• Ending Slavery to be Included in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nations General Assembly begins a three-day summit Friday in New York to shape the world’s agenda for international development over the next 15 years. The elimination of slavery is one of the U.N.’s key objectives.

    “The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that U.N. member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies,” explains The Guardian. “The SDGs follow and read more >

  • Pope Calls for End to Modern Slavery in Speech to Congress

    Pope Francis drew thunderous bipartisan applause this morning as he spoke to a deeply divided Congress about the need for unity to promote “the transcendent dignity of the human being.”

    “Cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery,” he told a joint session of the House and Senate.

    Invoking the memory of Moses and Lincoln, the pope counseled America’s legislators to follow the Golden Rule: “Do onto others as you will have them do onto read more >

  • Children Trafficked by Fake Aid Workers Rescued in Nepal

    April’s devastating earthquake has created an unfortunate business opportunity for predatory human traffickers. Many Nepalis are still living like refugees. With infrastructure in tatters, families are struggling to get by and parents are distraught over living conditions for their children.

    In Sindhupalchowk district, which was particularly hard hit, traffickers posing as earthquake relief workers have persuaded some families to send their children away from home. Parents have been told their kids will be placed temporarily in safe housing and receive a read more >

  • Nepal Bans Slavery in New Constitution

    With a new national charter that took effect over the weekend, Nepal has taken an unusual step: banning human trafficking directly in the country’s constitution.

    This puts Nepal – one of the world’s worst hot spots for modern-day slavery – in the vanguard of nations that are establishing a progressive legal foundation to bring trafficking to an end.

    Ongoing advocacy by Free the Slaves partners in Nepal helped ensure this historic step.

    “We have been waiting to have this constitution ensuring women’s and read more >

  • No Trivial Sum Donated by Pacific Northwest Group

    $5,000. That’s the donation milestone reached recently by a dedicated group of trivia-night participants at a weekly gathering in PulIman, Washington. It’s evidence that a long-term commitment can make a meaningful difference in ending slavery. 

    We first introduced you to this group from Rico’s Public House in 2013. The founders, Seth Nydam and Robert McKinnon, were inspired to take action against slavery after seeing Free the Slaves co-founder Kevin Bales lecture at Washington State University. Instead of feeling overwhelmed read more >

  • Children of the Mines

    When you see what unlicensed gold mines look like in Ghana, you’ll be shocked to learn that children must endure these inhuman working conditions.

    “It’s not very easy,” says Isaac, who worked in the mines at age 13. “Sometimes you have to carry the stones on your head to the surface. Sometimes when you go underground, you see dead bodies.”

    Isaac’s story is the final installment of our 10-part Face to Face with Slavery series showcasing Free the Slaves work on the read more >

  • Major Anti-slavery Organizations Join Forces in Haiti for Greater Impact

    Beyond Borders and Free the Slaves are proud to announce a new programmatic alliance designed to strengthen the effort to protect Haitian children from enslavement as domestic servants. The two organizations are combining their Haiti field operations into a joint program called “United to End Child Slavery.”

    Each year, thousands of impoverished rural Haitian parents send their children to live with families in distant cities, in the hope that the young girls and boys will be afforded an opportunity read more >

  • Are You a Fed? Free a Slave!

    The U.S. government employs millions of people as direct federal workers and government contractors. If you’re one of them, today is an important day!

    It’s the beginning of the 2015 Combined Federal Campaign. It’s your chance to help Free the Slaves liberate people from slavery.

    The Free the Slaves CFC number is 11482.

    Donors to the CFC have the option of submitting a pledge via payroll deduction, cash, check, credit or debit card, or e-check/ACH. Pledges may be processed online or read more >

  • Thinking Globally, Acting Locally to End Slavery

    We’ve all heard the slogan about protecting the earth’s environment: “Think Globally, Act Locally.” Free the Slaves is applying that type of logic to our worldwide effort to protect the earth’s most vulnerable people from slavery.

