Today, 18 October, is Anti-Slavery Day across the UK. Hope for Justice, a global charity working to eliminate modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society, has issued a call for more people to join the abolitionist movement.
The charity’s CEO, Ben Cooley, welcomed the reiteration by Prime Minister Theresa May this month of her determination to ensure the UK leads the world in the fight against modern slavery, and praised the efforts of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland.
Ben Cooley said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank our supporters, our regular givers, our friends, and the businesses that work with us to address slavery in their supply chains. I want to thank the government agencies and non-government agencies for their work, and I want to thank Theresa May and Kevin Hyland here in the UK, who are working to see the end of slavery draw nearer. You are heroes, and we at Hope for Justice celebrate every single one of you for your efforts to bring about its end.
“We want to live in a world free from slavery. I want to live in a world free from slavery. I’m sick and tired of hearing about children, men, women sold into exploitation. We are in this to end it. If today you have not yet joined the abolition movement, if you haven’t lent your resources to this fight, I want to invite you personally. Today is a great day to join us.”
Hope for Justice recently published its Year In Review, which highlighted remarkable successes and statistics for 2015/16, including a record number of rescues in the UK: 134. Our professional staff engaged with nearly half of the police forces in England and Wales, and trained more than 3,000 people in positions where they are most likely to come into contact with victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. These included staff from councils, the Crown Prosecution Service, the NHS, businesses and other charities.
The charity also announced a fresh push to eliminate slavery at its source, by helping more businesses cut it out of their supply chains. Hope for Justice’s trainers and investigators have been working with a number of high-profile companies to ensure they are alert and aware to the reality of slavery and human trafficking. Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, businesses with a turnover above £36m must publish a statement outlining what they are doing to ensure there is no slavery in their supply chains, but Hope for Justice says that all companies have a moral obligation to be at the forefront of this fight.
In her speech at Westminster Abbey on 12 October to commemorate the work of pioneering abolitionist William Wilberforce, attended by Hope for Justice’s European programme director Neil Wain, Theresa May said: “This is a global phenomenon that knows no geographical boundaries, crossing not just borders but over the internet. So we need a radical domestic and international approach to target every aspect of this despicable trade and strip the slave drivers of the profit they make out of human suffering by putting them behind bars.
“Every one of us must now act. And we must do so resolutely.”
To mark Anti-Slavery Day, Hope for Justice supporters are sharing the below message on social media, and telling people that achieving our vision is possible:
If you share our vision, let your friends and family know by spreading this graphic on your social media networks.