Juliana Dogbadzi: Slavery/Trafficking

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Juliana Dogbadzi

Juliana Dogbadzi, ©2000 Eddie Adams


  • 9-12


  • Modern Slavery/Trafficking

Additional Resources
PDF (includes worksheet)


  • Article 1: Right to Equality
  • Article 2: Freedom from Discrimination
  • Article 3: Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security.
  • Article 4: Freedom from Slavery
  • Article 5: Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
  • Article 6: Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law.
  • Article 7: Right to Equality before the Law


  • If slavery is illegal, why does it exist throughout the world today?
  • For what reasons do governments turn a blind eye to human trafficking and slavery?
  • How can effective change occur?


40 minutes


After this lesson, students will be able to

  • Recognize the issue of human trafficking and its relationship to modern slavery.
  • Listen to an excerpt about Juliana Dogbadzi and discuss the source of her enslavement, the results of her enslavement, and the ultimate outcome of her situation.
  • Reflect on the concept of paying for the wrongs of another person in order to recognize the ways in which the issue relates to their own lives.
  • Brainstorm ideas for taking action against these violations of human rights.
  • Write for personal reflection to assess their understanding of the issue
  • Propose an action and implement the action.


  • Relating this human rights violation to their own lives
  • Making inferences and drawing conclusions, and evaluating
  • Gathering information
  • Synthesizing information
  • Interpreting information
  • Synthesizing information
  • Writing for personal reflection
  • Recognizing opposing points of view in a respectful fashion
  • Participating in group discussion
  • Cooperating to accomplish goals
  • Assuming responsibility for carrying out tasks
  • Implementing advocacy activities/programs


  • Social Studies Standard 2: World History
    • Commencement KI 3 PI 1, 2, 3; KI 4 PI 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Social Studies Standard 4: Economics
    • Commencement KI 1 PI 1, 3, 6′ KI 2 PI 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Social Studies Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government
    • Commencement KI 1 PI 1; KI 4 PI 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • English Language Arts Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
    • Commencement Reading PI 1, 2, 3, 4; Writing PI 1, 2, 3, 4
  • English Language Arts Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
    • Commencement Reading PI 1, 2, 3; Writing PI 1, 2
  • English Language Arts Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction
    • Commencement Listening/Speaking PI 1, 2, 3; Reading/Writing PI 2, 3


  • Trafficking
  • Trokosi
  • Shrine
  • Fetish Priest
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Advocate
  • Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act


  • Human trafficking
  • Sex slavery
  • Fear
  • Subjugation
  • Advocacy


Both vocabulary and concepts must be taught prior to the lesson


  • Internet access with Youtube available
  • projector from the computer to screen or interactive whiteboard
  • Student Response System, if possible


  • Index cards
  • Board space or interactive whiteboard
  • Handouts of the excerpt from Speak Truth to Power
  • Glossary of relevant terms
  • Discussion questions
  • Youtube video on modern slavery: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=HRwaM9lCRrM
  • The bio and interview:

Student Activities


  • Ask students to consider the following questions and poll their answers
    • Is slavery legal anywhere in the world today?
    • If slavery exists today, how many slaves do you think there are?
    • Do you think the number is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of slaves in America at the time of emancipation?
    • Are there slaves in America today?
  • Show the YouTube video on modern slavery and refer to previous questions for a class discussion after viewing.


Have the 4 questions posted on the board and ask students to consider them prior to the bell. (Bell Ringer Activity)


  • Provide a brief background about Juliana Dogbadzi. Read the excerpt from Speak Truth to Power to the class, having the students take notes on the handout with questions for discussion.
  • Distribute the questions for discussion: [worksheet]
  • After reading is completed, provide time for discussion in response to the questions.


  • Brainstorm ways in which the students can take action and become a defender.

Become a Defender

Students need to select one of the following projects to advocate for the end of slavery.

  • Research what the United States Department of State is doing currently to stop human trafficking and write an article for the school newsletter or the local newspaper about the problem and ways in which it can be addressed.
  • Research the efforts being made by a specific NGO to stop trafficking and write an article about their efforts for the school newsletter.
  • Make a video highlighting the injustices of human trafficking that can be shown to the student body
  • Create a glog that provides text, audio, and media to expose the issue and raise awareness (www.edu.glogster.com) Publish.
  • Teachers can get free accounts for their students by registering at the site link mentioned.
  • Write a letter to your Senator or Representative expressing your concerns about the lack of enforcement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and request their intervention
  • Contact an NGO that fights against trafficking and arrange for a speaker to come to your class, school, or a community event in order to raise awareness
  • Start a fund drive to contribute to an NGO that works toward the goal of ending human trafficking.


The lesson can be easily expanded into more than one 40-minute period. If discussion time is needed, it would be highly recommended to expand. Additional resources will enable teachers and students to learn more about the extensive problem of human trafficking and slavery in today’s world, either together or independently.


The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is sponsoring an annual contest honoring a student who submits the best advocacy activity based upon the lesson studied. A goal of the lesson is to instill into each student that one voice, one person can make monumental changes in the lives of many. Tell us how you “Became a Defender”!


  • A one-page summary of the advocacy activity
  • Digitized copies of materials that can be sent electronically
  • Photos of the activity (please include parental consent form)
  • A one-page summary of how the activity made a change in the lives of one person or many


  • A week long “virtual” internship at RFK Center
  • An opportunity to meet the defender through a SKYPE visit,
  • A visit from Kerry Kennedy or a defender to your school
  • A poster of a Speak Truth to Power Human Rights Defender
  • A donation of a signed copy of Speak Truth to Power for the school library

The application and instructions for entry can be downloaded here (link for materials)

The deadline for all applications is the third week in November.

The winning student and teacher will be notified by the last week of January.

Addtional Resources

Freetheslaves.net: Glossary
Extensive glossary of terms related to human trafficking

Site has variety of information about human trafficking and finding a solution to end slavery in our time

Trafficking in Persons Report 2010
Excellent source of current information about human trafficking, including: an interactive map; narratives on each country discussing the level of their involvement, their efforts to eradicate the problem, and the recommendations to increase effectiveness of efforts; victims’ stories; and many other resources

Polaris Project Action Center
Another rich source from an NGO. Included are survivor stories, current actions, ways to get involved, etc.

PBS Frontline
PBS – Frontline resource with valuable links to NGOs and many articles

PBS Frontline Modern Slavery Documentary
Has free download of Frontline’s documentary about sex slavery. Includes a description of program and their commentary. There are also links to two other documentaries on modern slavery.

PBS Frontline Map
This link takes you to a PBS –Frontline interactive map that accompanies the story on sex slaves.

The Trokosi in Ghana
Article on the Trokosi in Ghana

International Needs Transforming the Lives of

Women in Ghana
Extensive information on the Trokosi in Ghana and the work of this NGO is doing to end the practice.

A Survivor’s Story
Survivor’s story – audio clip (Discussion of the Trokosi in test. At the end is a link to listen to a girl’s own story of her experience.)

Ghana’s Slaves to the Gods
Excellent article about the practice in Ghana and Juliana Dogbadzi

21st Century Slaves
National Geographic – info and multiple links to resources

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  1. “Speak Truth To Power” Curriculum | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... - December 10, 2010

    […] Filed under social studies, teacher resources Speak Truth To Power is a project of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights that includes a curriculum of seventeen lessons. The lessons include ones on genocide and human trafficking. […]

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