For the past several weeks, one of the world’s major 24-hour news channels, Al Jazeera English, has been airing investigative documentaries on modern-day slavery. The network wraps-up its series on Thanksgiving Day with a town-hall debate on whether enough is being done to by governments and others to end slavery forever.
The debate features Free the Slaves Co-founder Kevin Bales. The debate airs on November 24th at 5:30 p.m. ET. Several of the documentaries in the Al Jazeera series feature Kevin too!
Al Jazeera isn’t available on many cable systems in the U.S., but you can watch it stream live. You can catch up on the channel’s slavery documentaries on their special slavery webpage. Globally, Al Jazeera English says it reaches more than 220 million households in over 100 countries. Here’s a promo for the debate:
Last year’s recipient of the Fredrick Douglass Freedom Award, activist Tina Frundt, made headlines when she returned to Cleveland—the place she had been trafficked into sex slavery when she was just a teenager.
Frundt has been active in the fight against the multimillion dollar sex trafficking industry, starting her own anti-slavery non-profit called Courtney’s House—a place where services and resources are provided to survivors of the trade in Washington, D.C.
Frundt’s visit to Cleveland was covered by local newspaper The Plain Dealer. Check out the article below!
National activist fighting sex trafficking says she was first exploited in Cleveland
By Margaret Bernstein, The Plain Dealer
Tina Frundt doesn’t have happy memories of Cleveland. The former foster child arrived here from Chicago on her 14th birthday, in a car driven by a man who convinced her he loved her when no one else did.
She said she was taken to a house where four other teen girls lived and was raped by two men she didn’t know, beginning what would become more than a decade of being trafficked as a sex slave.
One of the world’s major 24-hour global news channels is about to launch a multi-part documentary series on modern slavery. Many of the programs, including the series premiere, will feature FTS co-founder and president, Kevin Bales.
The series is called “Slavery: A 21st Century Evil.” The first episode, which airs Monday night at 6:30 p.m. EDT, investigates the trafficking of slaves from Thailand to the U.S.
Al Jazeera English isn’t widely available in the U.S. But you can watch it streaming live. Globally, the network says it reaches more than 220 million households in over 100 countries.
Here’s an evocative promo for the series, reminding us that the global slave trade hasn’t ended:
In this week’s news, several organizations have made attempts to not only aid the victims of human trafficking, but also to introduce new resolutions to combat slavery. Both New York’s Legal Aid Society and the U.N. Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human trafficking launched projects to assist formerly trafficked humans through financial, humanitarian, and legal aid. Other efforts include global partnerships working to strengthen systems of justice internationally. Read below about these inspiring initiatives!
- Latimes.com: New sex-trafficking law in New York clears prostitute’s record: “A new New York law that recognizes minors forced into the sex trade as victims not criminals was used Wednesday to cleanse the record of a former Bronx prostitute.” After eight years under the control of pimps, twenty-two year-old Leni Johnson has shed her former convictions. In addition, New York’s Legal Aid Society “launched a pilot project focused on the comprehensive needs of women who are victimized at a young age.”
- Trend: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and USAID join forces to combat modern-slavery in Azerbaijan: The United States Agency for International Development has signed a grant agreement with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to combat human trafficking. “The grant will also strengthen access to justice, fund legal resource centers in Sheki and Lankaran, and provide free legal assistance and information to the public.” U.S. Ambassador to Baku, Mathew Bryza, explained, “There is already strong cooperation between the U.S. and Azerbaijani governments in fighting this form of personal slavery.”
- Examiner.com: Fight against sex trafficking linked to immigration reform: National Immigration Reform has been deemed essential in fighting human trafficking. “Those who are either victims or witnesses are reluctant to report criminals for fear of being arrested themselves or deported,” allowing Arizona to become a hub for human trafficking. In other news, Mexico’s two most important newspapers have agreed to stop publishing sex ads, “a staple of the papers’ advertising revenue.”
- U.N. News Centre: World must do better to tackle human trafficking, stresses Assembly President: In the second ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser called “for redoubling efforts to ensure that the rights and freedoms of every person are upheld.” His proposed plan calls on the international community to adopt “good governance” and to provide debt relief, measures that should help limit the supply and demand for trafficking. The U.N. Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking launched a project to aid the victims of human trafficking.
The June 23rd ATEST/CNN International event featured Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, the State Department’s human trafficking chief, Academy Award-winning actress and U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for Human Trafficking Mira Sorvino, CNN International executive vice president and managing director Tony Maddox, trafficking survivor and advocate Rani Hong, and Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves.
ATEST is a diverse alliance of U.S.-based human rights groups acting in unity to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking—both at home and abroad. Founded by Humanity United in 2007, ATEST is currently composed of the following organizations: Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), ECPAT-USA, Free the Slaves, International Justice Mission, Not for Sale Campaign, Polaris Project, Safe Horizon, Solidarity Center, Verité, Vital Voices Global Partnership, World Vision, and former U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Julia Ormond, president and founder of the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET).