The freedom stories of modern-day slaves are being shared around the world as businesses stand alongside those who have been exploited at the hands of others.
A wall featuring hundreds of padlocks has been unveiled at credit reporting company Experian’s Leeds office, with each open padlock representing a real life changed by anti-slavery charity Hope for Justice.
Businesses and organisations across the UK, including waste management company Biffa, as well as overseas, are setting up Freedom Walls – a feature created by Hope for Justice – to celebrate lives freed from misery and exploitation, and to help more people find freedom.
Each padlock bears a pseudonym name – to protect the victim’s identity – representing real lives, stories of hope, of children and adults rescued from slavery, or vulnerable people reintegrated with their families, of street children brought to safety, and more.
Sarah Rose, People Engagement Lead at Experian, said: “It was an incredibly amazing and humbling experience in our Leeds office.
“We heard all about how Experian is supporting the charity to help them in their campaign to bring an end to modern slavery.
“Many of the cases we heard about were in our local area, where we live, where we are raising our families. It was an emotional experience and I’m very proud to be part of an organisation that is supporting such a worthy cause.”
Building a Freedom Wall is a positive employee engagement activity, with an end product that shows a company’s commitment to working towards Hope for Justice’s vision to live in a world free from slavery.
The key message behind them is to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and to start conversations about this global issue, which is happening in rural villages and cities alike, and is often “hidden in plain sight.”
Tim Nelson, International Development Director at Hope for Justice, officially opened the latest Freedom Wall at Experian – the fifth of its kind to be opened at one of their UK offices.
He said: “I had the privilege of opening a Hope for Justice Freedom Wall, and sharing with the staff at Experian about the work that we do to help change lives and end slavery.
“These features are a great talking point, but more than that, they are visual statement that demonstrate a company’s or organisation’s commitment to taking a stand against this heinous crime.
“It’s fantastic to be partnering with this phenomenal business and we hope others will do likewise.”
To find out how you can set up a Freedom Wall, email firstname.lastname@example.org.