Speak free

What we're talking about right now.

Sex trafficking
Thursday March 1, 2018

Trafficked but Thrown in Jail. Why you need to know Cyntoia Brown

Jamison Liang

Chances are you have seen Cyntoia Brown’s name on social media in recent weeks. But who exactly is she? And what’s getting celebrities from Rihanna to Kim Kardashian to speak out about her tragic case? Cytnoia Brown’s case isn’t actually new. She has been behind bars for ten years, sentenced to life in prison for killing a man in self defense when she was just 16 years-old. Brown had been trafficked for sexual exploitation by a pimp, and but when she shot a 43 year-old man she refused to have sex with she ended up being tried as an adult in the Tennessee courts, jailed for

Read more
Friday April 6, 2018

Freedom Fortnight: How It All Started

Tate Johnston

“The director’s been selling the orphans for sex.” Stunned silence. “Wait. What?!” Head shaking like I hadn’t heard right. Or out of disbelief. That was it. That was when my eyes were opened to the reality of sex trafficking. I literally had no idea. I was completely shocked. Heartbroken. Outraged. Here I was leading a youth service trip to an orphanage in Eastern Europe to help with some of the obvious needs, like tables for the dining area and unclogging the sewer. I wasn’t looking for it. Didn’t even know it was something to be looking for. People more

Read more
Other slavery
Thursday January 18, 2018

Five Areas to Watch in 2018

Joanna Ewart-James

As we look forward to the year ahead, our Executive Director takes a moment to reflect on some key focus areas in the fight to end modern slavery in 2018, and considers where some of our greatest challenges lie. Rising Discrimination against Migrants Growing anti-migrant rhetoric leaves those who are poorly resourced, and have been unable to access increasingly restrictive legal migration routes, systematically discriminated against and so particularly vulnerable to exploitation. In the latter part of 2017 the world became aware of the existence of slave markets selling people who

Read more
Domestic Slavery
Friday October 13, 2017

Beyond Parachutes and Self-appointed Saviors: Grounding Campaigns in Lived Experiences

Jamison Liang

Originally published on Open Democracy, March 13, 2017. Anyone who works as an activist knows that campaigning is a messy job. That is the nature of our work. Are there human trafficking awareness campaigns that perpetuate harmful misinformation and stereotypes? Absolutely. But there are also campaigns grounded in the lived experiences of those directly affected, tied to tangible advocacy, and effective in changing public perception. The issue is not with campaigning as a medium for meaningful change, but instead with problematic representation, assumptions, and processes behind

Read more
Survivor Stories
Tuesday April 25, 2017

My Story, My Dignity – How representing modern slavery is crucial to success

Joanna Ewart-James

The power of shock value can be impressive. Slavery still exists? There are how many you say? But not here! Although the conversation moves on quickly from that opener, the techniques used to keep people informed and engaged on the subject, particularly in the public domain, continue to rely heavily on generating disbelief, outrage, shock or a similar psychological impact. Whilst organisations working in the fields of anti-trafficking and anti-slavery have not questioned whether generating such negative emotion is in fact most effective in securing action and building support, they have begun

Read more