• Religious Leaders Vow to Fight Congo Slavery

    Seventeen religious leaders from different faiths agreed they’ll take action with their congregations to confront modern slavery, following an in-depth workshop with Free the Slaves and our Congolese partner organizations in Goma earlier this month.

    The training session was designed to increase knowledge about slavery among local religious figures, and facilitate an interfaith discussion on practical steps that faith leaders can take to overcome slavery in one of the world’s worst trafficking hot spots.

    The workshop emphasized that Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu read more >

  • 15 Lessons Learned About How to Free Slaves

    Free the Slaves is wrapping our 15th year of fighting for freedom. It’s a good time to not only reflect on our most important accoplishment, freeing 10,000 people from slavery. It’s also important to distill the lessons we’ve learned from years of working with slaves, survivors, activists and governments.

    Slavery is stopped by strategically redressing vulnerabilities: Slaveholders and traffickers prey on critical vulnerabilities. Effective programs use a well-grounded theory of change to identify key risk factors, adapt interventions and focus resources. read more >

  • FTS Pioneers New Child Slavery Approach in Ghana

    The U.S. and Ghana governments have signed a historic compact to accelerate the fight against child slavery in Africa. Free the Slaves has been chosen as one of the key organizations to lead the way.

    The four-year project will not only free more than 400 children in hot spots among Lake Volta’s fishing communities and the surrounding region, it will also train more than 2,000 community members, traditional authorities and government officials in ways to sustainably combat child slavery for many read more >

  • You’ve Made our 15th Birthday a Huge Success

    Our 15th anniversary year comes to a close in just a few days. It’s been a remarkably successful year.

    Our front-line anti-slavery programs have crossed two important benchmarks: freeing more than 10,000 people from slavery and educating more than 100,000 to prevent their enslavement.

    Our global advocacy initiatives have helped convince Nepal to outlaw slavery in its new constitution and prompted members of the U.S. Congress to introduce bills to increase anti-slavery funding and establish nationwide corporate accountability for slavery in products.

    We’ve read more >

  • U.S. Diplomat Calls on Governments to Respect Civil Society

    America’s ambassador to the United Nations says nongovernmental organizations are under threat throughout the world, and it needs to stop.

    Ambassador Samantha Power’s remarks came during a reception in India last month, where she met with government officials and attended the 2015 Women in the World Summit.

    “My boss,” Power noted, “began his own career as a community organizer in Chicago. And in that capacity, a young Barack Obama worked to help marginalized citizens press their local government for changes that would read more >

  • On Human Rights Day, Remember That Slavery Still Exists

    Today marks the anniversary of United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was a momentous achievement in 1948 to craft a charter of rights that should apply to every person on the planet. The declaration is widely accepted as the foundation of internal human rights law.

    The persistence of slavery in modern times was clearly on the minds of delegates as they crafted the declaration just three years after the end of World War II. They put read more >

  • New Animated Video: Our Formula for Freedom

    It takes more than passion and indignation to eradicate the evil of slavery. It takes science. That’s why Free the Slaves has developed our Community Based Model for Fighting Slavery. It’s a four-step formula that guides our work to bring entire communities from slavery to freedom. It’s one of the most important innovations of our first 15 years as an organization.

    How does this formula work? Our newest animated video takes you through the steps in an read more >

  • FTS Marks U.N. Abolition Day on the Streets of the Congo

    Anti-slavery organizations around the world are commemorating today’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, including Free the Slaves. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a coalition of our front-line partner organizations, called COSCAE, marked the occasion with events to build public awareness of modern-day slavery and programs to end it.

    About 500 COSCAE members from 11 organizations joined with the Orange Company and DRC police for an awareness-raising carnival.

    The COSCAE board met with Goma’s mayor read more >

  • New Urgency on International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

    Today marks the official anniversary when the United Nations passed its Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. It was approved in 1949, and the U.N. has honored this landmark anti-slavery treaty by commemorating its passage each Dec 2nd as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

    This year, Abolition Day takes on added urgency. A newly-passed Protocol on Forced Labor has been developed by read more >

  • 15 Reasons You Should Donate to Free the Slaves

    This year marks 15 Years of Fighting for Freedom at Free the Slaves. In that spirit, I’d like to share 15 reasons that you should donate to our organization in this special anniversary year.

