Modern Abolition

Journey to Freedom

It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.

Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time…

—President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012

The same week President Obama made this statement, a film called Journey to Freedom played in U.S. Embassies around the globe. It tells the true stories of two men—21st Century Cambodian Vannak Prum and 19th Century American Solomon Northup—who were sold into slavery more than 150 years apart. It also examines the communities of abolitionists from yesterday and today that fight to free men and women like Vannak and Solomon who are held against their will and forced to work for others.

Journey to Freedom focuses in on the common roles played by individual abolitionists throughout history and the present day — Advocates, Defenders, Fighters, Caretakers — and then pulls back to reveal these individuals to be part of a vast network, a community of abolitionists, that has and continues to age this battle.

In showing the inter-related individual roles that everyday people have played in history and today to end slavery, Journey to Freedom really asks “Will you join the network?”