If you thought slavery was abolished in the UK in 1834 you are very much mistaken! With more than 2.5 million people trafficked every year, human trafficking is the world's third-largest criminal industry after illegal drugs and guns, with a staggering 1.2 million children and young people are estimated to be trafficked each year and sexually abused.
The aim of Anti-Slavery Day is for people in the UK to acknowledge that despite the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade over 200 years ago men, women and children continue to be victims of the modern-day slavery. The day will help to raise awareness of the dangers of modern-day slavery, including human trafficking and exploitation, and encourage people to be proactive in the fight against it. ECPAT UK believes that Anti-Slavery Day provides a great opportunity to shine a light on the largely hidden yet brutal crime of human trafficking being committed against adults and children in the UK and overseas today.
The Body Shop launched a petition in July calling for the UK Government to offer safety and wellbeing to young victims of sex trafficking, in particular specifically calling for greater care and protection to child victims of trafficking by ensuring every child is provided with a guardian to look after them. The petition is part of the "Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People" campaign - if you haven't already signed up, please click here to sign the petition.
The Body Shop and ECPAT International believe that a key step towards stopping this modern-day slave trade is to raise public support and participation, which, in turn, encourages governments to take action and effect change.