Slavery Still Exists

By Christina Phillips on January 9, 2013

“In it to end it.” This was the motto at this year’s Passion 2013 Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. Sixty thousand college students gathered at the Georgia Dome to learn about and worship Jesus. Each year they have a cause for which they bring awareness and raise money. This year’s cause, along with last year’s, was slavery.

Photo credit: Christina Phillips

There are 27 million slaves in the world today. That is more than at any other point in our history. With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, most people assumed that meant an end to slavery globally. But that was not the case. Slavery still exists in 161 countries and the United States is no exception. There are about 200,000 slaves in the U.S. alone.

When most people think of slavery, they associate it with human trafficking and the sex industry. They are correct. But that is only one form of slavery. There are people being held in factories, on farms, and in other horrible conditions. Some are born into it and others are forced or tricked into slavery. The promise of a new life or job opportunity turns into forced slavery. The owners use violence and drugs to force the slaves into submission, especially sex slaves. Eighty percent of the slaves worldwide are women and 50% are children. So why do the majority of Americans not know this is still a problem?

This question prompted the “End It” movement. Louie Giglio, founder of the Passion Movement, headed the Passion Conference and brought this issue into the light. He introduced this issue last year to about 40,000 college students, myself included, and continued it this year to 60,000 students. Our hearts broke as we heard the numbers and listened to former slaves’ stories. We as college students and followers of Christ decided this issue was unacceptable. We were not okay with men, women, and children being born, sold, and living without freedom. It was time for change.

This year about 3 million dollars was raised by college students in four days to fund projects in the United States and around the world to help fight this epidemic. But that is not the end. College students have pledged to end it. They are determined to bring awareness to this issue. Their voices will be heard.

You can help. You can learn more about the End It movement and give a donation.

Join the movement on Facebook.

Video: Students Pledge to End Slavery and  Louie Giglio talking about the End It movement

The End It Movement’s mission statement: “We are here to shine a light on slavery. No more bondage. No more sex trafficking. No more child laborers. No more, starting now.”

I am a senior at Eckerd College majoring in Marine Science and minoring in Creative Writing. I love to write, read, travel, dance, and anything involving the ocean.

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