record: good luck finding a "new world" – oh wait, thanks Columbus, you did the impossible; good luck sending someone to the moon – oh wait, thanks NASA, you did the impossible; good luck abolishing the Transatlantic Slave Trade – oh wait, thanks mankind, you did the impossible! Human Trafficking not only affects females, but also men, families, morals, ethics, morality, and religion! It appeals to the very soul of a person (for those who still have one), and if the only reason a person gets involved is so they can sleep well at night, I would say that at least they still have a conscience in tact, and from that starting point, their reasonings for putting an end to this nasty disease will be enlarged, their motivations deepen, and their understanding of the importance of freedom/agency solidified. To those who lack understanding, who choose to stand by and watch the innocent suffer – watch out, the barge of RESPONSIBILITY is coming through and cannot be stopped!"

What do you think?

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Topics: Reader Response • Voices
April 11th, 2011
12:05 AM ET

Real men join stars in fight against slavery

Don’t miss: Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore talk to Piers Morgan live on “Piers Morgan Tonight,” Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

Movie star couple Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are launching a new campaign Monday against child sex slavery.

A host of other stars, including Justin Timberlake and Sean Penn, signed up for "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" aimed at stopping people buying underage girls for sex.

The Demi and Ashton Foundation, or DNA Foundation, hopes to raise awareness of the global problem that is also a curse in small towns and big cities across the United States.

Kutcher told CNN: "We want to create a cultural shift in the way men and women view young people selling themselves for sex." FULL POST

Topics: How to Help • Solutions
April 8th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

Slavery known, but not understood

Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, speaks with CNN about the realities of modern-day slavery. He also shares his experience of the first person he ever met who had come out of the horrors of slavery.

Topics: Voices
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