• 2016 Freedom Award: Fighting Bonded Labor in India or Nepal

    Nominations are now open for the 2016 Free the Slaves Freedom Awards. Free the Slaves will award a U.S. $10,000 prize to an organization registered India or Nepal that is implementing an innovative “scalable” approach to ending bonded labor in India or Nepal. A scalable approach is a model that holds the potential to be spread geographically or adopted by a broader range of actors.

    Nomination details and forms can be downloaded here. Nomination Deadline: August 22, 2016.

    Free the Slaves periodically honors read more >

  • Mata Traders and Their Artisans

    Submitted by Mata Traders

    With its many layers of outsourcing and subcontracting, the fashion industry’s complex supply chain allows for little transparency and accountability of retailers, factories, or governments.  Between the tangled sourcing system, downward pressures on prices, and intense production demands by fashion brands, garment factories can become prime locations for forced and child labor.

    Mata Traders is dedicated to providing an alternative for workers by partnering with fair trade artisan cooperatives in India and Nepal. The co-ops provide read more >

  • The Brave Collection: Sparking the Conversation Through Wearable Strength

    Submitted by Jessica Hendricks Yee | Founder of The Brave Collection

    Eight years ago I was a sophomore at NYU, majoring in, well, storytelling. I passed my days in drama classes, bopping around in leopard leggings and bright lipstick. I was challenged by Brechtian theory, and how to get the blue-eyed boy sitting next to me at the audition for the bubble gum commercial to look my way.

    I loved the education I was getting, yet a big fat question lingered in read more >

  • A Childhood Rescued from Slavery

    Like many children who fall into slavery, Mukhal’s story begins with tragedy. His father died three years ago, when he was 9, leaving his family in a precarious financial situation.

    Human traffickers are always on the lookout for this kind of vulnerability. One reached out to Mukhal’s mother, cheating her with false promises that he’d be okay if she accepted a small payment and allowed the boy to perform light labor in a factory.

    The trafficker took Mukhlal hundreds of miles from read more >

  • Malia Designs is Designed to Carry a Cause

    Submitted by Malia Designs

    Malia Designs is a socially responsible fair trade brand that designs and sells handbags. Our products are handcrafted in Cambodia and every Malia purchase helps to fight human trafficking. The mission of Malia Designs is the same today as it was when we started out 11 years ago.

    Our aim is to provide economic opportunities for Cambodian women and to support organizations that fight human trafficking. Here are three ways we work to accomplish this mission:

    Our read more >

  • Meet Starfish Project

    Submitted by Starfish Project

    Starfish Project began in 2006, when our founder and CEO Jenny McGee began visiting women caught in exploitation and trafficking. Visiting the shops is truly heartbreaking. It was clear the women had a very real economic need, so we opened a social enterprise jewelry company to provide an alternative for these women. We welcomed our first group of women in 2007 to work at the social enterprise and live in our women and children’s shelter read more >

  • Fairtrade, Eco-Friendly, and Fighting Human Trafficking

    Submitted by Passion Lilie

    Passion Lilie is a fair trade and ecofriendly fashion brand whose mission is to empower artisans through dignified employment opportunities.

    This month, we are excited to collaborate with Free the Slaves, whose goals and values align with our own. During July, 10 percent of each purchase at Passion Lilie made with the code FREETHESLAVES will go to the capable hands of the Free the Slaves team and help combat human trafficking. 

    Like Free the Slaves, the Passion read more >

  • Debt-Free Weddings Fight Slavery in India

    Indian weddings are legendary – they are large, loud, colorful, and can last for days. Because it is such a big cultural occasion, families plan the biggest event possible. That expense is how marriage ceremonies can lead to slavery. Helping newlyweds and their parents reduce those costs is the newest frontier in fighting slavery in India.

