Modern-day slavery is not often talked about, but we’ve learned that people all over the world are passionate about stopping the problem.
We’ve received more than 100 pledges from people in dozens of countries. Of those, we’ve spoken to 50 submitters and found that our audience is committed to educating themselves and those around them about sexual exploitation and forced labor beginning with a simple message:
"I’m taking a stand to end slavery."
In Queens, New York, Ramel Sumter was intrigued by the concept that "a simple photograph taken by individuals and shared with other individuals bolstered by a platform as large as CNN could help shed light on a serious issue like modern day slavery."
Tanya Baity, a home care nurse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote her pledge backwards, "because I want to be reminded every time I look in the mirror that slavery is still real in this world, and that I can choose to fight or, or to contribute to it by doing nothing."
She went on to say, "It breaks my heart when I hear about men, women, and children in slavery around the world, especially when so many people think that slavery ended in the late 1800s. If good people do nothing, the bad guys win."
The Freedom Project has sparked discussions about child labor between parents and children, and teachers and students. Rachel Hanna of Melbourne, Australia, explained to her young boys "that there are people out there who have no choice about their lives, who are taken from the people and places they love and are forced to work for people who care nothing about them."
It may seem like a small step, but taking the pledge is one concrete way we can spread the word about an issue of which most of the public is unaware. Together, by forming a community of people committed to this issue, we hope to make a difference in future Freedom Project challenges.
Have you taken a stand to end slavery? What are you waiting for?