Some people may believe that the porn they watch online is two consenting adults performing consensual sexual activities–but that’s less true than most people believe.
In a tiny speck of a village in Uttar Pradesh, India, a community of rock quarry miners have given their cluster of thatched roofed houses the name Azad Nagar. Freedomville. The miners named their village in 2000, only a few months after they staged a slave revolt that overthrew the profit-driven landowners who had held their families in slavery in rock quarries for generations. If you search for Azad Nagar on a map, you won’t find it. To everyone else, it’s called Sonbarsa. Located in the poorest province in one of the poorest countries in the world, Sonbarsa is a barren, rocky, plot of land in the middle of one of the most densely populated states in the world.
In 2016, Dr. Earl Lewis convened a meeting on slavery among 40 principle collaborators—scholars, organizations, and instiutions—at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Out of this meeting came the "Slavery and Its Aftermath" initiative at the Center for Social Solutions. This project aims to tackle America’s original sin—slavery.
During the summer of 2020 rumors about human trafficking spread on social media like wildfire. They implicated celebrities like Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as the online home-goods retailer Wayfair. These rumors are unfounded.
In the Philippines in particular, the vast majority of the survivors we work with were trafficked while in the process of looking for employment. They were desperate, took chances that were risky, and it didn't work out for them, but it was that economic vulnerability that drove them to make those risky decisions.