We want to change that.
We want to change that.
More people are enslaved today than at any time in human history. In no country is the practice legal, yet its injustice continues to leave no country or community unaffected. Modern slavery is hidden in red light districts and factories, on fishing boats and farms, through our supply chains and even within our homes.
Slavery’s many labels include human trafficking, forced and bonded labor, sex trade, debt bondage, and domestic servitude. Its tragedy most often affects the vulnerable – men, women, and children alike. Ultimately, modern slavery is characterised by the denial of a basic freedom and human dignity when a victim is exploited for economic or personal gain.
It is estimated that over a quarter of the millions of people trapped in slavery today are under the age of 18. Minors are too often the most vulnerable in society and subject to the worst kinds of abuses. Children are sold for sex, trafficked into orphanages to impress donors, and worked long hours for little to no pay in factories, workshops, farms and hotels. At 24 Hour Race we empower young people in Asia to make a difference in the lives of young people across the globe affected by slavery. Our by youth, for youth model is a powerful tool to mobilize funds and awareness against this tragedy.
Our philanthropy continues to address the trafficking of children in Nepal and India, two hotspots in today’s slavery crisis in need of further attention and resources. Working in partnership with the Esther Benjamin’s Trust, our support resulted in a ban on child labor in Indian circuses, effectively closing an established trafficking route of Nepali children into India. Our focus on vulnerable youth in Nepal has extended into its orphanages and child homes. Poor, rural families are manipulated into sending their children to the city for an education and a brighter future, but these children end up in orphanages, abused and paraded around to leverage money from well-intentioned donors. As we bring the 24 Hour Race to new cities, we are also beginning to support children trafficked into Malaysia and those exploited for labor and sex in Vietnam.
victims of slavery worldwide today.
of slavery victims today are women and girls.
of slavery victims are under 18 years of age.
victims are helped annually.
convictions of traffickers annually.
When we think of slavery, we think of shackles and chains, the powerful, visible signs of ownership and domination. Yet today slavery is better defined by fraud, coercion, debt bondage, and threats of violence, the mechanisms by which modern slaves are manipulated into exploitation.
As freedom becomes a more universal value in our world, that very same world provides ever more opportunities to deny another human being their agency and dignity in order to leverage personal or economic gain. We can no longer tolerate this assault on justice.
Poverty, economic development, lack of education, inequality, access to health care, globalisation - these realities yield countless millions in deeply vulnerable situations. For hope, for their children, and for a chance at a better future, these people are willing to take great risk in search of opportunity. And from the vulnerable come those who are trafficked and enslaved.
Their stories rarely appear in news headlines and their pain is difficult to detect from the street. Slavery today is hidden in red light districts, behind closed factory doors, on distant fishing boats and farms, within homes and embedded in extensive, global supply chains. We have a chance to give a voice to the voiceless, to prove our solidarity with their humanity and right to freedom.
35 million slaves is a drag not just on our conscience, but on our collective future. These are 35 million minds that cannot contribute to an increasingly dynamic, innovative global economy, and 35 million consumers that don’t participate in the market.
Exploiting slave labor suppresses wages of legitimate workers, hinders equitable economic development, and distorts the costs we pay for goods and services. In this way modern slavery makes us all complicit in the worst abuse imaginable against a human being. Let’s make a change.