    As a global organization, Free the Slaves teams-up with local grassroots groups to confront slavery at a community level in key trafficking hot spots. FTS doesn’t parachute in and conduct rescues. Instead, we carefully nurture community-based organizations who are already fighting slavery so that they read more >

  • Court Ruling May Help Companies Keep Slavery a Secret

    Your right to know if corporations are enslaving people to make products you buy is under threat. A court ruling last week might allow companies to conceal the suffering and slavery that we see every day in our front-line field programs.

    Here’s what has happened: A groundbreaking federal regulation called the Conflict Minerals Rule requires major U.S. companies to tell the government whether their products contain minerals from mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) read more >

  • Two Brothers Freed From Slavery and Pesticide Poisioning at Brazil Ranch

    Their living and working conditions were dangerous and dreadful. Elias Vieira da Silva and Nerisvan da Silva Elias survived in a dilapidated shack, sleeping on hammocks and pelted by rain. They had no clean drinking water. There was no bathroom. They endured frequent exposure to toxic chemicals.

    But now, thanks to urgent action by our Brazilian front-line partner organization, the two are free from slavery. They’ve received critical medical care and thousands of dollars in compensation from the cattle rancher who read more >

  • Ghana’s Children are More Precious than Gold

    Ghana’s gold mines are a source of prosperity and pain. Gold is a huge part of the country’s economy. But for children, mining can bring misery and death.

    “The conditions in the unlicensed gold mining sites are deplorable, especially for children,” says Free the Slaves Ghana Director Joha Braimah. “There is a high preference for children,” he says, “because children do not have bargaining power” with mining bosses. Kids are forced to do some of the most dangerous work.

    Free the Slaves is read more >

  • FTS Front-line Partners Brief Brazil’s Top Anti-trafficking Commission

    One reason Brazil is a world leader in fighting modern slavery is the existence of the country’s National Commission for the Eradication of Slave Labor (Conatrae). The commission helps coordinate anti-trafficking efforts of governmental agencies, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, businesses, international institutions and civil society groups.

    The commission turned to the leader of our front-line partner organization CPT recently for a status report on his group’s new initiative to help people who’ve broken free from slavery.

    The Nova read more >

  • Ending Slavery is Not an Impossible Dream

    Free the Slaves Executive Director Maurice Middleberg remembers there was skepticism that polio might one day be fully eradicated in developing countries. But 30 years ago, Rotary International began a global child vaccination campaign that is now close to achieving what once seemed like an impossible dream. 

    Maurice told Washington’s Rotary luncheon this week that the same kind of success can be possible in the global fight to end human trafficking.

    “If you know the cause of the disease you read more >

  • FTS Blog Turns Five Years Old Today

    It started as a one-year project for a Free the Slaves Freedom Award fellowship winner. But it has turned into a must-read platform for Free the Slaves supporters and our colleagues in the abolition movement. Today, it is 5 years old.

    The FTS blog is our platform for the latest news about how slavery affects communities globally, and what Free the Slaves and others are doing to build a slavery-free world. The blog now contains 741 posts in 19 read more >

  • New Law Could Require U.S. Companies to Disclose Anti-Trafficking Efforts to Feds

    Two House members known for their trailblazing support of anti-slavery laws introduced a new measure Monday that would require large corporations to publicly disclose if they are taking steps to prevent human trafficking, modern-day slavery and child labor in their products or services.

    The measure is called the “Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.” It is cosponsored by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Chris Smith (R-NJ).

    “There is no question that many goods read more >

  • 2015 Trafficking Report Released with Controversial Country Rankings

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this morning unveiled America’s annual assessment of the world’s response to trafficking in persons. The 2015 TIP Report rates the governmental response of 188 countries and territories.

