Free the Slaves liberates slaves and changes the conditions that allow slavery to persist.
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New Program Fights
Child Begging Slavery

Our newest program has just begun: Aar Suňu Xaleyi (Protect Our Children). In Senegal, many families send children away from home to Quranic schools for religious training. Unfortunately, rapid urbanization, poverty and constant alms giving have created opportunities for unscrupulous traffickers to recruit children and force them to beg in the streets under the guise of religious education. 

The objective of the two-year Aar Suňu Xaleyi (Protect Our Children) project is to sustainably reduce the number of trafficked children in the city of St. Louis, and prevent the trafficking of children from rural areas in Kolda. We will increase resistance to slavery through awareness raising and preventive and protective actions. 

Our goals include fewer children being forced to beg or being sent away from home, greater community involvement in the eradication of child trafficking, an increase in the number of arrests and prosecutions, additional laws being adopted to regulate Quranic schools, and national interest and political will increasing by the government to enforce the legal framework to combat trafficking.

We Don’t Free Slaves…You Do!

Why I free slaves

Our 2016 fall campaign is about to begin! This year, we’ll be profiling some of our most inspiring donors in a series of personal videos called: “We Don’t Free Slaves, You Do!” 

We’ve sent filmmakers to visit an actress, an author, an investor, a musician, a psychologist, a teacher and a rabbi — to ask why they’ve chosen to take a stand against human trafficking by contributing to Free the Slaves

We will be premiering a new film each week, beginning November 3rd. Watch our one-minute preview video here.

Mobile Phones Provide Hope
to Slaves in India

How do you reach enslaved people to inform them that freedom is possible? Call them! Mobile phones are everywhere in India. Even in rural areas, there is usually at least one phone in a family. This makes mobile phones a perfect tool to disseminate information about basic labor rights.

Free the Slaves pilot-tested an education and outreach program this year through voice messages to villagers who are vulnerable to trafficking and debt bondage slavery. For example: “It is illegal to force someone to work as a slave because of their caste, under threat of violence or without pay.” Another message explained: “You must be paid as much as you deserve and you should be able to understand how payment works.”

The messages went to people in 192 communities over 28 days. “I loved the voice of the lady who was calling us, her voice was very sweet and I was feeling connected to her,” said one woman who received the calls. “I loved the message and wish I could also get some more messages about accessing government schemes and services.”

You can hear the messages (in Bhojpuri) and learn more about this innovation in combating slavery on the FTS Blog.

Government & Civil Society
Unite in Ghana

Political officials, community leaders and anti-slavery activists gathered in Accra in August for the first-ever human trafficking symposium aimed at bringing together government and civil society to conquer the crisis of child slavery. 

Free the Slaves hosted the symposium in partnership with the governments of Ghana and the United States, and other civil society groups. In 2015, Ghana and the U.S. signed the first Child Protection Compact Partnership, a five-year initiative with the goal of enhancing anti-trafficking measures – including prevention, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of victims.

“Child trafficking and modern slavery can be conquered if we all pull together,” said Free the Slaves Ghana Country Director Joha Braimah. “For the sake of the victims that remain in captivity, we must continue this fight,” said U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson.

The Growing Up Free program led by Free the Slaves is creating a comprehensive, integrated plan for prevention, rescue, prosecution, rehabilitation, reintegration and education to overcome child fishing slavery. Learn more about the program on the FTS website.

India Girl Escapes Slavery
& Restarts Her Life 



Sangita is just 15, but she’s seen a lot. Her parents needed to borrow money from a local brick factory owner, who forced Sangita’s entire family into slavery at the kiln to pay off the debt. Now she is free, and her story underscores how the FTS Community Model for Fighting Slavery is working to change lives.

Debt bondage is an illegal form of slavery, but it’s commonplace in India’s notorious brick belt. When people need to borrow in an emergency, brick kiln owners are happy to lend them money in return for a promise to work off the loan. Usurious interest and phony bookeeping ensure that villagers think the loan hasn’t been fully repaid, so that they never stop working. Parents are often forced to bring children along to sweltering brickyards to labor beside them.

Fortunately, Free the Slaves front-line partner MSEMVS has been educating residents of Sarawa village about their rights and the importance of education for children. Sangita’s parents met with front-line activists, and they have now ensured that she is in school. FTS partners operate transitional classes that help students whose education has been disrupted by slavery. Sangita is catching up, and helping fellow pupils. She’s also learning to become a seamstress.

I am very happy because I am studying and learning tailoring, which was what I have wanted to do for a long time,” Sangita says.

Learn more about our work in India here, and see other slavery survivor stories here.

Copyright © 2016 Free the Slaves, All rights reserved.

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