I recently attended an event in Los Angeles for leading investors and bankers from across the US where I spoke to a new acquaintance about the work I’ve done over the past decade in the anti-slavery movement.
“Slavery? “Like, actual slavery?”” my new friend, a top employee of the hosting firm, asked. He was stunned to learn the issue was one our world still grapples with in the twenty-first century.
My new friend was born in India, the country with more slaves today than any other nation in the world. I explained the issue in more depth to him and, despite the fact he was a well-educated, highly informed and global professional, he was shocked to hear of the chilling reality of the tens of millions who live in forced labour today.
The anti-slavery movement has come a long way in the last ten years. There has been wide-sweeping legislation and powerful prosecutions; companies aiding the cause by reforming their supply chains; and individuals demanding in ever growing numbers for greater global attention to the issue. I’ve been deeply encouraged by the strides that have been made, but my conversation with my new friend reminded me how much we still have to do, not just in action but also in awareness. The work to end modern slavery has only just begun, and I’m honoured to stand with The Anti-Slavery Collective in furthering that mission.