Free the Slaves liberates slaves and changes the conditions that allow slavery to persist.
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Amazing Child Rescues in
Senegal & India
June brought terrific news that underscores why our name is FREE the SLAVES!

In Senegal, three boys were rescued from traffickers on the very day they were to be spirited away from their village to be enslaved in forced street begging in a faraway city. In India, a girl enslaved beside her parents at a sweltering brick kiln was rescued and is now living free.

A common theme unites these two examples of our community-based model at work. When parents are educated about ways to safeguard child rights, and they are provided opportunities to keep their children at home and in school, child trafficking grinds to a halt.

Our Senegal program focuses on rural families who send children to religious boarding schools. Traffickers trick many parents, whose children wind up in slavery instead. Our program works at a village level to warn parents about traffickers posing as proper religious educators. We also work with religious leaders to develop standards for boarding schools. See the full Senegal rescue story here.

In India, the enslaved girl’s parents didn’t value education for their daughter, and didn’t see an opportunity for her to receive proper schooling. Fortunately, our India program began to offer special classes and vocational training in her village. Now, she’s regained control of her future. She the full India rescue story here.

You made these rescues possible. Your contributions to our grassroots anti-trafficking work on the front lines help children and their parents break free and stay free.
Fashion for Freedom Campaign Breaks Goal
We did it! Actually, YOU did it!  Free the Slaves had an ambitious goal in July: raise $20,000 during our Fashion for Freedom online campaign and our Fair Trade Fashion Show in Los Angeles. Well, you blew past that goal and topped $31,000 instead! The runway event in LA was sold-out standing-room-only, and was featured in the Hollywood Reporter.

Our thanks go to everyone who donated, as well as to our many partners in California, for turning July into a celebration of freedom. A special thank you to Bead and Reel for their partnership in the production of this event and vision.  The funds will help support vocational sewing programs in India and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Positioning for Global Impact

Question: What do you call 26 smart, dedicated, energized, motivated and passionate human rights activists gathered together in one room? Answer: a global force for freedom! That’s the takeaway message from our 2017 all-staff retreat.

Two famous quotes come to mind after our week of strategic planning – which was designed to strengthen our work to end human trafficking worldwide by liberating entire communities from slavery’s grip.

The first quote is from Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

The second quote is from anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Our retreat focused on results of our three-year field test of community-driven anti-slavery work in six countries. Compelling evidence now shows that our model works. The challenge ahead is to grow from pilot-project scale. Our strategy will be to persuade large international relief and aid organizations to integrate our community-based anti-trafficking approach into their everyday development programs.

The retreat was also an important moment for staffers to renew their connection to our underlying mission, and to each other.

“I help free people from slavery because my native region in Ghana is a source community for trafficking,” said FTS Ghana Director Joha Braimah. “Growing up, and in my earlier carrier as a teacher, I came face to face with slavery and trafficking.”

“I help free people from slavery because it is the honorable and just thing to do,” said FTS Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation Director Karen Snyder.

“I help free people from slavery because my own history lies, in part, within the transatlantic slave trade,” said FTS Manager of Individual Giving Lina Permut. “Regular, everyday people made slavery illegal. I want to be a part of this story. I want to be a part of the end of its practice.”

New Films: “Slavery is Alive”

Two powerful short films from Free the Slaves feature the haunting reality of human trafficking, told directly by slavery survivors themselves. The two-part series, Slavery is Alive, includes gripping details of human bondage in Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, the Congo, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The films are deeply emotional eye-openers to the forces that trap people to work against their will. No one knows the mistreatment that slaves endure better than slavery survivors themselves. When you watch one of these films, you’ll understand why so many people have pledged to do their part to end slavery once and for all.


Copyright © 2017 Free the Slaves, All rights reserved.

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