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European Central Bank Announces Rate Hike; Protests Resume in Israel over Judicial Reform; Ukrainian Soldier Destroys Russian Jet Near Bakhmut; U.S. Senators Seek Saudi Arabia Human Rights Report; Interview with Sen. Chris Murphy on Saudi-Iran Relations Brokered by China; U.S. Releases Video of Russian Jet Downing U.S. Drone; Yellen Says Banking System Remains Sound; #MyFreedomDay. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired March 16, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up this hour, some stability at
Credit Suisse after a loan from the Swiss central bank.
Israel's president warns the country is on the brink of civil war.
The U.S. releases video of its drone incident with that Russian jet.
Later this hour, FIFA president Gianni Infantino wins another term.
ANDERSON: Well, we begin with a high stakes decision. The European Central Bank making a bold move earlier, hiking interest rates by half a percentage
point in its fight against inflation. Here's how Europe's trading on the news.
The ECB, the first major central bank to make a rates decision, since market turmoil kicked off with last week's collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
It's the Feds turn next week. Investors also watching Credit Suisse, of course. Shares of the troubled banking giant surging after it grabbed a
lifeline from the Swiss central bank.
Let's get right to CNN's Clare Sebastian.
Let's start with ECB, going ahead with a half point rate hike at a time when markets are jittery; not least the global banking sector.
Why that decision and why, now?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the first line of the press release announcing this -- the decision today said inflation
projections remain too high for too long. The ECB making it very clear that they intend to continue to tackle that, regardless of what's happening in
the financial markets.
But inflation is high, it's 8.5 percent in the euro area; it's 6 percent in the United States, that is four times their 2 percent target. So they do
need to keep doing that.
A week ago, of course, this would have been fully priced in. The ECB made it clear they intended to do another half point, rate rise at this meeting.
But of course, given the turmoil in the financial market, given the worries about the pressure that interest rates higher rates, are putting on banks'
There was some thinking out there they might moderate this, perhaps, coming in with a quarter point rate rise or something like that. But they are
sticking to their guns. They haven't ignored the issues in the financial markets. The statement also said the bank stands ready to respond as
necessary to preserve price stability and financial stability.
They talked about the banking center being resilient and the fact that the ECB has a policy tool kit available to provide liquidity as needed. Now we
might hear more about that in this press conference that is currently ongoing, particularly as Christine Lagarde starts to answer questions. This
is, of course, front and center, the balancing act that the ECB will now face, to try to preserve, at the same access, both price stability with
inflation and financial stability -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Clare Sebastian on the story. Clare, thank you.
Israelis are once again taking to the streets to try to stop a controversial judicial overhaul, plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): In Tel Aviv, protesters waved flags, some chanting, "Democracy or death."
In Jerusalem, people woke up to red lines painted on the road, leading to Israel's supreme court. Police arrested five people suspected of
involvement. All of this coming just hours after prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a compromise reform deal, proposed by president Isaac
Herzog. Mr. Herzog issuing this warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISAAC HERZOG, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL (through translator): I'm going to use a phrase I haven't used before, an expression that there is no Israeli who is
not hard to fight when he hears it.
Whoever thinks the real civil war of human lives is a limit that we will not reach, has no idea. Precisely now, in the 75th year of the State of
Israel, that this is within touching distance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN's Hadas Gold following these developments from Jerusalem.
This is a serious warning, coming from the president, not least of the country.
Hadas, what do you make of that?
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, every time we've heard the president speak, it seems week by week, his warnings, his, calls
seem to get more and more dire.
He said himself in the speech, this is the first time he has ever used the words, even the possibility of a civil war could be possible. That is where
he believes the country stands right now over the divisiveness, over this judicial reforms.
GOLD: We've seen that divisiveness here on the streets of Jerusalem. We have been covering protests here. We are following a student protest, led
by students from Hebron University that made their way around the sort of government campus we are on.
Right behind me is supreme court. This is where the end of the protests and right now, it looks like a fortress. There's plenty of police activity
here. There is a permanent protest tent behind us here.
During the protests today, while we were walking down the streets, people who didn't agree with the protesters, who support the judicial reforms,
were yelling out of the cars, "Bibi is king," a reference to the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Most of the counterprotest we heard were about Benjamin Netanyahu himself. You really got a feel for some of this divisiveness between the two sides
here. Now the calls from Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, are dire. He also put out his own compromise proposal over these performs.
