100X is invited to Participate in Anti-Slavery Day in the UK

Pictured L to R: Philip Cameron (Stella’s Voice), Mr. Anthony Steen (Chairman of the Human Trafficking Foundation), Rt Hon John Bercow (Speaker of the House of Commons), Mr. Peter Bone (Member of Parliament; Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking), Lindy Blanchard, and John Blanchard.

In 1833, the British Parliament abolished slavery in (most of) the British Empire via the Slavery Abolition Act.  Thirty-two years later, the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States.  According to our laws, both countries do not sanction slavery. We thought slavery was abolished in the 19th century, yet today there are tens of thousands of people enslaved in these two countries alone.

Frederick Douglas, a former slave and abolitionist said, “They would not call it slavery, but some other name. Slavery has been fruitful in giving herself names … and it will call itself by yet another name; and you and I and all of us had better wait and see what new form this old monster will assume, in what new skin this old snake will come forth.” He was right. Today we call it “human trafficking,” and once again, we must expose this practice and declare it unacceptable.

We are grateful that there are leaders in both the US and the United Kingdom that are working to protect victims and prevent children from being traded as commodities, and last week, we were privileged to stand beside some of them.

Just this past week, by invitation from the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honorable John Bercow and Mr. Peter Bone, a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, 100X Founders John and Lindy Blanchard traveled to the UK to mark Anti-Slavery Day.  Over the course of two days, they attended the Parliamentarians Against Human Trafficking Conference and met with leaders from Parliament and the Council of Europe to discuss how we can leverage our resources and work together to end human trafficking across the globe.  It is evident that these leaders are committed to this fight, and we are honored to stand with them with great expectation of what is to come.

WHAT WE’RE DOING TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today—generating $31.6 billion annually.  Each year more than 1.5 million children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, and it is estimated that 99% are never rescued.  The innocence of childhood is exchanged for the profit of others.  This is a crime that knows no boundaries—whether geographic, ethnic, or socio-economic—but the most vulnerable are those who have no one to speak for them.  On five continents, we are working on the front lines to prevent children from falling victim to this horrific crime.

Protection and Empowerment. To date, we have partnered with nonprofits across the globe to build 31 houses for orphans and vulnerable children, and in 2011, more than 500 children were reached. Each of our programs provides a safe and loving home environment where children are able to complete their education and learn life skills that will provide the foundation for a hopeful and productive future.  Our work protects the most vulnerable children by providing access to caring adults, educational support, health care and job training.

We recognize that entrapment in human trafficking is often the result of poverty and lack of resources, so we have also established a consortium of university partners who are working with us to develop education and workforce development programs, as well as opportunities for continued education at the university level.

Education and Mobilization.  In a speech before the House of Commons in 1791, William Wilberforce stated, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.” We are committed to exposing the evil of human trafficking, and providing resources for those who choose not to look away. The criminal network working to ensure the continuation of this exploitation is strong, and complete abolition will require engagement at all levels—from students to heads of State.

5 WAYS YOU CAN HELP END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

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