We affirm freedom, not only as the absence of exploitation and fear, but as a positive quality which engenders right relationships and the potential for flourishing.
Yet, slavery is more widespread today than ever before. Human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage and child marriage bind millions in chains. Exploitation is woven not only into corrupt governments, but into the clothes we wear. Slavery profits are not just poured into distant economies but our coffee cups.
This demands both personal and collective action, by examining our own slavery footprints and by mobilizing our circles of influence to demand specific, effective change.
I found the prospect of human trafficking so horrific as a teenager that I didn’t give it more than a cursory glance, but this summer I decided that wasn’t good enough any more. I watched a documentary about the global sex trade: ‘Nefarious: Merchant of Souls’, and I simply couldn’t handle it. Halfway through I hit pause, shut my laptop, and just cried and cried. Then I thought about the mere fact that I could press pause and look away when millions of people are living this as their reality, and I cried more.
In my final year at Cambridge I've started a project called 'Treated Right' (http://treatedright.org/) to raise £800 each term for charities which fight against slavery and exploitation, and to help students to engage with the issues for themselves. The more I read about the reality of what's going on, the more it hurts.
I long to see a world which is free from slavery. I believe in the inherent value of every person, made and loved by a God who demands: 'Let my people go.'