2018 Award: Fashion Industry Slavery Survivor Becomes Movement Leader in America
Flor Molina, a survivor of modern slavery in Los Angeles, has become a champion for trafficking victims and survivor protection. Her inspiring journey from sweatshop slavery to human rights activist and White House adviser embodies exceptional dedication and impact. The 2018 Fashion for Freedom Award honors changemakers working on the intersection of ethical fashion and slavery eradication. It is an honor that serves to recognize one person advancing those fields through creative and effective methods. Through her activism and advocacy, Molina does just that. Read More>
The Freedom Awards Mission
Free the Slaves has periodically honored survivors, activists, and organizations that demonstrate outstanding courage, innovation, and dedication in the fight to end slavery. Our award winners are setting the standard for successful, sustainable anti-slavery initiatives. By generating public recognition for outstanding achievement, the awards offer inspiration and boost resources for the movement.
The Freedom Awards combine the best of two world-changing forces: the power of noble purpose to inspire lives of great significance and the enhancement and expansion of individual freedom.
Previous Freedom Award Winners
Samarthan, a leading grassroots organization in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, fights poverty and bonded-labor slavery by strengthening local communities. Their work to bolster civil society is a crucial aspect of socio-economic development, securing the rights of oppressed people, and establishing sustainable structures of freedom. Samarthan uses radio to bring a message of hope to vulnerable villagers. Read More>
Timea Nagy answered an ad to work temporarily in Canada. But when she arrived, she realized she had been tricked. After months as a sex slave, she devised a daring escape. She then founded Walk With Me to support other victims and train Canadian cops to recognize and respond to sex slavery. Watch her profile video.
As Brazil’s secretary of labor inspection, Ruth Vilela created the world’s most innovative anti-slavery SWAT squad, which raids farms and sweatshops to free thousands every year. She created the Dirty List to quarantine companies where slavery is found and the National Pact to prompt companies to root out slavery in supply chains. Watch her profile video.
Josefa Condori Quispe
Josefa Condori Quispe left her small village in Peru at age 9 to work as a maid in Lima. After spending much of her life as a house slave, she managed to get an education and escape domestic servitude. She founded Yanapanakusun to fight the root causes of slavery, and she runs a shelter for young slavery survivors. Watch her profile video.
No little girl dreams of becoming a sex slave when she grows up. That’s why Tina Frundt braves dangerous streets in the middle of the night to reach out to teens who are trapped. “I’m a survivor of sex trafficking,” Tina says, “and, quite honestly, nobody did this for me.” Read more | Watch her profile video
Sina Vann walks into her worst nightmare every day. She was tortured and raped as a sex slave in Phnom Penh, but now she goes back to the brothels to help sex slaves escape and to provide health advice for those unable to break free. Read more | Watch her profile video.
The farm fields of India are one of the world’s worst spots for slavery. Trapped by phony debts, entire families have been enslaved for generations. JEEVIKA is a group that helps slaves learn their rights and free themselves from bondage. Slaves discover freedom is possible. Read more | Watch their profile video.
He is history’s most unusual census taker. Roger Plant’s U.N. task force set out to count the number of slaves in the world today. His estimates of slavery and the profits made by slaveholders have helped forge a worldwide governmental response. Read more | Watch his profile video.
Veero took a terrifying risk to break free from slavery. She slipped away, alone and on foot, from a farm where men were kept in leg irons and women were guarded by armed thugs. She now shows others how they can walk to freedom, too. Read more | Watch her profile video
Shramajivee Mahila Samity (SMS)
They go undercover to expose trafficking rings. They help rescue slaves and reunite families. They teach entire villages how to rid themselves of slavery forever. The activists of SMS prove there’s power when women work together. Read more | Watch their profile video
James Kofi Annan
James Kofi Annan was sold into slavery at age 6 and worked 17-hour days on fishing boats. He escaped, taught himself to read, opened a school, and now rescues child slaves from fishing villages. He does for others what he wishes someone could have done for him. Read more | Watch his profile video | Watch him rescue children from slavery.
Amihan Abueva’s laugh makes everyone smile, even children who’ve survived sex trafficking. For more than 20 years, she’s helped survivors recover, helped communities become vigilant, and demanded action from governments around the globe to stop children from being sexually exploited. Read more | Watch her profile video
Friends of Orphans
The founder of Friends of Orphans calls himself a child born of trouble. Ricky Richard Anywar was abducted and forced into slavery as a child soldier. Improbably, despite his self-described “interrupted childhood,” he escaped and turned his freedom into a lifeline for others. Read more | Watch the profile video.
Comissão Pastoral da Terra CPT (Pastoral Land Commission) and Reporter Brasil
They’ve helped thousands walk free, and they’ve harnessed the power of the marketplace to make slave holding unprofitable. CPT provides sanctuary for runaway slaves and alerts police to arrest traffickers. Reporter Brasil investigates each case in order to remove slave-tainted goods from corporate supply chains. Read more | Watch their profile video