    More than 60 percent of families turn to unscrupulous moneylenders to borrow funds for wedding ceremonies, according to the Free the Slaves front-line partner organization read more >

  • Sari Bari Believes in Partnership

    Submitted by Sarah Lance | Sari Bari Managing and Creative Director

    Sari Bari is a freedom business. A freedom business is “business that exists to fight human trafficking and commercial exploitation.” We employ women from two red light areas who want to make the brave choice to find freedom for themselves and for their families; additionally we target women in high trafficking source areas who are vulnerable to human trafficking. 

    Sari Bari partners with women like Sangita for their freedom and restoration:

    On read more >

  • Empowering Survivors of Sex Trafficking through PURPOSE

    Submitted by Wendy Dailey | Co-founder & President of iSanctuary

    International Sanctuary (iSanctuary) was founded in 2007 to empower victims of sex trafficking to rebuild their lives with economic opportunities. Purpose Jewelry, the iSanctuary fashion brand, is sold and distributed online, at home trunk shows, community events across the nation, and in over 150 boutiques internationally!

    In 2007, Stephanie Pollaro founded iSanctuary after observing first-hand in Mumbai, India that traditional aftercare programs were rarely successful. iSanctuary was conceived to offer read more >

  • 25 Days of Fashion Against Slavery Campaign Begins Today!

    Free the Slaves has teamed-up with 11 ethical fashion brands for a one-month campaign to raise awareness about modern slavery and to raise funds to end it. Throughout July, we’ll be bringing you news of special fashion offers that benefit Free the Slaves. You can visit any of the brands at anytime during the month. Our thanks to these amazing fashion brands who are taking a stand to build a world without slavery:

    Bravelets | Bravelets is an accessories brand with read more >

  • A Farewell to an Anti-Slavery Pioneer

    We end this week at Free the Slaves on a bittersweet note, because yesterday was the final day on the job for one of the tireless activists who started this organization more than 15 years ago, Supriya Awasthi.

    Actually, Supriya has been a part of our history and legacy since even before Day One.  It was Supriya who conducted the groundbreaking field research on slavery and child labor in India that sounded the alarm and led to the creation of Free read more >

  • Kerry: TIP Report “a clarion call to do all we can”

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the magnitude of human trafficking is “stunning” and “outrageous.”

    “This is the 21st century,” he said, “we know that human civilization has had thousands of years to develop and make progress and establish rules, discern the difference between right and wrong.”

    Kerry’s comments came as he unveiled the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report at the State Department in Washington. The 16th annual edition rates how well 188 countries and territories are combating read more >

  • Meet the 2016 Summer Interns!

    Free the Slaves is thrilled to welcome the largest and most dynamic group of summer interns we’ve ever had!

    We’ve asked each to say a bit about themselves and why they’ve chosen Free the Slaves…




    Where are you going to school and what are you studying?

    I am currently a rising junior at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am a psychology major and a French studies minor.

    What’s an interesting fact about yourself

    I have read more >

  • New 30-min Film Takes you Face to Face with Slavery

    Today we are thrilled to release a poignant new film that features the work of Free the Slaves around the world. Two extraordinary volunteers journeyed to the front lines of slavery to meet survivors and activists. Their film uncovers the brutality of hidden slavery in Nepal, India, Ghana and the Congo. It bears witness to the remarkable grassroots movement that is bringing thousands of people from slavery to freedom.

    Face to Face With Slavery is 30 minutes long, and read more >

  • Exciting Updates at Free the Slaves Board

    Free the Slaves is thrilled to share the news that two outstanding individuals joined our board of directors this spring.

    Carolyn Long is an independent consultant, focusing on evaluation, research and capacity strengthening to improve roles of non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations in development.

    “I have been an activist all my adult life in the anti-apartheid campaign, regarding U.S. policy toward African countries, pioneering partnerships between U.S. and developing-country NGOs, and World Bank reform,” she says. “The mission of Free the read more >

  • Teaching International Aid Groups How to Fight Trafficking after Earthquakes

    Free the Slaves is spreading the word among international development and humanitarian relief organizations about the critical need for anti-trafficking efforts following natural disasters.

    The latest briefing occurred this month in Washington at InterAction, which is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations who focus on disaster relief and sustainable development programs.

