Transporting bras to help sex-trafficking survivors

February 15, 2013

A cast-off bra can do more to change the world than you might think.

CNN Freedom Project, which shines the spotlight on the perils of modern-day slavery and human trafficking, aims to show us how in a 30-minute documentary airing on Feb. 15, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. EST on the CNN television network.

Mozambique or Bust”, narrated by actress Mira Sorvino — who also serves as U.N. goodwill ambassador against human trafficking — tells the tale of how Denver-based charity Free the Girls collected 34,000 donated bras and recruited help from Truckers Against Human Trafficking and other volunteers to transport them via Chicago to Mozambique.

The bras, considered a luxury item in the African country, are given to sex-trafficking survivors who sell them in used clothing markets.

“When we first reported the story (in Feb. 2012), Free the Girls had collected more than 20,000 bras and couldn’t afford to ship them to Africa,” said Lisa Cohen, supervising producer at CNN Freedom Project.

“But one CNN viewer saw the story and took action, triggering a chain reaction of kindness and goodwill. This is the story of four ordinary people, coming together to do something extraordinary,” Cohen told TrustLaw.

The CNN Freedom Project has covered more than 300 stories about human trafficking and modern-day slavery since it was launched in March 2011.

“This is the first time that we’ve come across a story that involved using bras as a way to help women in the rehabilitation process — and we thought it would resonate with people everywhere,” she said.

“What it really does show is that you don’t have to be a government agency, a non-profit organisation, a celebrity activist or someone famous or wealthy to make a difference in the fight to end slavery.”

One woman has been able to use the money she made selling these bras to buy bricks and concrete to build a new house, so she is transitioning from a straw hut to a brick home to live in with her two daughters, Cohen said.

“It’s really nice to see that kind of thing happen. It’s really tangible.”

See the video clips below:

How Kimba Langas and Dave Terpas came to found Free The Girls and help women emerge from lives of sex trafficking in Mozambique

More on the story of Free The Girls:

In Mozambique: Tashina, a former slave talks about how her young daughter Ofelia inspire her to emerge from her former life:

Viewing times in Europe:

Friday 15 February 1630 / 1730 CET

Saturday 16 February 1400 GMT / 1500 CET 2130 GMT / 2230 CET

Sunday 17 February 1030 GMT / 1130 CET 1630 GMT / 1730 CET

Monday 18 February 0830 GMT / 0930 CET

Tuesday 19 February 1030 GMT / 1130 CET 1730 GMT / 1830 CET

Wednesday 20 February 0530 GMT / 0630 CET

Viewing times in the U.S. can be found here

Picture Credit: Undated handout picture shows Kimba Langas, co-founder of Free The Girls, as she works to organize the donated bras for shipment to Mozambique. CNN/Handout


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