At this moment in time there are around 46 million people trapped in some form of slavery (1). 46 million people. This is equivalent to the entire population of Spain (2).
We can read these figures and feel overwhelmed at the seemingly insurmountable task of ending modern day slavery and exploitation. You may be asking, what could I possibly do to change things? What difference could I make?
The truth is you can make all the difference, and on behalf of every survivor of slavery, we are asking for your help.
We all have something to give. You may not have much time, you may not have much money, but you have something to give and you can make a difference. The only way that we will end modern day slavery is if we all take action. And if you need ideas, here are some practical things you can do today:
- You can talk – tell your friends, tell your family, tell your colleagues. Let’s raise awareness and add to the numbers of those taking a stand against exploitation. If you can’t do anything else on this list, commit to this one.
- You can shop ethically – how many slaves were involved in making the t-shirt you are wearing? Research has highlighted that around 15% of all clothing in our stores is imported to the UK from countries rated as at ‘severe risk’ of modern day slavery (3). The Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 demands that any large business in the UK must publish an annual slavery and trafficking statement, documenting the steps taken to ensure there is no slavery in any part of their business (4). The demand for companies to be transparent in their supply chains empowers us to choose where we spend our money and to make ethical choices.
- You can volunteer – there are so many amazing charities and organisations that need your help and your skills, whether you are a lawyer, a social worker, a writer, an administrator or just great at befriending others.
- You can give – charities rely on the financial support of those who believe in their vision and their work. You can set up regular giving and use your resources to sustain organisations that are making a direct impact on the lives of survivors of slavery.
- You can pray – if you are the praying type, then pray for divine intervention in the lives of those trapped in slavery, for strategies for our politicians, and for wisdom for all those workers on the front lines.
The thing is, we need your help. We just need you to do something. And when you add your something to my something, then together we can do great things.
Together we truly can make a difference and we can be one step closer to ending exploitation and slavery in our lifetime.
Are you up for it?
By Karen Hutchison