• 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 >

  • 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 >

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