October 16th, 2015

CNN and Harvard’s Belfer Center join forces to fight human trafficking

Harvard Kennedy School to host special panel event ‘Fight for Freedom: Confronting Modern-Day Slavery’ Oct. 21

The CNN Freedom Project and Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs are teaming up to raise awareness about modern slavery – including human trafficking across the United States – and to explore ways that elected officials, policymakers, law enforcement, activists and survivors can fight back.

The special event, “Fight for Freedom: Confronting Modern-Day Slavery,” will be hosted by Harvard Kennedy School at 6:30pm on October 21st as a JFK Jr. Forum and later broadcast on CNN International.

CNN’s Richard Quest will moderate an all-star panel including Academy Award-winning actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Mira Sorvino, Carr Center Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Director Siddharth Kara, Founder and CEO of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services Rachel Lloyd, Former U.S. Ambassador and Chair of Hunt Alternatives Swanee Hunt, and President of Commission United Against Human Trafficking Rosi Orozco

“I am thrilled that the CNN Freedom Project is joining forces with Harvard University for a thoughtful, timely conversation about the fight against human trafficking in the U.S.,” said Mike McCarthy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CNN International. “This is not an issue only afflicting the world’s developing nations – it’s also rooted at the heart of the world’s most powerful country. We need these leading voices to expose this criminal enterprise, explore what is being done here in the U.S. to dismantle it and offer proven solutions for rescuing and rehabilitating its victims.”

“Far too many are blind to the realities of modern-day slavery, but clear vision is essential to making a difference,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “As a center that stands at the interface of ideas and action, we are honored to work with CNN International to bring together experts, practitioners, and change agents to advance the fight for freedom.”

Since March 2015 the Essam & Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF), which works to increase global awareness of modern-day slavery among the business community, has been a proud supporter of the work of the CNN Freedom Project.

About the CNN Freedom Project
The CNN Freedom Project produces original reports, articles and documentaries on human trafficking in all of its forms – from debt bondage in India to sex trafficking rings in Southern California and African slaves in the Sinai desert. Now in its fifth year, the multi-award winning CNN Freedom Project is among the most successful and highly visible programming initiatives on CNN International. It has generated more than 400 investigative stories of modern-day slavery from across five continents. Various NGOs report that these CNN Freedom Project stories have contributed to changing laws and corporate policies, led to more than 1,000 survivors receiving assistance and sparked more than $24 million in donations to anti-trafficking organizations.

About the Belfer Center
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is the hub of Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in international security and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. In 2014, the Belfer Center was ranked the world’s #1 University Affiliated Think Tank by University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. The Center has a dual mission: (1) to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of international security and other critical issues where science, technology, environmental policy, and international affairs intersect; and (2) to prepare future generations of leaders for these arenas.

About EDOF
The Essam and Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF) was founded in 2014. EDOF is a global non-profit organization with a two-fold mission: medical work and social work. In terms of medical work, the organization supports medical research and care. In terms of social work, it supports the efforts of state and non-state entities in fostering peace and dialogue among people. EDOF wants to make a difference in improving the lives of people everywhere.