They're too lengthy to get into here but they do address some of the coalition's concerns over the supreme court being able to overturn
legislation, kind of narrowing the type of legislation as people will be able to overturn and changing the way judges are appointed.
But almost as soon as Isaac Herzog stopped speaking, we heard from the Israeli government coalition, from Benjamin Netanyahu himself, saying, no,
thanks but no thanks. We are not going to take that proposal. It's not good enough for us -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for you. That time is 4:05, it's 6:05 here in Abu Dhabi. Of course, we have a lot more expert analysis from
across this region, delivered right here to your inbox, three times a week. That is cnn.com/mideastnewsletter and click subscribe.
Well, the U.S. military has released video that officials say proves that a Russian fighter jet made contact with an American drone, forcing it down
into the Black Sea.
The startling footage reveals a few key seconds of that encounter. The drone's camera shows the Russian jet dumping fuel as it intercepts the
drone and then, a moment of impact. A top U.S. military official says it is still unclear whether the Russian pilot deliberately hit that drone.
Natasha Bertrand has more.
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They do know, however, that the reckless behavior that they saw the pilot take in that instance,
getting really close to the drone, dumping fuel on it, that was deliberate. That was extremely dangerous.
The U.S. has said and that could have caused injury or damage to the Russians and the pilots of the Russian jets as well. And so the U.S. now
releasing this new video to kind of directly contradict what the Russians have been saying, because the Russians have been saying in recent days that
their jet did not act recklessly. It did not make direct contact with the drone.
Now we are seeing in this video that, in fact, it did. And of course, when we look at the video, we can see that moment of impact kind where the video
cuts out. And you see it all pixelated. That is the moment of collision.
When the video reemerges, you can see the propeller on the back of the drone has actually been damaged. And that is the key proof that U.S.
officials are pointing to, noting that the fighter jet made direct content with that drone.
Now this is all very significant because it is the first time a Russian jet and an American drone have made direct physical contact with each other
over the course of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
And it is important, because the Russians and the Americans are operating in this space very closely, in this region, on a regular basis. So while
the Russian jets have tried to intercept American systems like these drones in the past, flying alongside, them never before have we actually seen this
level of aggression by a Russian pilot.
I should note that we are told by the Russian defense ministry, the officials in the Russian defense ministry, actually did explicitly task
these pilots with harassing this drone, making it clear that this was not just the behavior of a rogue pilot here. This was a deliberate tasking by
the Russian ministry of defense.
ANDERSON: That's Natasha Bertrand reporting there on the battlefield.
In Eastern Ukraine, both sides are describing the situation in Bakhmut as complicated. Right now, there is no sign of Ukrainian withdrawal from that
city. In the meantime, Ukraine's military says one of its soldiers shot down a Russian fighter jet near Bakhmut. Video posted online appears to
show the moment that happens.
David McKenzie is in Kyiv for us this hour.
You are on the ground in Kyiv, the situation in Bakhmut described as complicated from both sides.
What do we understand to be going on there?
What happens from here, David?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, Becky, it's a many hundreds mile long front line in the north, the east and
MCKENZIE: A lot of the attention, understandably, has been on this town, the city of Bakhmut, which has been largely depopulated because of many
months of fighting in that zone.
As you said, that leadership of the Donetsk self-declared republic, they are saying it is complex, there is very, very heavy fighting ongoing. Also,
Ukrainian officials are saying pretty much the same thing.
What is happening is that Wagner mercenaries and regular Russian forces have been absolutely hammering the Ukrainian positions in and around that
city. And they have, for some time, had the ability to fire on with, some level of precision, the incoming main resupply lines of the Ukrainians from
the West into the city.
That has made, according to Ukrainian officials, the resupply of both men and materiel extremely difficult into that zone. Russian soldiers are
fighting, in some cases, inch by inch, it seems, taking very heavy losses, according to several different sources.
This is important, largely at this point, symbolically. Bakhmut has taken on this kind of legendary status, even though several weeks ago, even U.S.
officials were saying it isn't necessarily the most strategically important zone of this conflict.
There does appear to be a digging-in over very many months and a reluctance by the Ukrainian commander in chief, Zelenskyy, to give up ground in that
zone. A large part of the western part of the city appears to be still controlled by the Ukrainians.
