March 7th, 2011

The CNN Freedom Project

The CNN Freedom Project:
Ending Modern-Day Slavery

Launches on CNN International and today with
reports every hour

CNN is marshalling its global resources for a major initiative that takes on human trafficking with the launch of ‘The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery’, it was announced today by Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.

Throughout 2011, CNN’s reporting will expose the horrors of modern-day slavery, highlight the growing efforts to stop the trade and exploitation of human beings and amplify the voices of the victims.

“It’s our journalism-based assertion that this is the greatest uncovered breaking news story of today, and CNN plans to rip the lid off,” said Maddox. “The inhumanity of those who trade humans is truly shocking and should be stopped. Our coverage will spotlight not just those responsible, but the many courageous groups and individuals on the frontlines doing genuinely admirable work.”

Launching today, CNN International will lead this initiative with special reports on trafficking on every CNNI signature program for the full first week of the ‘The CNN Freedom Project.’  Throughout the year, CNNI will air numerous reports on the subject – with a focus on solution-oriented information and analysis – within specific programs and documentaries, some within the award-winning World’s Untold Stories strand.

Increasing the scope and reach of this work, ‘The CNN Freedom Project’ will air across CNNI and in a powerful and distinct online collaboration which will embrace viewer involvement and first-hand accounts. ‘The CNN Freedom Project’ site on will educate, motivate and unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.

This week Richard Quest looks at forced labor and corporate responsibility with Dan Henkle and Robert Fisher of Gap, Inc.; Becky Anderson speaks to a Ugandan woman forced into slavery and shows the many forms slavery can take; and Jim Clancy sits down with U.S. President Barack Obama’s anti-trafficking czar Luis CdeBaca and U.N. Ambassador Mira Sorvino about what traffickers looks like and how they operate. Beyond the initial launch, CNNI will commission Connect the World, Quest Means Business, News Stream, World Business Today, The Brief and Prism to utilize its expertise across a number of aspects of trafficking.

CNN’s roster of international correspondents are covering this story live from five continents: From Romania Dan Rivers looks at Romanian girls who were trafficked into a UK-based prostitution ring; in Africa David McKenzie talks to freed slaves from Sudan; Sara Sidner has an exclusive series of reports from northern India where residents were enslaved by landowners; from the U.K. Atika Shubert explores the varying prostitution laws in Sweden and Denmark, and how they compare and contrast. Other correspondents include Stan Grant and Eunice Yoon in China; Jim Bittermann in France; Reza Sayah in Pakistan; Kyung Lah in Japan; Christian Purefoy in Nigeria; Paula Hancocks in South Korea; Matthew Chance in Russia; Colleen McEdwards in the U.S.; Al Goodman in Spain; Nkepile Mabuse in South Africa; Shasta Darlington in Cuba; Kevin Flower in Israel; and Mohammed Jamjoom in the UAE.’s Freedom Project blog will serve as the platform where the audience can dig deeper into the issues and participate in the global discussion and debate around modern-day slavery. The blog will feature a diverse range of voices, from celebrity activists to anti-slavery campaigners. Online at, the blog will regularly feature interactive elements to explain the epidemic:

  • “The Number,” a weekly graphic that breaks down the numbers related to human trafficking.
  • “Solutions,” success stories about people and nations who are fighting slavery.
  • “iReport Challenge” – CNN iReport, the network’s user-generated news community, is asking users to take a stand against slavery. As the year goes on, iReport will give users a chance to participate in the global discussion about modern-day slavery through a series of assignments.
  • Data Visualizations will also be featured on the blog later in the year to show the scope of the problem, the local and global aspects of human trafficking and discrepancy in consistent numbers.

Content from the Freedom Project blog is also available through CNN’s mobile website.

‘The CNN Freedom Project’ is joining the global conversation on Twitter – @CNNFreedom – and Facebook at  Through these channels, users can connect directly with CNN about this cause,  learn more about the organizations standing on the frontlines and see how they are affecting change.

CNN will also collaborate with a number of celebrities and celebrity foundations around the world including Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher; Ricky Martin; Emmanuel Jal; Anil Kapoor; Peter Gabriel and more. Through these geographically-strategic relationships,  CNN will develop unique content that highlights the great work that’s being done all over the globe.

CNN en Español is marking the launch of ‘The CNN Freedom Project’ today with special reports and packages to air across its programming lineup.

CNN Student News will also develop resources for teachers and parents as well as lesson plans for students.  Student News will also work with the CNN Challenge to develop a game to help inform students about the human slavery issue.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively-syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.


Lauren Cone | Atlanta | 404.878.2663 |

Nigel Pritchard | Atlanta | 404.878.2630 |