Free the Slaves and our partners have been honored for our front-line work to liberate people from slavery and for our advocacy work to raise global awareness that slavery still exists.

Awards & Honors Received by Free the Slaves and our Partners:


  • 2001 Peabody Award for Distinguished Achievement and Meritorious Public Service to the film “Slavery: A Global Investigation” in which Free the Slaves partnered with British filmmakers to uncover the existence of modern slavery in Asia and Africa.
  • 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Research to FTS staff working on the film “Slavery: A Global Investigation.”
  • 2008 Audience Prize, Telluride Mountain Film Festival, to FTS for the documentary “Dreams Die Hard,” which chronicled how four immigrants seeking job opportunities in the United States wound up in slavery instead, and how they escaped.
  • 2010 “Grawemeyer Award for World-Changing Ideas” from University of Louisville to Free the Slaves for the FTS book “Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves,” which outlines what businesses, governments, religious leaders, international agencies and the general public can do to eradicate human trafficking.
  • 2010 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award to Brother Xavier Plassat of the FTS partner organization CPT in Brazil for his work to denounce cases of slave labor, provide services for the rehabilitation of rescued victims of forced labor, and advocate for legal enforcement and consistency of public policies against modern slavery.
  • 2012 “50 Best Nonprofit Logos” Award from for the Free the Slaves open-the-lock organizational logo.
  • 2013 World’s Children’s Prize to FTS partner James Kofi Annan of Challenging Heights in Ghana, for his work to educate young people about their rights and his work to liberate children from fishing slavery
  • 2013 Ramon Magsaysay Award to FTS partner organization Shakti Samuha in Nepal for the group’s work to liberate women from sex slavery.
  • 2013 Humanitarian Photographer of the Year Award from the Lucie Foundation to fine-art photographer Lisa Kristine, who collaborated with FTS to create the FTS book “Slavery” and a TED talk on slavery seen by more than two million viewers.
  • 2013 Daytime Emmy Award Nomination to Free the Slaves as Co-Executive Producer of the “Against Our Will Campaign” broadcast by MTV’s university campus channel to colleges throughout the U.S.
  • 2014 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award to Bhanuja Sharan Lal of the FTS partner organization MSEMVS in India for his work to enable communities to progressively dismantle entrenched systems of modern slavery at brick kilns, farms, and quarries.
  • 2014 Brazil National Award for Human Rights to FTS partner organization CPT for its innovative program to sustainably resettle slavery survivors into newly-formed cooperative farming villages.
  • 2015 American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA for the creation of the mural “From Slavery to Freedom,” which depicts the journey from the brutality to the joy of freedom; and the mural “Freeing Slaves, Ending Slavery,” which depicts the community liberation and empowerment field work of Free the Slaves and our front-line partner organizations.
  • 2016 American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA for “Fifteen Years of Fighting for Freedom” brochure, a timeline featuring highlights of Free the Slaves’ first 15 years.
  • 2016 Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty from Human Rights First to Janvier Murairi Bakihanaye of the FTS partner organization ASSODIP in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for outstanding contributions to the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide.
  • 2018 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award to Sunita Danuwar of former FTS partner organization Shakti Samuha for her personal transformation from trafficking victim to one of Nepal’s leading social activists and for her ongoing work to provide repatriation assistance, legal aid, vocational and life skill training, livelihood support, job placement services and psycho-social counseling to victims and the vulnerable in some of the poorest communities in Nepal.
  • 2019 U.S. State Department Museum of Diplomacy: The work of FTS and our India partner MSEMVS  ̶  funded in part by the State Department’s anti-trafficking office  ̶  is honored in a permanent display at the Museum of Diplomacy. The exhibit describes how former brick kiln bonded laborers started their own brick factory to support their families in freedom.