Despite the endeavors of so many countries and entities global slavery and human trafficking continues to expand. Victims are often hidden from plain view; in places of prostitution, in factories and farms, on fishing boats, in illegal establishments, and in private homes within cities and villages and slums where abject poverty is the norm. It is estimated that 29.8 million people are forced to live in slavery in the world today. This need cries out for an all-out war to end modern slavery. If anyone ought to be at the forefront of ending slavery it ought to be the Christian church.
To eradicate such slavery the Global Freedom Network was launched a few days ago at the Vatican. The GFN aims to eradicate slavery by encouraging governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labor. The goal is to end slavery by 2020. Can this happen? I have no idea but I am sure of this one thing – it cannot happen unless we intentionally try to make it happen.
The Global Freedom Network initiative is the brainchild of billionaire Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 to mobilize a grass-roots movement to end slavery.
Andrew Forrest, ranked 270th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, used personal contacts to bring the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church, 85-million strong Anglican Communion and al-Azhar university in Cairo, the world’s foremost seat of Sunni learning, into partnership with his initiative.
Representatives from all three gathered on Monday. March 17, at the Vatican to sign an agreement to launch the project, which will be based at the Vatican. The GFN will have a chief executive responsible for implementing a five-year business plan. Objectives include getting the G20 nations to condemn modern-day slavery, persuading 50 major corporations to commit to slavery-proofing their supply chains and convincing 160 governments to endorse a seven-year, $100 million fundraising effort to implement anti-slavery programs globally.
A wonderful post on this historic event can be accessed via Huffington Post.
I signed up last week to support this cause as an endorser and encourage my friends to do the same. Visit the GFN at this site.