The issue of human trafficking and modern day slavery is particularly topical given the success of the film ‘12 Years A Slave' at the Oscars this year. Director Steve McQueen’s concluded his acceptance speech with the words:
‘Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today’.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing form of international crime
The film ‘12 Years A Slave’ is based on Solomon Northup’s account of his enslavement in the pre-Civil War American South after being captured by slave-traders in 1841. Many audiences were horrified by the harsh reality of seeing this cinematic account of his experience in slavery.
There is widespread indignation that the gross injustice has been allowed to continue. Modern day slavery is flourishing with 20.9 million people worldwide victims of forced labour. 4.5 million of these are victims of forced sexual exploitation, while 14.2 million are victims of forced labour exploitation. The remaining 2.2 million are in state-imposed forms of forced labour.
There are more slaves today than at any point in the 400 years of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. This fundamental violation of human rights is impossible to watch in silence or ignore.
The story of modern-day slavery has by now travelled 178328km in the fight against human trafficking through the Cube Movement.
The Red Light Campaign uses the chains of communication to fight the chains of modern-day slavery. Our new initiative, the Cube Movement, is growing fast after it was announced at the 2013 One Young World Summit.
So far, 200 people have checked in 109 cubes all over the world, which allows The Red Light Campaign to measure the impact the movement has on a global scale.
Each cube passes on reliable information about human trafficking and modern day slavery and can be tracked online as it travels across the world, being passed from friends or strangers, connecting everyone in its path.
The Cube Movement raises revenue for the Red Light Campaign Impact Fund. Launched in the UK in January 2014, this fund finances pragmatic aftercare and the provision of goods or services to those who have been or continue to be directly affected by human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Women continue to represent the greater share of victims of modern day slavery
In celebration of International Women’s Day in March 2014, the Red Light Campaign was supported by Women in Marketing’s 10th Anniversary Conference based on the book ‘Who Cares Wins’ written by David Jones, Co-Founder of One Young World.
This is particularly poignant as women continue to represent the greater share of victims of modern day slavery; 27% of all victims of human trafficking detected globally are children, and two out of three of these are girls, whose average age for forced household services is between 12 and 14.
The illegal acquisition of human beings for commercial sex and labour is modern day slavery. Solomon Northup’s memoir ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ was published in 1853. Over 150 years later, we still live a world crippled by the injustice of modern day slavery. Join the global campaign against modern day slavery and human trafficking to ensure that every person deserves not just survive, but also to live.
Emily was a UK Delegate Speaker on Human Rights at the One Young World Summit 2013 in Johannesburg. Follow Emily on Twitter: @emilyrevess. Follow Red Light Campaign on Twitter: @RedLightCharity