    Free the Slaves Programs Director Karen Stuass began the discussion by emphasizing the wide-ranging benefits of including slavery in development efforts where gender-based violence and child protection read more >

  • Historic Benchmark: 12,000 People Freed from Slavery

    Inspiring news to report today: Free the Slaves has liberated 12,000 people from slavery! That’s worth saying twice. Free the Slaves has liberated 12,000 people from slavery!

    People who had been forced to do backbreaking work for no pay, by ruthless criminals who use fraud to trick the vulnerable and violence to imprison them in inhuman conditions, are now walking free. Free.

    Free the Slaves hit this historic read more >

  • Harvard Study Shows Effectiveness of FTS Community Approach in India

    One of the major challenges in the fight against modern slavery is proving that a particular strategy successfully and sustainably liberates people from bondage, and that there’s an improvement in socioeconomic conditions in places where slavery has been overcome. A recent investigation by Harvard University has determined that the Free the Slaves community-based model is a success on both counts.  

    The groundbreaking study by Harvard’s FXB Center for Health & Human Rights is called “When we Raise read more >

  • Free A Village for Your Mom

    Not sure what to give the mothers in your life for Mother’s Day? Give Freedom! As a tribute to your mom, help free entire villages from slavery in India. Then download our 2016 Mother’s Day card and email it to her.

    Our Mother’s Day theme this year is short and simple: “Free A Village.” We’ve discovered an amazing way to break the back of slavery. We partner with local organizations to strengthen and liberate entire villages. We’re aggregating donations on generosity.com this read more >

  • Nepal Earthquake Anniversary: Lessons to Fight Traffickers in Disaster Zones

    It’s been a year since the 2015 Nepal earthquake killed thousands and left large parts of the country in ruins. One of the key tragedies of the quake’s aftermath is that human traffickers preyed on desperate and vulnerable Nepalis, causing a rise in slavery cases.

    A slavery spike is common in crisis zones. So we’ve teamed-up with our Nepali and international partners to develop recommendations that can guide future earthquake response efforts worldwide.

    The team found that simple steps can make a read more >

  • FTS & Partners Stand in Solidarity with Nepal Labor Minister

    Nepal’s labor minister is paving the way for safer, cheaper migration for workers while protecting women from sexual exploitation and wage theft. Free the Slaves is one of many organizations that have been advocating for strong measures to ensure Nepalis who leave home to look for work aren’t trafficked into slavery instead.

    Minister Deepak Bohora met with FTS Nepal director Neelam Sharma and others last week to discussion his decision to maintain Nepal’s “Free Visa Free Ticket” policy. The initiative provides read more >

  • Do You Know What it Takes to Liberate an Entire Village from Slavery?

    Free the Slaves has discovered an incredible way to break the back of slavery in the world’s worst trafficking hot spot.

    We do it by partnering with local organizations in India to strengthen and liberate entire villages. It’s amazing. Everyone breaks free. Together!

    You can make this happen. We’re teaming up with Generosity.com this spring to liberate 55 Indian villages. Generosity will bundle together your contributions, big or small, to help people break free and stay free. Our quick campaign video shows slavery read more >

  • Tips for Aspiring Abolitionists in the Making

    They’re young. They’re eager. They’re energetic. And they’re the future of the anti-slavery movement. Across America, college students are studying strategies for action in the global fight to eradicate human trafficking.

    I had the honor to speak to some of these students this month at Harvard University and Oberlin College. My theme: “communications as activism.”

    One of the first challenges for any human rights campaign is raising awareness that a problem exists. Free the Slaves has been at the forefront of a read more >

  • Make the Next President a Great Emancipator!

    We need your help to make modern slavery a presidential campaign issue. With tens of millions enslaved worldwide, it’s critical that the next U.S. president make fighting slavery a priority.

    Today, the anti-slavery movement is launching the Generation Freedom campaign. The goal: get Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump to commit to spending $3 billion a year, if elected, to fight human trafficking inside the U.S. and around the world.

    That might seem like a lot. But read more >

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