• See What Freedom Looks Like in Newest FTS Film

    Before they were rescued from slavery, residents of Skadouri lived in terror.

    “Someone promised us jobs at a brick kiln,” says Durga. But they were never paid. “When we asked the owner, he beat us” Durga says.

    “The brick kiln owner and his supervisor threatened to throw me in the kiln furnace,” says Shagir.

    The “brick belt” of India is notorious for enslaving impoverished and marginalized residents at sweltering furnaces that create building supplies for India’s burgeoning economy. Most slaves have borrowed money read more >

  • Freedom is the Right of Every Child

    Perhaps more than anything else, the legacy of Abraham Lincoln is helping to outlaw slavery in the United States. That’s why Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian social activist and winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, went to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Tuesday to deliver a powerful speech on freeing children from slavery.

    “Every child should be free to be a child, be free to love, to play, to receive education and to have a dream,” read more >

  • Taking a Stand against Forced Marriage Slavery of Children

    June 16 is the Day of the African Child, commemorated throughout Africa as a time to reflect on the status of children and the challenges they face in realizing their human rights. This year’s theme is ending child marriage.

    There is growing recognition that the forced marriage of children is a form of slavery. Free the Slaves research inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo has helped establish how forced marriage occurs, how it is hidden in plain view, read more >

  • Education Helps Fight Child Slavery

    Today marks the 13th annual World Day Against Child Labor, and this year’s theme is education. That’s because educating children is one of the most effective ways to prevent them from becoming exploited in hard labor or slavery.

    Schooling prepares children for productive lives in freedom, providing them with options as they grow up. Educating impoverished children can transform them from being a burden on their parents to becoming family assets who uplift their families and communities. Education is like read more >

  • Honor Your Dad on Father’s Day with a Gift of Freedom

    Fathers everywhere want to protect and provide for their families. But many fathers cannot – because of slavery. You can help change that by supporting the community-oriented programs of Free the Slaves. We help reunify families torn apart by trafficking. We help strengthen families and communities so they are no longer vulnerable to slavery.

    This Father’s Day, give the dads in your life a gift that spreads freedom to others. By donating to Free the Slaves and sending our 2015 read more >

  • New Report Says Child Labor Taints Ghana’s Gold

    Ghana is one of the world’s top 10 gold producers, providing international refiners with gold that is eventually sold to banks, jewelers, electronics manufacturers and others. But a new investigation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) unearths how gold extracted by child hands in Ghana ends up in the global gold supply chain.

    HRW’s long awaited report was released this morning in Accra: Precious Metal, Cheap Labor: Child Labor and Corporate Responsibility in Ghana’s Artisinal Gold Mines.

    Investigators found read more >

  • Getting Slavery Out of Your Wardrobe

    Sewing factories that use slaves to make cheap clothes have become one of the newest battle fronts in the fight against human trafficking. A new investigation by one of our Brazilian partner organizations unveils just how important this effort can be. Repórter Brasil has just published an exposé of slavery involving a global clothing retailer, Zara.

    The report, From Moral Responsibility to Legal Liability, concludes that self-regulation by manufacturers isn’t enough to rid the world’s economy of read more >

  • Bringing Freedom, Equality and Justice to Victims & Vulnerable

    Free the Slaves south Asia Director Supriya Awasthi sees herself as a connector. She builds bridges between slavery survivors and those still in bondage.

    “I always wanted to do something like this, because I could see something changing in front of me,” she says. Once villagers are free, Supriya says “they also dream about others.”

    “The people who are in slavery and those who have been freed, they connect. And the movement becomes contagious,” she says.

    You can see Supriya share her thoughts read more >

  • Adapting Parts of the Free the Slaves Model for Burkina Faso

    We headed to Burkina Faso earlier this year for a training program that traditionally does not fall under the Free the Slaves model for intervention. Our mandate was to train 29 community facilitators on issues of child labor and slavery, social protection and data management systems for monitoring child abuse cases. It turns out that the same techniques we have developed to combat child slavery at mines in Ghana can be used to support other types of child rights projects read more >

  • 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 >

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