CNN International's Tony Maddox and The CNN Freedom Project, which aims to raise global awareness of human trafficking issues, were honored at a ceremony by the U.S. State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry as a 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero. Eight Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report Heroes are announced in conjunction with the annual TIP Report by the State Department, which assesses the response of 188 countries and territories to the crime of human slavery.

“I am humbled by this recognition,” said Maddox. “And I am proud of CNN using the full range of our international resources to track and highlight this important story.”

Since it was founded, The CNN Freedom Project has helped more than 1,000 survivors worldwide. Under Maddox's leadership, it is among the most successful and highly visible programming initiatives on CNN International. Now in its fifth year, it has also become the longest-running awareness and investigative campaign on modern slavery in television news.

Photo Credit: Bill Alberter/CNN