But that control, just looking at the various sources, appears somewhat tenuous. And it really is the focus, because of the intense fighting. As
many anticipate, as the spring comes -- and not on a day like this, it's very cold here in Kyiv -- but as spring approaches and summer, there this
anticipation of a possible Ukrainian fightback.
Where that will happen is unclear. But just today, the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, is saying that the need for basic ammunition and
other materiel to come in for the Ukrainians is very great and has to be accelerated -- Becky.
ANDERSON: David McKenzie on the story for you. David, thank you.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Up next, the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. A U.S. senator thinks Washington needs to take a closer look
at the Saudi record of human rights. I'm going to speak to Chris Murphy, up after this.
And a little later, the European Central Bank calls the interest rate figure despite this week's market mayhem.
What might the Fed, the Federal Reserve, do next week?
That is after this.
ANDERSON: Several U.S. senators are telling Joe Biden to begin pushing Saudi Arabia to improve its record on human rights. They submitted a
resolution on Wednesday that would tie U.S. security assistance to a report on Saudi human rights.
It comes as the kingdom seems to be moving away from the U.S., recently embracing a Chinese brokered deal to improve relations with Iran, although
that's not the position of the kingdom. It says it's not moving away from anybody; they're just trying to provide some easing of tensions.
One of the senators behind the measure is Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut. He is concerned about the Saudis cozying up to China,
tweeting, "Political repression is critical to the Saudi government and China will back their capitalizing of crushing political dissent."
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy joins us now live.
Senator Murphy, let's just talk about this resolution submitted on Wednesday that would tie U.S. security assistance to a report in Saudi
Is your aim through this law to stop U.S. security assistance altogether for Saudi Arabia?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT), MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: We already have a law on the book that does not allow U.S. security assistance to go
to countries that don't respect basic human rights. We have waived that requirement repeatedly for Saudi Arabia. And I think it's come at great
cost to our country.
I think the world watches when we continue to be very cozy with brutal dictators like Mohammed bin Salman or president al-Sisi in Egypt. It makes
it hard for us to press the case for democracy and human rights around the world when we are selling record levels of arms to these countries.
So I'm not suggesting that we cut off arms sales; what I am suggesting is that we raise the bar in terms of what we expect from the Saudis. I don't
think it's unrealistic that they would meet that bar, if we were just a little more serious about expecting human rights progress in exchange for
the security relationship.
ANDERSON: Yes, it is quite an archaic legislation, isn't it, back from 1961. You've been a very vocal critic of Saudi Arabia now for some time.
I wanted to get your sense of where you believe the kingdom is at at present because certainly the U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken this
week has said that the United States, and I quote him here, "welcomes anything that can help reduce tensions, avoid conflict and curb, in any
way, dangerous or destabilizing actions by Iran."
He was alluding to the Chinese brokered Saudi-Iran deal. You were not as welcoming of that deal. I just wonder where your disconnect is with the
secretary of state.
MURPHY: I don't necessarily think there's a disconnect. I think that it's probably a good thing for the region if there's less conflict between Iran
and Saudi Arabia. That is a good thing for the United States.
I think we need to ask questions about what the underlying commitments are in that agreement. And the tweet that you referenced was just, I think, my
effort to point out that one of the reasons that Saudi Arabia is drawing closer to China, is that China just doesn't give them a very hard time when
it comes to their human rights record.
In fact, gives them technology as they do other countries that facilitate that campaign of repression. So we should be eyes wide open, when we think
about why Saudi Arabia may be drawing closer China. It is because China doesn't come to any values asks.
ANDERSON: The kingdom would argue that they do business with the Chinese and they are close to the Chinese because China is their biggest customer.
Should that not be part of the thinking here?
MURPHY: There's no doubt that there's an important economic relationship between Saudi Arabia and China. If you look 10 years down the road, oil
produced in the Middle East is going to matter much more to China than it will to the United States.
It's an interesting situation we have today in which China essentially is a free rider on U.S. security guarantees in the Gulf. The United States
spends most of the money to secure oil deposits, exploration and transport. China gets more of that benefit today than the United States does.
So I don't know that it is completely out of bounds for China to be expected to pick up a little bit more of the cost when it comes to securing
a product that, over the next two decades, will matter much more to China than it will to the United States.
ANDERSON: You are still, though, very mindful about the oil production from this region.
