• European Parliament Passes Tough New Rule to Ban “Conflict Minerals”

    European companies may soon have to ensure that their products do not contain so-called “conflict minerals” that are often mined by slaves. The European Parliament “made history” yesterday, according to a statement by Amnesty International and Global Witness, by approving “a strong and binding law to tackle the deadly trade in conflict minerals.” 

    “The groundbreaking proposal would require European companies importing four key minerals – tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold – to ensure their purchases are not contributing to read more >

  • Don’t Ignore Human Trafficking in Asia Trade Deal

    The U.S. Senate is poised to vote this week on a fast-track trade deal among 12 Asia-Pacific countries.

    However, one of those countries–Malaysia–has been identified by the U.S. State Dept. as a persistent slavery hot spot, and anti-trafficking organizations are urging Senators to exclude countries with poor track records on modern-day slavery from fast-tracking in global trade agreements.

    Free the Slaves has joined its colleagues in the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) to support the read more >

  • Congress Give Near-Unanimous Approval to Trafficking Bill

    Congress has approved tougher penalties for traffickers and increased funding for slavery survivors. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act deadlocked the Senate for weeks earlier this year, and even delayed Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote.

    However, a Senate compromise in April led to a vote of 99 to 0 to approve the measure. Yesterday, it passed the House on a vote of 420 to 3.

    The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), a coalition of major organizations read more >

  • Indian Slavery Survivors Start Their Own Brick Kiln

    Staying free is just as important as breaking free. It’s vital that slavery survivors plan what they will do to earn a living once they are rescued.

    In the India village of Kukdaha, rescued slaves decided that they would do in freedom exactly what they did in slavery: make bricks. Except now they would be laboring for themselves, their families and their community.

    You can see their story, Building Freedom Brick by Brick, on our website video page. It’s the read more >

  • New Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation Director for Free the Slaves

    Free the Slaves is happy to introduce a remarkable new staffer who has recently joined us as the director of monitoring, learning and evaluation. Karen Snyder, Ph.D. has more than 20 years of experience in program planning, implementation and evaluation. She earned her master’s degree in public health and doctorate in biocultural anthropology at the University of Washington.

    Why did she choose to join Free the Slaves? She says it’s our model for freedom.

    “It’s the fact that there is a causal read more >

  • Update on Earthquake Impact and Recovery in Nepal

    It’s been two weeks since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, and we are learning more details about the severity of the impact on our staff and partners.

    Free the Slaves Nepal Director Neelam Sharma and members of our front-line partner organizations have been traumatized by the quake and its aftermath. We have received tragic news that three staffers at our partner organization GMSP have lost family members. One lost her sister, one lost her grandmother and one lost her grandfather.

    Ongoing read more >

  • Free the Slaves is Making Movies to Inspire Social Change

    Imagine this scene in remote town in the Congo. A van pulls up and workers jump out to erect a giant screen. At sunset, a movie start to play in the village square. In a community without electricity, people gather to watch the spectacle, transfixed by a story on the screen that reflects their own struggles with slavery. Suddenly, their outlook on life is transformed.

    That’s the remarkable scene that volunteer documentary makers Cassie and Jordan Timpy have captured read more >

  • Be an Agent for Change on Saturday for World Fair Trade Day

    People often ask us at Free the Slaves if there is something they can do in their daily lives to help fight slavery. Well, this Saturday is your chance. Communities around the world will be coming together to fight poverty, social injustice and climate change on World Fair Trade Day.

    The idea is for schools, nonprofits, clubs, faith communities and sports teams to host events that demand businesses “benefit the most vulnerable and deliver sustainable livelihoods by developing opportunities read more >

  • Make Mother’s Day More Meaningful with an e-Card that Fights Slavery

    Mothers play a crucial role in overcoming the brutal grip of slavery. It’s typically the mothers of a village who begin the process of mobilizing their community to break free. And it’s often mothers who organize village watchdog groups to ensure their neighbors stay free once they’ve escaped.

     You can build a bridge between a mother in your life and the mothers on the front lines of slavery by making a Mother’s Day donation to Free the Slaves. Send an read more >

  • Earthquake Impact on FTS Staff and Partners in Nepal

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nepal, as they recover from the devastating earthquake that stuck early on Saturday.

    We are relieved to report that staffers for Free the Slaves and our front-line partner organizations are safe with their families at this time. However, many have lost their houses, and many others have been forced from their homes and into tents because of structural damage and the danger of aftershocks.

    Many international relief organizations are mobilizing humanitarian missions to read more >

  • Face to Face with Slavery Film Series Premieres This Week

    Two remarkable volunteer filmmakers are on the front lines with Free the Slaves this year to document what freedom looks like.

    Cassie and Jordan Timpy, a couple from Washington, have decided to donate their skills “for a greater purpose.”

    They have included Free the Slaves as one of the global nonprofits whose work they will document in a series of short videos.

    We are proud to premiere the first of their videos this week. It’s called Stopping the Traffic.  

    In this short film, read more >

  • Free the Slaves Makes History: 10,000 Slaves Freed

    The first part of our mission statement is crystal clear: liberate slaves. And with your continuing support, Free the Slaves is achieving that goal.

    Together, we have just crossed a historic milestone: freeing more than 10,000 people from slavery worldwide since Free the Slaves was formed 15 years ago.

    Actually, the exact number is even higher: 10,890 freed as of the end of 2014. The pace of change is picking up, too. Free the Slaves liberated 2,265 people from slavery in 2014 read more >

  • What Does “M&E” Mean to You?

