September 7th, 2011
05:46 PM ET

Officials trying to ID enslaved disabled workers rescued from brick kiln

Authorities in China are struggling to identify 30 people they rescued from illegal brick kilns where they were being enslaved and abused, state-run media reported Wednesday.

The officials are having a difficult time identifying some of the workers because at least 17 of them are disabled or have a mental illness, police told the state-run China Daily newspaper.

"Some of them can't even speak a whole sentence, and they don't act like normal people," Liu Weiming, deputy director of publicity in Zhumadian, where the workers were rescued, told the state-run paper. "Most are staying at a relief station because they can't remember where they are from."

Read the full story at CNN's This Just In blog

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Topics: In The News
September 7th, 2011
09:17 AM ET

Apps to end slavery?

Can a smartphone help you take a stand against slavery?

Many apps exist to help you do just that, including the Trafficking in Persons Awareness app and an app by the same name of the film it's associated with, "Call + Response."

Free2Work is an app that lets you look at major brands as you shop to check what they're doing to tackle the problem. Free2Work was created by the Not For Sale Campaign. Its goal is to use technology to mobilize activists and fight slavery.

David Batstone, the campaign's co-founder and president, talked to CNN's Richard Quest about the app and the role of technology:

"[Technology] can do a lot of things. One is when [consumers] shop, whether it's in a large department store or whether they are out at the grocery store, that they're able to take their smartphone, through Free2Work, our app, and they're able to look at the products.

And what's the story behind those products? How are they made? Where were they made? How were people treated? Were they actually free to work? You see, none of us want to wear people's tragedy. We don't want to consume their suffering where we have coffee with sugar poured in it. We want to make sure that people's lives are enhanced.

And this tool enables you to buy in such a way that you know you're enhancing the lives of the people who made those products."

Topics: Solutions