Today is the official day for raising awareness around one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time: human trafficking. The United Nations has marked July 30th as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This day aims to educate people about human trafficking, today’s equivalent of the slave trade that was abolished more than a century ago.
Since it’s the inaugural year of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, you can join the U.N. and actively engage in their Blue Heart social media campaign. Using the hashtag #igivehope and the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages, you can share photos of yourself forming a heart with two hands. Let everyone know you are taking a stand by changing your profile picture. You can find campaign logos in different languages here.
Slavery truly is a global scourge, requiring a global response. Millions of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking worldwide. Learn where slavery is worst through the FTS Trafficking and Slavery Fact Sheet.
Right now, FTS works in six hot spot countries where more than half of the world’s slaves live: India, Nepal, Ghana, Congo, Haiti and Brazil.
India has the largest concentration of modern-day slaves with 14 million slaves. Most are victims of debt bondage, where loans illegally enslave laborers in farms, brick kilns, quarries, and embroidery factories.
In Nepal, thousands are trafficked into domestic servitude as maids, into circuses as performers, and sex slavery. Other thousands are trafficked in Congo, Haiti, Ghana, and Brazil to work in the fishing industry, mines, and plantations. FTS works hand in hand with partner organizations in these six countries to help people overcome the root causes that make them vulnerable prey for traffickers.
A world without slavery: it’s a goal that can be reached. In 2013, FTS freed 3,127 people from slavery and educated 18, 465 villagers to protect their families from traffickers. But governments, businesses, consumers, international organizations and people like you still need to join forces to expand the work of eradicating human trafficking.
Check out the U.N.’s information about human trafficking and encourage others to join the movement.