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Free The Slaves
Free the Slaves liberates slaves around the world and help survivors of slavery rebuild their lives. We research real world solutions to eradicate slavery forever, and fight the systems that allow slavery to exist in the first place. We use world class research and compelling stories from the frontlines of slavery to convince the powerful and the powerless that we can end slavery. Free the Slaves is a not for profit organization made up of people who don't want to live in a world with slavery. And they're willing to do something about it.

We don't waste time debating which kind of slavery is worse—brick kilns or carpet looms, sex or domestic, new or old—it's all horrible. Slavery is a dark slash across the heart of all humanity. We believe there are no easy answers to eradicating slavery. But there are answers from the people who are enslaved and those helping them to freedom. There is no single path to liberation—the paths are many—we will tread them all before our job is done.

Free the Slaves was formed in response to Dr. Kevin Bales' groundbreaking book, Disposable People. The award winning book introduced much of the world to modern-day slavery—and two of those people, Jolene Smith, a business strategist and Peggy Callahan, a television producer, joined Bales to form Free the Slaves in 2000. They dreamed big around a kitchen table in Mississippi; that dream has grown to encompass thousands of other dreamers…and doers. To this day Free the Slaves combines original ideas, great research, grassroots movements and strategic thinking to share stories of slavery with the world.

Entries by Free The Slaves

15 Years of Fighting for Freedom Timeline

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 12:43 PM

By Terry FitzPatrick
Free the Slaves Communications Director

This year marks our 15th birthday and two important milestones. In 15 years, Free the Slaves has freed more than 10,000 people from slavery, and we've educated more than 100,000 vulnerable villagers to prevent their enslavement.

To commemorate our anniversary, we've...

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New Animated Video: Our Formula for Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 12:15 PM

By Maurice Middleberg
Free the Slaves Executive Director

It takes more than passion and indignation to eradicate the evil of slavery. It takes science. That's why Free the Slaves has developed our Community Based Model for Fighting Slavery. It's a four-step formula that guides our work to...

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15 Lessons We've Learned About How to Free Slaves

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 11:25 AM

By Maurice Middleberg
Free the Slaves Executive Director

The year 2015 has been our 15th year of fighting for freedom. It's been a good time to not only reflect on our most important accomplishment, freeing 10,000 people from slavery. It's also important to distill the lessons we've learned from...

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Why I Wrote About Trafficking and Support Free the Slaves

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 5:56 PM

By James Hannaham

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...

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Slavery Survivors Highlight 2015 Broward College - Free the Slaves - ATEST- Trafficking Conference

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 5:19 PM

By Dinkinish O'Connor

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...

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Saturday Marks 150th Anniversary of Congress Outlawing U.S. Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 2:20 PM

By Sarah Davis

January 31st marks a monumental moment in the history of slavery in the United States. On that date 150 years ago, the House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. It abolished legal slavery in the United States. Within eight months, the required three-quarters of...

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Study: Don't Scapegoat U.S. Trafficking Law Because of Child Refugee Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 1:38 PM

There was a time in American history when runaway slaves were hunted down and returned to their masters. Free the Slaves believes that the United States should not return to those days. There is no question that some of the unaccompanied Central American children who are currently seeking freedom and...

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Beyond Hashtags and Resolutions: What It Will Take to End Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 5:46 PM

By Maurice I. Middleberg
Free the Slaves Executive Director

The #bringbackourgirls hashtag has sparked widespread revulsion over the kidnapping of Nigerian girls who might be sold into bondage, including congressional resolutions condemning the group Boko Haram. While hashtag activism and expressions of outrage are important, they will...

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Let's Rescue All the World's Children Who've Been Kidnapped for Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 4:37 PM

There was a horrifying phrase in the news last week from Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria, as he spoke about the girls his group has kidnapped.

"There is a market for selling humans," he said.

He is right, and his comment unveils a terrible...

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Five Words Can End Child Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 3:29 PM

By: Maurice I. Middleberg, Free the Slaves Executive Director

As Stephanie Be reported in her recent HuffPost article, the new documentary #standwithme provides fresh insight into the global problem of child slavery. It's important to note that there is a solution. With a little help, at-risk...

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12 Years A Slave: More Than a History Lesson

(16) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 4:43 PM

Millions of Americans will soon see the poignant story of a man who was ripped from his family in the 1800s and brutalized by a vicious slaveholder before finally breaking free. It's important to remember that the events depicted in 12 Years a Slave are still happening today.

Slavery didn't...

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Memo to a Dead President: Slavery Still Exists

(137) Comments | Posted September 22, 2012 | 1:08 PM

September 22nd marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in Confederate states during the Civil War. Slavery, however, still exists in the U.S. In fact there has never been a day in American history without it. If Lincoln were still president today, this is...

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Accountability & Action: USAID's Counter-Trafficking Policy

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2012 | 12:46 PM

Note: This Sunday, March 25, marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade. We thought it would be a good opportunity to invite Sarah Mendelson to guest blog about an important new anti-trafficking initiative at the U.S. Agency for International...

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Bihar, India: Signs of Positive Change in Anti-Slavery Policy

(3) Comments | Posted January 10, 2011 | 12:45 PM

Despite the fact that slavery is illegal, modern day slavery thrives in many parts of India. There are millions of bonded labor slaves in the sub-continent. Most of these are Dalits -- people of the so-called "untouchable" caste -- who are saddled with bogus debts they can never work off....

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A Program in Ghana Works to End Slavery in Mining Industry

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 1:37 PM

Ghana is the 10th biggest producer of gold in the world. A 2003 report found that the exportation of gold garners "approximately 50 percent" of the country's GDP. But much of the mining industry is made up of galamsey operators -- artisanal miners who often operate...

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Star-Studded Freedom Awards to Honor Luminaries of the Anti-Slavery Movement (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 4:04 AM

We call it a soul-revving, heart-thumping, shout-out-loud celebration. Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson will be master of ceremonies. Jason Mraz will perform with the Agape Choir. Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Forest Whitaker, Camilla Belle, Meredith Artley, Ryan Devlin and Vincent Kartheiser are among the presenters.

It's the...

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Take Action! Help end Slavery in Congo

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 3:12 PM

By Karen Stauss, Director of Programs at Free the Slaves.

Minerals that come from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo turn up in electronics, in light bulbs, batteries and other everyday items. It would be hard to escape our connection to these items, and through them, our...

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Bonded Labor is 'India's Version of Apartheid'

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2010 | 2:45 PM

Written by Kiran Kamal Prasad of the anti-slavery organization JEEVIKA, based in Karnataka, India.

JEEVIKA is the 2010 recipient of the 2010 Harriet Tubman Freedom Award, presented annually by Free the Slaves to one community-based organization that demonstrates how slavery can be dismantled and destroyed....

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Ashton Kutcher Says Twitter Can Help End Slavery

(2) Comments | Posted September 24, 2010 | 2:36 PM

By Anne Keehn, Zimmerman Fellow at Free the Slaves.

Can Twitter end modern day slavery? Ashton Kutcher says social media has the power to give traditionally under-represented voices a major platform. And in the process, bring the issue of slavery to the masses.

At the 2010 Clinton Global...

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Roger Plant: Statistician, Anti Slavery Activist

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2010 | 3:57 PM

By Terry FitzPatrick, Senior Writer-Producer/Deputy Communications Director of Free the Slaves.

Roger Plant is the recipient of the 2010 William Wilberforce award, given annually by Free the Slaves to one individual who has moved a major institution, government, business or large groups of people to act...

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