By Emily Reed – Fashion PR student
Like many awareness days that have been created in the past few years, Anti Slavery Day hopes to raise awareness of an issue that is happening in modern life right now. Anti Slavery Day was created with the aim to bring this subject to the forefronts of peoples minds in the hope to eliminate this dreadful, inhumane crime against individuals.
This particular awareness day is relatively young in comparison to other awareness days we support, it was created just six years ago in 2010. Despite its slight lack in majority, it’s message couldn’t be more important!
Modern day slavery is a huge issue and one that simply shouldn’t be happening in this day and age. I for one am disgusted and embarrassed that I live in a world where such issues still exist. Don’t get me wrong slavery was never okay, but I had hoped (obviously slightly prematurely) that this was a disgusting part of our past, I obviously had a little too much faith in human kind and assumed such crimes against humanity no longer existed.
The fact is slavery isn’t in the past, it’s very much in the now and will continue to be in our future as well if something isn’t done about it!
These acts of cruelty surely don’t happen in the UK you ask? Well, that is where you are mistaken. Forms of slavery are happening in most corners of the world as we speak. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and still very much exists in the UK, along with forced labour, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.
Just two years ago The Homes Office estimated that there were roughly between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern day slavery living in the UK at the time of investigation and a disturbing 45 million around the world.
A new legislation, The Modern Slavery Act 2015, was a significant and positive move in the UK’s approach to modern slavery. But is it enough? The year after the The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced it was reported that 289 modern slavery offences had been prosecuted. You could argue that thats 289 lives saved and yes I agree, however to me that seems like such a small percentage of the estimated offences.
How is it that some human lives are treated so poorly and with such little respect? Some people are trapped in modern day slavery because they were fleeing from one dangerous and hostile environment straight into the arms of another. Many are simply attempting to better their lives and prospects but are instead put in these unimaginable, callous and brutal situations with little hope of ever escaping. I’m sure (and I hope) that you can all join me in saying how can a human life be projected to such brutality?
As my mum has always said to me, ‘life can be cruel’, and i couldn’t agree with her more right now as I read case study after case study of true horror stories. Some individuals fooled by false promises and confined to a life of misery and viciousness. Some just young children that should be dreaming of growing up, experiencing new wonders and fulfilling their childhood dreams, instead have little to no hope of ever escaping slavery.
How is it that we find ourselves leading the ban on slavery once again? Why was it left to ever get this bad in the first place?
Join the conversation tomorrow and help to eradicate this hateful plague – #AntiSlaveryDay
If you think someone you know is in danger you should be encouraged to call the police or the Modern Slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700.