ANDERSON: I want to take us back to October of 2022 after OPEC+ cut oil production. You said, at the time, that the U.S. needed a wholesale
evaluation of its relationship with the kingdom, as did President Biden at the time.
At the time I interviewed the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Princess Reema, following that decision. Many in the U.S. and I, think I would be right in
including you, accused the Saudis of that being a political decision. Here's what she told me at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REEMA BINT BANDAR AL SAUD, AMBASSADOR OF SAUDI ARABIA TO THE UNITED STATES: Many people have tried to politicize this. But you are hearing it from the
horse's mouth. This is not political; this is purely economic based on the expertise of 40 or 50 years of mapping and trends.
We do not engage in the politics of anyone. We engage simply as a balancer and a stabilizer of the economy through the energy market.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: She said "straight from the horse's mouth;" you're hearing it here. This was not a political decision. She went on to talk about how
important it was to the kingdom, that it had a good relationship with the United States of America.
Do you still want a wholesale reset?
Do you believe that the U.S. shouldn't do business with Saudi?
MURPHY: Well, I certainly believe that we should have a reevaluation of the relationship. And I have a great deal of respect for the ambassador. I
engage with her regularly.
But I think it's just completely wrong to believe you can separate energy policy from national security policy. They are deeply intertwined; Russia
does not separate the two. And frankly, Saudi Arabia has never separated the two.
Saudi Arabia has used its energy resources in order to build up its national security and foreign policy credibility around the world.
So this notion that we should only make decisions about energy policy based on how much money we make, belies the fact that it is energy policy that
determines as to whether Russia can continue its illegal brutal campaign, in Ukraine.
So I just don't think you can separate the two, I think it's disingenuous to suggest that you can make the decision out of oil without any regard for
the national security implications.
ANDERSON: With the greatest of respect, that decision was made just before the midterms. And my sense is -- and I want to provide the context here --
the ambassador was certainly speaking to the fact that the Saudis didn't want to get involved in a political situation around those midterms.
This was at a time when gas prices were high in the U.S. and that was hurting Joe Biden and the Democrats. Look, you just talked about the war in
Ukraine. And I want to get to that, because I know how important this is to you.
You have a huge Ukrainian constituency, of course, and you have been a big supporter of the defense of Ukraine since the outset of this conflict.
You said yesterday that if the U.S. doesn't continue to support Ukraine, and I quote you here, "the entire post World War II order falls apart."
But there is a growing sense, from the Americans, that the U.S. is doing too much, Senator Murphy. A recent poll finds 48 percent of Americans
support sending weapons to Ukraine, with 29 percent opposed, 22 percent neither in favor nor opposed.
In May of 2022, less than three months into the war, two-thirds of U.S. adults said that they were in favor of sending Ukraine weapons.
Are you concerned about the American public's opinion about this war in Ukraine at present?
And perhaps even more importantly that of Congress?
MURPHY: Well, I still feel, back home in Connecticut, a consensus to support Ukraine. Even that recent poll you mentioned, it still suggests by
a 2:1 margin, Americans want to continue to support Ukraine.
And it is true that the fight has been out of the headlines in the United States, at least compared to what it looked like back when that original
poll was taken. Just the fact that we're not talking about it as much in the mass media probably has something to do with Americans' response to
those poll questions.
But I am certainly worried about what's going on in Congress right now. You have Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump, two leading candidates for the
Republican side, both opposing continued support for Ukraine. It looks like this is becoming more of a consensus position inside the Republican Party,
to withdraw American support or winnow (ph) American support.
MURPHY: I do think it'll become harder to get legislation supporting Ukraine through the House of Representatives, if Republican leaders, like
Trump and DeSantis, continue to come out in opposition, to supporting this fight.
I believe what I said, I think China is watching right now. I think if we hand Ukraine to Russia, we are going to see an explosion of conflict around
the world, where big nations now think that they can reset their borders through force. One of those conflicts is going to draw the United States
in, in a much bigger way, than we are involved in the Ukraine fight.
ANDERSON: Before I let you go, I do just want to get your thoughts today on what is going on in Israel. You criticize Israel's planned settlement
expansions and the new government's right wing policies there.
We know that Netanyahu said no compromise as far as this very controversial judicial reform bill is concerned. Just yesterday, the president of the
country, Isaac Herzog, has suggested the country is headed for civil war.
