25 March 2007 – Freedom Day

Are you still wearing your chains? A number of corps have already had a chance to talk about why they are wearing them. On 25th March 1807, in the House of Lords, Lord Grenville successfully argued that the salve trade was “contrary to the principles of justice, humanity, and sound policy”. The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed on that day, though it was not until 1833 that it came fully into force across the British Empire.

Nearly 200 years later on the 23rd April 2006 the United Nations stated that efforts to fight “the global problem of human trafficking” were being hampered because no-one knows exactly how many people are being sold into modern-day slavery, though 127 countries (mainly in Africa and Eastern Europe) are sending new slaves to at least 137 countries around the world. William

Wilberforce and his evangelical contemporaries desired to see all people living in freedom. But slavery was big business 200 years ago and still is today. Steve Chalke set up the “Stop the Traffick” campaign to heighten awareness of 21st century slavery and aims to build up a global coalition of faith groups, schools, charities, community groups, clubs and businesses who will support those already involved in this work. Richard Branson, Daniel Bedingfield, Anita Roddick and William Hague are among the celebrities supporting Stop the Traffick.

Freedom Day on 25th March 2007 is our time to challenge the world to Remember, Reflect and Respond so that this abuse of millions of people world wide can come to an end. Events will be held across the world on “Freedom Day”, “It’s not so much a celebration of history as a drawing of inspiration from the champions of the past for the challenge of the future as we fight for freedom from the bondage of traffiking for every human being.” - Steve Chalk. Additionally millions of signatures are being collected around the world as part of the Stop the Traffick Declaration, which will be presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

If you want to know more or to sign the Stop the Traffik Declaration see the web site http://www.stopthetraffik.org