In 2013, the Freedom Project went to Cambodia with Oscar-winning actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking Mira Sorvino. Sorvino says the film has raised awareness of the issue, helping to raise funds to build a school that, when completed, will offer hope for more than 1,000 children in the region. It’s a global problem, affecting people on every continent, and for the last four years The CNN Freedom Project has been shining a light on modern-day slavery. Here, we look back at the Freedom Project so far, remembering some of the stories we have covered, and looking ahead at what still needs to be done.
I have an 11-year-old daughter and, as a mother, would risk everything to keep her safe.  So today, I shuddered to learn that 180 Degrees, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, just rescued a 10-year-old girl from sex trafficking. Where I live isn’t India, which has the largest number of people in modern slavery, 14 million, according to the Walk Free Global Slavery Index.
But on the ground in places like Cambodia and India, anti-trafficking advocates say these are tools are at the top of their wish lists. The documentary, produced by actress Eva Longoria and narrated by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, examines working conditions for laborers harvesting tomatoes in Immokalee, Florida, and grapes in California's wine region Napa Valley.


It follows the fight of some laborers taking on big business interests to establish their rights. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and recently played at the Napa Valley Film Festival, and by the reaction in the Napa Valley Register, certainly prompted strong debate.
Professor Bernard Freamon teaches courses on modern-day slavery and human trafficking at Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey and also specializes in Islamic Legal History. In the past few months, the world has witnessed horrific accounts of the enslavement of thousands of innocent Yazidis and other religious minorities by ISIS partisans in Iraq and Syria.
The article argues, based on a variety of Shariah sources, that ISIS partisans have a religious duty to kill or enslave members of the Yazidi community as part of their struggle [jihad] against their enemies.
This argument is plainly wrong, hypocritical and astonishingly ahistorical, relying on male fantasies inspired by stories from the days of imperial Islam.
It is also an affront to right-thinking Muslims everywhere and a criminal perversion of Islamic law, particularly its primary source, the Glorious Quran. She described to me in chilling detail, how the jihadis first demanded that members of her Yazidi religious minority convert to Islam.


Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, according to a new report published by the nonpartisan Urban Institute and Northeastern University. But with the passage of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor law, we are now able to provide shelter, services and a safe haven to help this girl and others like her.
In the global fight to end human trafficking, they are probably not the first weapons that come to mind. He is currently writing a book, “Islam, Slavery and Empire in the Indian Ocean World.” The views in this article are his alone.



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