To End Slavery Today, We Must Understand Our Past
Advocacy January marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month—when leaders, human rights activists, educators and everyday citizens work to raise awareness of the global endemic that is plaguing our many nations.
Despite the triumphant prose of our American history books, slavery didn’t end 150 years ago. Today, slavery takes many forms and an estimated 20.9 million people around the world continue to struggle for freedom from domestic servitude, sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, child labor and forced marriage.
New target, same abolition
Yet, as forms of slavery evolve, so do the imaginations of those fighting for freedom.
"We all have a role in ending slavery."
The need for abolition continues beyond the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865. Courageous freedom fighters continue to march alongside the enslaved, working to rescue and end exploitation. Their innovation and cooperation yield the victories—big and small—we celebrate today, as we work to make freedom a reality.
Fighting on multiple fronts
Hand in hand with these hands-on activists are those harnessing the power of awareness to educate the broader public about the silent injustices happening at home and abroad.
For instance, there is Invisible, the world's first museum-quality, permanent exhibition on the subjects of modern-day slavery and human trafficking; it explores the causes of slavery, the economic forces that have contributed to its growth, and the response of government, the justice system and the general public to this scourge.
Additionally, the online resource End Slavery Now illustrates the many ways everyday individuals can get involved in the fight, from volunteer opportunities to resource sharing to curating different opportunities to take action.