November 28th, 2011
08:43 PM ET

Your cell phone, Congo's misery

Editor's note: Actor and activist Robin Wright recently traveled to eastern Congo with the Enough Project, a Washington-based group focused on ending genocide and crimes against humanity. Her video trip diary appears as a special feature on a new UK edition of "Blood in the Mobile," available on DVD.

(CNN) - A 10-year-old boy, his face still innocent, abducted from his village and forced to kill alongside ruthless militia fighters. A 60-year-old grandmother too ashamed of the injuries caused by a brutal rape to leave her house for five months, even though her wounds worsened. A girl who reminded me of my own daughter, bridging the years between youth and womanhood, who had been dragged into a forest near her house by a group of men and raped, over and over again.

Images of these people, whose quiet but warm personalities barely hint at the atrocities they have survived, give a human face to the conflict in eastern Congo that has long moved me as an activist. With well over 5 million people dead through war and its accompanying hardships spanning more than a decade, it is difficult to imagine the daily impact of a conflict of this magnitude, much less to feel empowered to do anything about it.

Read the article in full.

Topics: In The News • Life In Slavery • Voices
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

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.


Isabel's misery touches Taiwan
Taiwan Foreign Minster Timothy Yang meets with Isabel in California.
November 23rd, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Isabel's misery touches Taiwan

A Taiwan girl whose story of being sold into slavery was featured in the CNN Freedom Project has met with the country's foreign minister.

Isabel's story of abuse sparked a media storm in Taiwan and CNN has learned several people have come forward claiming to be the mother or sister of Isabel.


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Topics: Domestic Servitude • Uncategorized
Violin symbolizes brush with slavery
November 22nd, 2011
05:57 PM ET

Violin symbolizes brush with slavery

By Colleen McEdwards (CNN)

Atlanta (CNN) - My sister has a violin that was passed to her from my grandmother, to my mother, and on to her. To a musician today, the instrument would probably be written off as a ratty old fiddle. But to us it is not just a violin. It is the violin.

Six months ago my mother died from ovarian cancer after a courageous fight. Less than two years ago, her mother, Isabel Connell Wise, died in a nursing home at the age of 93. In fact, my mother’s cancer was diagnosed the same week her own mother died.

In the midst of the loss of these two family matriarchs, I learned that my grandmother’s family housed an indentured servant in the early 1920s.


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Topics: Domestic Servitude • Uncategorized
November 17th, 2011
11:30 AM ET

Hopes for better lives lead to slavery in U.S.

Editor's note: This is part of a series on the CNN Freedom Project on domestic servitude. Read more about some in domestic servitude who are so desperate to escape, they take their own lives. And get an update on the nanny in domestic servitude who suffered extensive burns when, she said, a Gadhafi relative poured boiling water on her.

(CNN) – One was sold by her impoverished parents, the other willingly left her family to become a nanny. But both found years of their lives turned to domestic servitude before finally finding freedom.

CNN's Martin Savidge tells the story of Isabel. Her mother sold her into slavery at around age 7 to a Taiwanese family who later moved to the United States in an upscale southern California neighborhood. FULL POST

November 17th, 2011
11:28 AM ET

Slaves freed after CNN documentary

By Fred Pleitgen and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, CNN

(CNN) - Hundreds of African refugees have been released from captivity in the Sinai Peninsula and allowed to cross from Egypt into Israel, shortly after a CNN report detailed the horrendous conditions the migrants face.

The report, "Death in the Desert," which was first published online in early November and broadcast on CNN International on November 5, showed evidence that African refugees, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, were being held captive by Bedouin human traffickers in Sinai, who try to extort massive sums of money from the refugees’ families for their release.


November 16th, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Burned Gadhafi nanny making progress

A nanny who suffered extensive burns when, she said, a relative of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's family poured boiling water on her, may be discharged from a hospital in Malta as early as next week. She has been receiving medial treatment there since she arrived from Libya in September. FULL POST

November 15th, 2011
08:12 AM ET

Dying to escape

Abuse of Lebanese domestic workers is so common some nations are banning citizens from taking jobs there. And many are so desperate to escape enslavement and abusive conditions, that they take their own lives. Arwa Damon reports.

November 11th, 2011
03:54 PM ET

In Cambodia, anti-slavery reforms questioned

By David Ariosto, CNN

Cambodia, long suspected of being fertile ground for human traffickers, has drawn recent attention after reports of sexual abuse and widespread mistreatment prompted government actions to improve the plight of its young women and girls.

Considered a modern-day form of slavery, human trafficking involves the illegal trade of people and commonly includes sexual exploitation and forced labor. FULL POST

November 11th, 2011
09:35 AM ET

Inside a Nigerian prostitution bust

CNN went undercover with the Mossos d'Esquadra - the human trafficking unit in the Catalonia region of Spain - as it tackled a major investigation into Chinese prostitution in the region.

Now, the unit takes CNN inside another case it has cracked. But this Nigerian prostitution ring had many factors investigators hadn't seen before.

November 10th, 2011
09:33 AM ET

Silent victims: Iraqi women trafficked for sex, report says

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

London - For thousands of Iraqi women and girls, the conflict that began in 2003 was only the start of their ordeals.

In the chaos of war and the confusion, lawlessness and poverty that followed, an untold number have become victims of sexual traffickers, some within Iraq and others sold over the borders.

But the problem of trafficking has gone almost unreported, kept in the shadows by a combination of corruption, religious and cultural taboo and lack of interest by the region's authorities in tackling it, researchers say. FULL POST

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