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Video: Building Freedom Brick by Brick

May 20, 2015

As organisations around the world try to find lasting solutions to forms of modern slavery, the ideas of those most affected are a vital but sometimes overlooked ingredient.

But Free the Slaves’ new video series Face to Face with Slavery brings those perspectives to the forefront – empowering survivors and activists to tell their stories in their own words. The series features stories of hope and inspiration from community members working with the organisation’s front-line programs worldwide

This year, Free the Slaves has launched the 2015 Face to Face with Slavery series, featuring stories of hope and inspiration from survivors and activists working with the organisation’s front-line programs worldwide.

In the 4 minute video below, ‘Building Freedom Brick by Brick’, Free the Slaves explores the work of Manav Sansadhan Evam Mahila Vikas Sansthan (MSEMVS).

Staying free is just as important as breaking free. It’s vital that slavery survivors plan what they will do to earn a living once they are rescued. In the India village of Kukdaha, rescued slaves decided that they would do in freedom exactly what they did in slavery: make bricks. Except now they would be laboring for themselves, their families and their community.

Filmed and Produced by Jordan and Cassie Timpy of Agape Visuals,
Music by Dexter Britain,; Broke For Free,; and Dominic Messinger. Executive Producer: Terry FitzPatrick.

MSEMVS receives funding from both Free the Slaves and the Freedom Fund, as well as other sources. MSEMVS is a crucial partner in the Freedom Fund’s Northern India hotspot. This hotspot has a strategic focus on freeing individuals from bonded labour, particularly from debt bondage often found in brick kilns.

As demonstrated in the video, MSEMVS works with community vigilance committees (CVCs) to achieve ‘self-sustained liberation’ whereby the ‘goal is not just to free [enslaved people] but to sustain their freedom’. MSEMVS works with members of CVCs to identify all the ways that they can help bring slavery and trafficking to an end in their community. For example, CVCs learn how to trigger rescue operations, how to track the migration of workers and prevent unsafe migration from their village, and how to pursue their legal rights and government entitlements.

As part of the Face to Face with Slavery series, Free the Slaves has also developed ‘Stopping the Traffic’ which features women in Nepal who describe how they were enslaved while migrating for work, and how they now help others from falling prey to traffickers. The Freedom Fund has established a South-Eastern Nepal hotspot project which is focused on addressing on bonded labour within traditional systems of slavery referred to as haruwa and charuwa.

Click here to read more about how MSEMVS are helping bonded labourers from brick kilns.

Written by
The Freedom Fund