CNN will be premiering the two-hour documentary The Fighters on May 17 and 18, following a two-year CNN investigation. The Fighters chronicles around Filipino human rights pioneer Cecilia Flores-Oebanda in her journey to protect children from the sex trade, and to convince the Philippines’ biggest star and elected congressman, Manny Pacquiao, to join her as a fighter in the battle against modern-day slavery. 

Since founding her anti-trafficking organisation Visayan Forum in 1991, Flores-Oebanda has helped more than 70,000 victims or potential victims of human trafficking. Flores-Oebanda believes if Pacquiao, an elected congressman in the Philippines and the country’s biggest star, champions her cause, it could mean a turning point. 

Airing on two consecutive nights, The Fighters provides a unique glimpse into the world of combating human trafficking through the eyes of those risking their lives and explores themes of social justice and globalisation, as well as offering insight into both the benefits and drawbacks inherent in governmental-charity-celebrity partnerships. The documentary is produced and narrated by Leif Coorlim, executive editor of the CNN Freedom Project which is overseen by CNN International’s senior vice president for programming, Mike McCarthy.