    We free slaves. We have liberated more than 10,000 people so far. With your continuing contributions, we will free even more. We prevent slavery. We have trained more than 100,000 vulnerable villagershow to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors from predatory traffickers.  We bring traffickers to justice. read more >

  • New Free the Slaves Online Store Opens for Business

    We’re happy to launch a new feature on the Free the Slaves website this week: our new online store

    We have identified great gift ideas for yourself or your friends.

    To start: T-shirts with the Free the Slaves logo. They’re a great way to get conversations started about the fact that slavery still exists.

    Also, organic cotton messenger bags imported from a collective in India where sex slavery survivors are earning a living through sewing. And the amazing book of Lisa Kristine portraits of read more >

  • The People You’ve Freed from Slavery are Thankful for Your Support

    There’s one word that defines what Free the Slaves has accomplished in our first 15 years of fighting for freedom: results. With your support, we have helped more than 10,000 people escape the brutal clutches of slavery.

    And there’s one word we always hear from slavery survivors: thanks. Those who have regained control of their lives know just how precious freedom is. They are thankful that people they will never meet care enough about human dignity to contribute to read more >

  • 15 Years of Fighting for Freedom: See New Timeline of FTS Highlights

    This year marks our 15th birthday and two important milestones. In 15 years, we have helped free more than 10,000 people from slavery, and we’ve educated more than 100,000 vulnerable villagers to help prevent their enslavement.

    You made that possible. Your contributions have been very important to our record of success. That’s why I am reaching out to all Free the Slaves supporters this fall to ask for your continued help in extending freedom to those enslaved and at read more >

  • New India Program Manager’s Philosophy: “Make Others Smile”

    Free the Slaves is thrilled to welcome Rajneesh Kumar Yadav to the staff as our new India Program Manager, based in Allahabad.

    Rajneesh is no stranger, he’s run anti-trafficking teams for years as a key staffer at our partner organization MSEMVS.

    Many of the remarkable rescues you’ve read about on the FTS Blog or our Facebook page have been organized by Rajneesh.

    We asked Rajneesh what motivates him, and why he’s chosen to join Free the Slaves:

    I am personally motivated by read more >

  • New Deloitte Report Shows How the Power of Partnership Can Stop Modern Slavery

    The world’s largest consulting firm has teamed up with Free the Slaves to tackle one of history’s greatest challenges: the eradication of slavery. Deloitte has been volunteering its staffers this year to take stock of the anti-slavery movement and recommend ways for it to be more effective.

    The result is a new analysis called the “Freedom Ecosystem” report, released today. The study examines how an ecosystem of organizations—from the private sector, civil society, government, academia, the funding community and the read more >

  • Susan Coppedge Becomes America’s Top Anti-Trafficking Diplomat

    A new leader is taking charge at the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking (J/TIP)

    Susan Coppedge was nominated to the post earlier this year by President Obama and was confirmed by the Senate last week.

    With the rank of ambassador-at-large she will lead America’s global engagement against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

    Coppedge is a career Justice Dept. prosecutor, currently based as an assistant U.S. attorney in Atlanta. News reports of her confirmation hearing say she stressed the read more >

  • Pulitzer-winning Journalist Reveals Ethical Dilemmas of Investigating Slavery

    AP investigative journalist Martha Mendoza says covering modern-day slavery is fraught with ethical challenges—including the risk that the people you are trying to help might be killed instead.

    “If you show their face, they can be eliminated as evidence,” Mendoza told anti-slavery leaders gathering at Stanford University last week for the annual Freedom from Slavery Forum

    Mendoza’s blockbuster reports earlier this year about slavery on Southeast Asian fishing boats have led to 2,000 men being freed, nine arrests and the confiscation of two read more >

  • Two New Board Members Join Free the Slaves

    We’re delighted to announce that two remarkable people have recently joined the Free the Slaves board.

    Robert Gould is the founder and President/CEO of One Degree Strategies, a consultancy dedicated to encouraging decision makers to adopt policies and create programs that encourage people to make better choices for their health, well-being and the environment.

    “My career has been dedicated to leveraging everything the behavioral science, marketing and communication disciplines can tell us about how to achieve positive social change,” he read more >

  • Renewing the Focus on Getting Slavery out of Consumer Products

    Today marks the five-year anniversary of SB 657, a landmark California law to combat human trafficking. Our friends at KnowTheChain are marking the anniversary by expanding and retooling their website to help companies improve corporate transparency and responsible supply chain management practices.

    KnowTheChain was originally created to document corporate compliance with the California Supply Chain Transparency Act (SB 657). This trailblazing law required major companies doing business in California to disclose what they are doing to eliminate read more >

  • 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 >

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