My Story My Dignity

My Story, My Dignity
Sophie Otiende
Rebecca Bender
James Kofi Annan
Rebekah Charleston
Chab Dai

Too often we speak on behalf of survivors of slavery. In the videos above we’ve let them do the talking instead. You will see these survivors tell us directly why this issue is important to them and what they want you to do about it.

The media relies upon strong stories and eye-catching images when writing about modern slavery. Raising awareness of the issues and the prevalence of modern slavery is essential, but so often, as survivors of slavery tell us, the images and language used to tell these stories do not reflect them accurately or in a dignified way.

Together with our partners Chab Dai, HAART Kenya and Liberty Asia, we are calling on media organizations to review their style guides as a first step of improving the way that modern slavery and survivor stories are presented in the media.

We are starting with four of the largest English-language media organizations in the world – Associated Press, The New York Times, The Daily Mail and The Guardian – to ask that they adopt and endorse guidance on how they use survivors’ stories to write about and report on modern slavery, setting the tone across the media.

1 – Choosing respectful images and text.
2 – Selecting images and text that are representative of the issue.
3 – Respecting survivors’ right to privacy and dignity.
4 – Obtaining prior consent to use the story, being transparent and accurate

Sign our petition to help give every survivor’s story the dignity it deserves.

Want to know more? Read Chab Dai and Liberty Asia’s full Guidance Note on how survivors’ images and stories should be presented here, or else check out our version for media houses here.

Video distribution consent given by James Kofi Annan, Rebecca Bender, Rebekah Charleston and Sophie Otiende.

  • February 26, 2020: Our voice is being heard! The U.S. State Department has adopted the My Story, My Dignity campaign & pledge and issued guidelines helping change the narrative around modern slavery.

  • January 24, 2020: Freedom United co-led a workshop with photographer Jeremy Abrahams on ethical visual representations of modern slavery at the University of Sheffield’s “Rights, dignity and religion” conference. Read more here.

  • August 7, 2018: A new book analyzing news media texts about human trafficking has been published and is available online here. ‘Representations of Transnational Human Trafficking’ recommends a code of practice be adopted for those reporting on the issue to ensure accuracy, respect for survivors’ stories and responsible reporting. 

  • November, 9 2017: The My Story, My Dignity Pledge launched calling on individuals and organizations to join us and promote the Pledge to represent modern slavery with dignity and accuracy. You can sign the Pledge here.

  • March 31, 2017: The Guardian confirmed it will share the Guidance Note on modern slavery with its journalists that work on related issues.

  • Feb 20, 2017: Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.

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Gil Utanes
Gil Utanes
1 year ago

Why do others enjoy taking advantage of the underprivileged!?

Harald Reinisch
2 years ago

Helps for sure >
Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
against the wickedness, the malice and the persecution of the devil,
be our protection!
God command him, so pleadingly and humbly we ask.
But you, prince of the heavenly hosts,
save us from confusion and lies,
free our soul,
and overthrow Satan and all the other evil spirits,
who roam the world for the destruction of souls,
in the power of God, back down to hell.
Amen.

Glen Hale
Glen Hale
1 year ago

LOL

Maurice Frank
3 years ago

The Non-Finality Situation or Court Change works for pressing this point too. Cite it to them.

Lauryn Erickson
Lauryn Erickson
6 months ago

THE FACT THAT THIS STILL HAS TO GO ON TODAY IS SICKENING. THESE PEOPLE (not the slaves) ARE SICK IN THE HEAD. GOD DAMMIT! JUST BECAUSE THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN (the slaves), IS DIFFERENT DOESNT MEAN THEY SHOULD BE SLAVES! I DONT CARE THAT THEIR SKIN TONE IS DIFFERENT! THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL! THEY ARE WORTH THE WORLD! IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE YOUR BRAIN IS MALFUNCTIONING. Make the choice that is right. Don’t let this happen again. Do better.

Call on the media to tell survivors' stories with dignity

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Dear Style Guide Editor

As leading English-language media houses, we call on you to show the importance of treating modern slavery survivors’ stories with dignity, by adopting Freedom Collaborative’s Guidance Note within your publications’ style guide.

Sensationalist images and language can unintentionally create or reinforce stereotypes or negative prejudices. Survivors of slavery tell us that when their dignity is not respected, it can lead to them feeling further victimized.

We call on you to work with us to ensure your style guide commits to portraying survivors of slavery in a dignified way so that they might feel empowered.

Freedom United will protect your privacy while updating you on campaigns, news and stories about modern slavery.

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