August 28th, 2019

Stolen Son: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

Persecuted in Myanmar, forced to seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh and then exploited and trafficked to places unknown. That’s the reality for many Rohingya Muslims living in Cox’s Bazar – now the world’s largest refugee camp accommodating nearly one million people – as they are targeted by human traffickers and lured from the refugee camp with false promises of employment and better living conditions.

CNN travels to Cox’s Bazar to shed light on this troubling reality in ‘Stolen Son: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary’, a powerful new film that tells the story of one mother’s desperate attempt to find her missing 12-year-old son.

‘Stolen Son’ follows Dominika Kulczyk of the Kulczyk Foundation as she meets Fawzia Karim Firoze and Wahida Idris, leaders of the Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association and lawyers in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, as they work to seek justice for impoverished women and children who are often ignored by the judicial system.

CNN goes with the lawyers as they visit Arakan Rohingya Society, a community center in Cox’s Bazar currently dealing with more than 400 cases of human trafficking. While there, several women come to report new cases of kidnappings and possible trafficking, including Khurshida, who says her 12-year-old son, Faisal, was taken by a neighbor’s husband three months ago. In their search, they discover the suspected kidnapper may be a criminal with ties to a pirate ship.

“A very large percentage of the Rohingya children living in the camp suffer from malnutrition,” says Idris. “They’ve fled a desperate situation only to find themselves exploited by criminal trafficking syndicates. They’re homeless, they’re stateless. They have no identity. They have no nationality. It’s the worst scenario.”

“It’s been two years since the mass exodus of Rohingyas out of Myanmar in what UN investigators have called a genocide. And unfortunately, many of these people have been forced into slavery,” says Mike McCarthy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CNN International. ”This important documentary shines a light on a pair of tenacious lawyers from Bangladesh who have made it their mission to fight for justice for these victims and help a heartbroken mother search for her stolen son.”

‘Stolen Son: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary’ is produced in collaboration with the Kulczyk Foundation and airs at the following times:

Saturday, 31st August at 0600 ET, 1230 ET, 1530 ET, 2030 ET
Sunday, 1st September at 0230 ET, 1730 ET, 2130 ET
Thursday, 5th September at 0330 ET
Friday, 6th September at 1230 ET

Stolen Son: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary trailer
Stolen Son: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary images
Relevant links: CNN Freedom Project; Facebook; Twitter

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. Since its launch in 2011, 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 1,000 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 Kulczyk Foundation
Kulczyk Foundation is a private foundation established in 2013 by Grazyna Kulczyk, Dr Jan Kulczyk and Dominika Kulczyk in Warsaw, Poland. The primary aim of the Foundation is to fight the issues of discrimination and inequality, in order to create a world without barriers. Together with its partners, the Foundation drives societal change through sustainable solutions, which the Foundation calls the ‘Domino Effect’.

CNN International Media Contact
Penelope Heath
Tel: +852 3128 3538

Kulczyk Foundation Media Contact
Wojciech Smiech
Tel: +48 530 007 099