What is your assessment of what is going on?
How do you de-escalate -- or how does one de-escalate in this current environment?
And should, Benjamin Netanyahu or any of his Right religious government be entertained by anybody in the United States at present?
MURPHY: So there are very few people who know the Israeli mood better than president Herzog. And I was deeply disturbed to see his comments yesterday.
I think he speaks to how the Netanyahu government is really fraying the bonds that have connected Israelis together.
And I worry that we are at a moment, in which we are watching a future Palestinian state be obliterated by the pace of settlements, by the
legalization of outposts. And I think the United States needs to draw a harder line with this government.
If we're going to continue to be in the business of supporting the Israeli government, they have to be in the continued business of a future
Palestinian state. And that does not seem to be the policy of this government right now.
So whether it's conditionality of aid to Israel, whether it's conditionality of visits to the United States, we have got to send a
message that this assault on the two state solution, in particular, is very bad for the U.S.-Israel relationship in the long run.
ANDERSON: Senator Chris Murphy, you're a busy man, it is good to have you on, sir, we really very much appreciate it, thank you.
MURPHY: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Senator Chris Murphy with us today here on CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, the European Central Bank signaling to
banks, we have your back.
Is that enough?
Well, the big picture for interest rates during a week of market turmoil. That is up next.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD where the time is exactly half past six.
These are your headlines.
U.S. military officials say newly released video proves a Russian fighter jet made contact with an American drone, forcing it down into the Black
Sea. Now the drone's camera shows the Russian jet dumping fuel as it intercepts the drone. That is what you are seeing here. Russia has denied
any physical contact between the aircraft.
Israelis again, hitting the streets to protest the government's controversial judicial overhaul plan. This comes just hours after prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a compromise reform deal proposed by President Isaac Herzog. Mr. Herzog also warning his country is on the brink
of civil war.
After a scramble to shore up confidence in Credit Suisse, shares in Switzerland's second biggest bank remain higher. This comes after the
troubled lender agreed to a nearly $54 billion loan from the Swiss central bank.
All this week we've been bringing you the very latest in this turmoil that's been hitting global markets. Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, U.S.
regional bank stocks plunging on the back of that. And European and Asian markets getting a bad case of the jitters.
Right now, here is where the stock markets stand. Let's bring those up for you and see where the indicators are.
Do we have those?
There you go. So the Dow down, the Nasdaq up, S&P is down. so hardly any real moves to speak of in the U.S. You see these European markets, though,
are higher. But not significantly so.
So what does all this mean?
What are we reading into this?
How do we assess what's going on here?
CNN's Julia Chatterley has the market mood. She joins me live from New York.
Let's go over a few of the things that are going on here. The ECB and other central banks weighing inflationary pressures against the risk of adding
further stress to these markets, particularly to the banking sector.
What is the ECB signaling with this latest decision?
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, this bold move, Becky, I think to decry what investors were calling for here, which is to ease off the pedal
a little bit, they did half a percentage point.
I think there were two messages in this, one that, in their view, the banks are OK and that high inflation isn't. But Christine Lagarde made two other
points that I think are very important.
She says there is no trade-off between high inflation and financial stability. The concerns we are seeing in the banks, we have the tools to
deal with both. Interest rate rises can help deal with inflation, assuming the system can handle it.
And if not, we have the tools available, for example, lending facilities to support the banks. But I think the point she was trying to make here, too,
was to instill confidence. But she did say, look, we're data dependent now. We're not going to do anything until we see how all of these things
So no guidance on what else happens in terms of rate hikes after this. That is the important signal, too.
ANDERSON: Yes, isn't it just. Credit Suisse getting a lifeline and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the banking system remains sound.
So to all intents and purposes, reflecting what we've just heard from Christine Lagarde, who, of course, is the head of the ECB, is all of this
CHATTERLEY: Enough for what? I think that is the question.
Intensive Credit Suisse, this is a big amount of money. But I think we can safely call Credit Suisse a banking basket case. There are going to be
concerns despite the price movement today, concerns about what their transformation plan means, whether perhaps they are going to have to sell
Time will tell. To some degree, the ring fences them at least for now. I think what Janet said, echoing President Biden earlier this week, for
citizens in the United States, your deposits are safe.