    “The purpose of this document is not to scold, it’s not to name and shame,” Kerry said. “It is to enlighten and to energize, and most importantly to empower people. By issuing it we want to bring to the public’s attention the full nature and scope of read more >

  • The Economics of Freedom in the Congo

    Economic freedom is vital for trafficking survivors. If a person liberated from slavery cannot earn a living, they are vulnerable to becoming enslaved again. That’s why Free the Slaves and our front-line partner organizations help provide skills training and microenterprise support for slavery survivors and their families.

    You can see this strategy in action in the latest film from our Face to Face with Slavery Series: The Economics of Freedom. It’s set in the town of Rubaya in the read more >

  • FTS Focus on Children Protects Students in Ghana and Congo

    One of the key elements of our front-line strategy is the protection of children. By helping adults recognize and respect that children have rights, we help communities safeguard their youngest from slavery and other abuses. Two recent success stories show how our focus on children is taking root.

    GHANA:  A 9-year-old girl complained to her mother that teachers were hitting her with a cane for the most trivial of transgressions. “Teachers at my school enjoy caning,” she said. “The littlest mistake a read more >

  • A Special Thanks to Helen Armstrong

    A heartfelt thank you today from the staff and board of Free the Slaves to longtime friend, director and volunteer Helen Armstrong. She retired from the board over the weekend after six years of service.

    Helen has been a highly valued member of the FTS team for many years beyond her board service. In his tribute to Helen, Free the Slaves Executive Director Maurice Middleberg noted that she has been “essential to sustaining the moral core of Free the Slaves” because read more >

  • New Video: Activists Protect Fellow Nepalis from Trafficking

    Neelam Sharma and Nirmala Thapa have deeply personal reasons for dedicating their lives to combating slavery in Nepal. They’ve both seen the toll that trafficking inflicts on their country and on people’s lives.

    “I’ve always wanted to work for the rights of the most marginalized of my country” says Neelam, who serves as Free the Slaves’ Nepal country director. She’s seen how poverty and social marginalization make people vulnerable to trafficking.

    Thousands of Nepalis are tricked by traffickers each year while migrating read more >

  • Nepal Anti-trafficking Activists: Persistent, Resilient, but Still Fearful Two Months after Earthquake

    First the good news: Free the Slaves and our front-line partners are back at work helping Nepalis resist and overcome trafficking and slavery. Two of our partner organizations have more than doubled in size thanks to emergency funding from international organizations to hire temporary anti-slavery field staffers.

    Now the bad news: Nepal’s infrastructure remains in tatters. People are living like refugees inside their own country. Human traffickers are exploiting the situation to prey on the vulnerable. Ongoing aftershocks continue to rattle read more >

  • Amazing Moment at FTS: Slavery Survivors Join our Gallery of Freedom

    It was completely unplanned. A spontaneous and poignant moment. A fuzzy photo that speaks volumes.

    Several members of the National Survivor Network were in Washington recently for meetings at the White House and several federal agencies. The network, formed by the California-based Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, brings together trafficking survivors from 24 countries to ensure that those who have experienced slavery firsthand are at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement.

    The group asked to borrow the Free read more >

  • FTS on BBC: Global Response to Slavery is “Abysmal”

    Economic and political leaders need to step up their game if global slavery is to be successfully overcome. That’s the message that Free the Slaves Executive Director Maurice Middleberg shared with millions of BBC World Service radio listeners overnight on the network’s financial news program Business Matters. (Listen to podcast here, starting at 27:40.)

    “The real challenge in front of the global community is to scale up that which we have already learned about how to fight slavery. And read more >

  • Are You As Passionate as a Seventh-Grader about Ending Slavery?

    We at Free the Slaves are certain that slavery can be overcome if everybody does their part.

    There are simple things that you – and even your children – can do to bring us one step closer to slavery’s end.

    Greyson, a 13 year old Massachusetts boy, has taken his fight against slavery to YouTube.

    Greyson asked us if he could use Free the Slaves photos to build a fundraising video for his seventh grade social science project. His class was studying read more >

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