Today in Washington, D.C., the U.S. State Department honored CNN International Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tony Maddox and the CNN Freedom Project as a 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero. The eight Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report Heroes are announced in conjunction with the annual TIP Report by the State Department, which assesses the response of 188 countries and territories to the crime of human slavery.
“I am humbled by this recognition,” said Maddox. “ And I am proud of CNN using the full range of our international resources to track and highlight this important story.”
Spearheaded by Maddox, CNN International launched the CNN Freedom Project in 2011 to shine a spotlight on modern slavery. The project has sought to amplify the voices of survivors, highlight effective prevention and victim assistance efforts, and investigate the criminal enterprises involved. Now in its fifth year, the CNN Freedom Project is among the most successful and highly visible programming initiatives on CNN International. Under Maddox’s leadership, it has also become the longest running awareness and investigative campaign on modern slavery on television news.
Under Maddox’s leadership, CNN International has enlisted dozens of correspondents and crews around the world, and has published more than 400 investigative stories. Various NGOs report that CNN Freedom Project stories have contributed to changing laws and corporate policies, led to more than 1,000 survivors receiving assistance and sparked over $24 million in donations to anti-trafficking organization. Additionally, the CNN Freedom Project has inspired new NGOs and grassroots campaigns around the world.