The problem here, is some deposits are deemed safer than others, particularly the big depositors, those more than $250,000. Take a look at
some of the regional bank performances.
CHATTERLEY: They're down again today. I think the message that some depositors are sending is, look, I just feel more confident having my
deposits in a bigger bank.
I'm talking about the authorities now, have to make an explicit promise that, for those big depositors, your money is safe?
They've not done that yet, I think that is why we are still seeing the pressure on some of these banks. While they have tried to underpin the
system -- and they have provided, don't get me wrong, a lot of support to these banks in terms of lending facilities -- customers are still
And I think that's justifiable, Becky. So again, day by day on this.
ANDERSON: It's fascinating, isn't it. First the Fed decision to come next week but looking here at the micro and the macro and seeing how we sort of
put everything together, it's a really interesting time.
Nerve-racking for investors, particularly those in the banking sector. It's good to have you to help navigate our viewers through this. It's always a
pleasure. Julia, thank you.
Let's get you up to speed on some of the stories on our radar right now. A Pakistani court has again ordered police to postpone any effort to arrest
the former prime minister Imran Khan.
The court action, the same action on Wednesday, Khan was seen on Wednesday, wearing a gas mask as he greeted supporters who have surrounded his home to
fight off the police.
Dramatic scenes from the Senegalese capital of Dakar, violence breaks out between police and protesters ahead of a court case involving a
presidential hopeful. The opposition politician is facing libel and rape charges. He denies all wrongdoing and says it's all a tactic to keep him
from running in next year's election.
The U.K. has banned the popular video-sharing app TikTok from government phones. Western governments are worried China could use TikTok to gather
data from those phones. U.S. officials have also banned TikTok from government phones there, say they're considering a wider ban if TikTok's
Chinese parent doesn't spinoff their shares.
Ahead in sports, reelected: what Gianni Infantino is saying about football's future as he starts his second term as FIFA's president.
Plus how some students around the world are raising awareness about modern- day slavery. More on that after this.
ANDERSON: Today's My Freedom Day, a day that CNN teams up with students across the globe to raise awareness about human trafficking in modern day
ANDERSON: In the past five years, an estimated 50 million people worldwide, 50 million, are believed to have been victims of forced marriage
and labor, largely due to the pandemic, climate crisis and other disasters upending daily life.
And that is just the half of it. CNN is covering this day of action at schools around the world. Joining us now is Lynda Kinkade, who's at the
Atlanta International School with a look at what kindergarteners and first graders are doing to raise awareness.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's right, Becky, I'm at the Atlanta International School, where some of the younger
students around the world today are learning about the rights of a child.
And their lesson is taught by these students, fifth, sixth, seventh grade students, who are using a hula hoop game.
Just explain how this works.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Basically what we're doing is each kid is going to find a hula hoop. They put one foot in and there's right in the middle of
the hula hoop that they're going to take a look at. And that way they can learn a little bit more about their rights.
KINKADE: And you have some questions for them. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have the right to --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have the right to --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You also have the right to go to --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the right to live in a --
KINKADE: All very fundamental rights and we have some of the first graders here right now.
What circle have you guys landed on?
KINKADE: And what does it mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When someone is like a family and it's your mom and dad.
KINKADE: You get someone to take care of you in a safe space.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a baby brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they protect you.
KINKADE: Excellent. And what have you guys landed on?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Food.
KINKADE: And what right do you have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To eat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To eat.
KINKADE: To have a healthy, healthy diet.
And what have you landed on?
This is very important.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because then we can learn stuff. Yes. And because your freedom to go to school and no one is like the boss of you except for the
KINKADE: Everyone has the right to an education, don't they?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also because, if you don't learn, let's say you didn't know about Black History Month. Well, then you wouldn't know about
all of these people and then, like everything, like you wouldn't know about it. So then you like would always be wondering why these people are doing
KINKADE: History is very important, isn't it?
And what have you landed on?
KINKADE: Love. Everyone needs love in their lives.
So, Becky, this is one of many activities happening throughout the day at the Atlanta International School. And the word for this school continues
throughout the year. They have two anti-trafficking groups who continue to petition lawmakers and raise awareness about modern-day slavery. Becky.
ANDERSON: Terrific. I love the fact that they still see the teachers as the boss. That's a good thing, isn't it?
Super. Lynda, thank you so much. The International School there, at the Atlanta International School in Georgia.