This Sunday, March 25th, is Freedom Day, a day to celebrate the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. Freedom Day is not just a celebration of history however, but is also a moment to be inspired by the champions of the past to help us fight for freedom from the bondage of slavery through people trafficking.
Did you know that today at least 12.3 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide, of which 2.4 million are as a result of people trafficking?
This weekend provides a great opportunity to think about today’s issues associated with slavery and human trafficking as well as celebrating the achievement of Wilberforce and others 200 years ago. I myself will be spending time with my family, explaining to my four children why this anniversary is important and thinking with them about oppression in today’s world, and how we, especially as Christians, should treat people.
There are plenty of ways to get involved with Freedom Day this weekend, whether through an organised event or through finding your own way to engage. Stop the Traffik has an excellent website that will help you to explore the issue, point you to local events, and help you think about what you might want to do – you can access this website by clicking here.
You may have seen Steve Chalke and Daniel Bedingfield highlighting some of the issues on Heaven and Earth on BBC1 on 11th March. One thing in particular that they talked about was the enormous problem of the trafficking of children to work on cocoa farms in Cote D’Ivoire – cocoa which may be used to make the chocolate that you may even be buying this weekend in the run-up to Easter. One response that you might like to consider making in response to Freedom Day is deciding to support the Stop the Traffik chocolate campaign, choosing to only eat Fair Trade chocolate, which is guaranteed ‘traffik free’. For more information about this campaign, please click here.
I’d love to hear how you celebrate Freedom Day and take a stand to cry freedom for every human caught in trafficking around the world. Do let me know…..