“My friend, my friend, she is 10 – two men tonight – mother, father sell. You come, you help, please…”
The heart behind why we opened
The reality is that slavery still thrives. It now encompasses people of all race, colour and age and has a new name – human trafficking. It robs people of all dignity, hope and a future.
There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today1. This is more than twice the number of people taken from Africa during the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade. Today’s slaves are not bought and sold at public auctions, nor do their owners hold legal title to them; yet they are just as trapped, controlled and brutalized as the slaves in our history books.
People become slaves because they are poor and vulnerable, and their basic rights are not protected. Lack of access to work, land, education and lack of enforcement of laws prohibiting the holding of people in bondage result in slavery. Slavery provides ’employers’ with a form of extremely cheap labour which they will fight to protect. A person who is poor and in need of money, perhaps for an emergency or because one of the family is ill, finds it hard to get a loan. The only option is to pledge their labour to repay their debt. Some resort to selling one of their children. Slavery is illegal in virtually every country worldwide.