Unique collaboration between CNN and Ministry of Education, University and Research puts slavery issues at the heart of Italian curriculum

CNN is working together with Italy’s Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) to educate young people across the country about human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed in Rome by Minister of Education Stefania Giannini and CNN Freedom Project Executive Editor Leif Coorlim agreed to incorporate the ground-breaking CNN Freedom Project into the Italian education system. Effective from this current year, CNN Freedom Project materials will be made available through the network of educational institutions across Italy.

Under the agreement – facilitated by CNN International Commercial and CNN Freedom Project supporter The Essam & Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF) – video material from CNN Freedom Project will be used to increase awareness about human trafficking and modern-day slavery among Italian students. The award-winning journalism – spanning reports, documentaries and digital content – will be used in classrooms to promote practical solutions to improving the care of people affected by such issues. Italian students will also be encouraged to join and contribute to the CNN Freedom Project’s efforts.

This development is part of the Italian government’s initiative to tackle such issues at a time when there is greater risk of human trafficking due to increased levels of migration across Europe. The initiative is the latest step in CNN’s commitment to helping end modern-day slavery through the CNN Freedom Project.

With a remit to enact change, educate and advocate against human trafficking, CNN Freedom Project special reports and documentaries have been on CNN International since 2011. Since it was founded, CNN Freedom Project has provided documented evidence leading to the rescue of over 1,000 people worldwide, sparked over $24 million in donations to anti-trafficking organisations, changed laws and corporate policy and inspired NGOs and campaigns around the world. The project has won dozens of journalism and human rights awards, and the U.S. State Department last year honoured CNN International Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tony Maddox as a 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero.

Leif Coorlim, Executive Editor, CNN Freedom Project, said: “The CNN Freedom Project has told hundreds of stories across the globe, focusing on all types of modern-day slavery. In that time, we’ve come to understand education as a key component to solving this problem. If young people are aware of the risks, they can avoid being trafficked. If they know the signs of trafficking, it may lead to identifying victims and saving lives. That’s why this agreement is so important. We commend the Italian Ministry of Education for its forthright leadership in addressing this issue, and hope more school systems will follow its example.”

Stefania Giannini, Minister of Education, said: "Education is crucial to help solving the problem of all types of modern-day slavery. If young people know the signs of trafficking, it may help to identifying victims and saving lives. For this reason, knowing the commitment of the CNN Freedom Project on this issue, we launched a cooperation project between the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and CNN aimed at distributing CNN Freedom Project-created content as educational materials within Italian school to increase awareness about human trafficking and modern-day slavery and encouraging Italian students to join and/or contribute to the CNN Freedom Project’s efforts. We are proud to be the first Ministry in the world to co-operate with the CNN Freedom Project in addressing this issue.”

CNN Freedom Project is supported by The Essam & Dalal Obaid Foundation (EDOF), which shares the same values of the initiative and has a commitment to pursue peace and remedy injustices in areas such as human trafficking. EDOF has supported CNN Freedom Project since March 2015 and collaborated with CNN on a number of initiatives including a high-profile special event at Harvard’s Belfer Center that explored ways that elected officials, policymakers, law enforcement, activists and survivors can combat modern slavery.


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact:

Dan Faulks
Vice President, Communications
CNN International Commercial
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