    Google the term “M&E” and you’ll discover it means different things to different people. If you’re a builder, it means mechanical & electrical. If you’re an accountant, it means meals & entertainment. If you’re a filmmaker it means music & effects. And if you’re a philosopher, it means metaphysics and epistemology.

    For abolitionists, M&E means monitoring and evaluation – and it’s a vital activity at Free the Slaves. It helps improve anti-slavery programs over time and demonstrate that they’re having an read more >

  • New York Event: New Trends in Removing Slavery from Products

    Are you up-to-date on emerging trends in corporate transparency and accountability? You can be sure you are by attending a free luncheon conference in New York next week that examines the quickly-evolving field of slavery and the law.

    Regulations that require companies to investigate forced labor slavery in their products have been emerging at the state, federal and international levels. Socially-responsible investment funds are screening companies for their human rights standards and practices.

    The law firm of Lowenstein Sandler LLP and Free read more >

  • Slavery Survivors Highlight 2015 Broward College – Free the Slaves – ATEST Trafficking Conference

    A slavery survivor from Haiti shared a grizzly account of her childhood in restavèk domestic servitude: “I was born on the street in front of a brothel. Prostitutes brought my mother a towel, so she could swaddle me. My father’s mistress was beautiful, and she, too, had a daughter that day, but she died on that day. My father gave me my sister’s name.” — Marie Alina “Tibebe” Cajuste.

    A slavery survivor from Florida recounted how she was forced into child prostitution at read more >

  • Why I Wrote About Trafficking & Support Free the Slaves

    Before I read John Bowe’s book Nobodies: and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy (2007), I had been kicking around the idea that I would someday write a novel that explored the legacy of slavery and its connections to discrimination and racism in the United States. It often had seemed to me that whenever people got into a deep discussion about race, the language and shorthand of antebellum chattel slavery days was always at hand, as if those read more >

  • Climbing Kili to End Slavery

    Why climb Africa’s highest peak? Well, first, because it’s there, as climbers say. But most importantly: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro can help end slavery.

    Three FTS supporters have just launched a fundraising campaign to help support Free the Slaves. Emma Norton, Neeraj Jadhav and Rachale Bergstrom-Carlson have formed “Climbers 4 a Cause” to raise funds and awareness. Their plan is to summit the 19,341-foot peak in Tanzania next February. In Swahili, the peak is called Uhuru, which means “freedom.”

    You can read more >

  • Judaism in Action Project Launches this Week

    Judaism is deeply connected to the themes of slavery and freedom. The enslavement of Jews during biblical times—and their exodus—has become a central narrative for Jewish people and others who have found hope in it. That’s why Free the Slaves is proud to host new online educational materials that can bring the issue of modern slavery to homes, schools, synagogues and civic groups. The documents have just gone online on our Faith in Action webpage.

    Seder Starters are designed to read more >

  • Welcome to the New Free the Slaves Website & Blog!

    If you’re reading this, you’ve probably noticed that the FTS blog has moved! It’s now part of the newly-designed Free the Slaves website, which we’ve launched over the past few days.

    Our new online look and structure is designed to provide you with quicker, more direct information about our strategy, results and front-line operations.

    The website also includes improved social media sharing functions so that you can help spread the word!

    The website still has all the essentials you need to learn about read more >

  • Women’s Day Success Story: Living Free From Slavery in India

    Free the Slaves South Asia Director Supriya Awasthi has great news to share with FTS supporters for International Women’s Day on Sunday. The photo she sent recently says it all. The women of Hirapur are free!

    That’s Supriya in front on the right. She and our front-line partner group in India have been working in Hirapur for more than two years. And it’s paid off.

    “The women in this selfie met us in the open and were excited and happy to share read more >

  • Women’s Day Success Story: Living Free from Slavery in India

    Free the Slaves South Asia Director Supriya Awasthi has great news to share with FTS supporters for International Women’s Day on Sunday. The photo she sent recently says it all. The women of Hirapur are free! That’s Supriya in front on the right. She and our front-line partner group in India have been working in […]

  • FTS Joins Call for New U.S. Envoy for Central Africa

    Free the Slaves joined 22 other organizations this week urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a new special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The U.S. “has played an increasingly central role in addressing one of the most enduring and serious humanitarian and human […]

  • FTS Joins Call for New U.S. Envoy for Central Africa

    Free the Slaves joined 22 other organizations this week urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a new special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    The U.S. “has played an increasingly central role in addressing one of the most enduring and serious humanitarian and human rights crises in the world,” the letter notes. “Much, however, remains to be done.”

    The U.S. appointed former Sen. Russell Feingold as special envoy in read more >

  • It’s Our Birthday – FTS Turns 15 Today!

    The Free the Slaves founders will tell you that people thought they were nuts. Most Americans learned in school that slavery ended with the Civil War.

    Sure, there are exploited workers in the world today, the founders would hear, but surely it wasn’t slavery. The crime of slavery is a thing of the past.

    But over the past 15 years, Free the Slaves has successfully alerted the world that slavery still exists. People are still forced to work, without pay, under threat read more >

  • It’s Our Birthday – FTS Turns 15 Today!

    The Free the Slaves founders will tell you that people thought they were nuts. Most Americans learned in school that slavery ended with the Civil War. Sure, there are exploited workers in the world today, the founders would hear, but surely it wasn’t slavery. The crime of slavery is a thing of the past. But […]

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