Summer 2024

Sports figures join END IT Movement to help end slavery

A picture really is worth a thousand words, and sometimes it can possibly save lives.

Thousands of sports figures, celebrities, influential people and everyday citizens used their social media platform on Thursday to kick off the END IT Movement’s annual global campaign by posting photos with a red X on their hand. The movement seeks to shine a light on modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

An estimated 40.3 million men, women and children are forced into various forms of slavery, according to the END IT Movement, adding that there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history.

“Born out of the belief that even one person trapped in slavery is too many, #ENDITMOVEMENT is a coalition of the leading organizations in the world in the fight for freedom,” the organization’s website states. “Each of our amazing coalition partners are doing the work, on the ground, every day, to bring awareness prevention, rescue, and restoration. Joined by students and Senators, Nonprofits and Fortune 500s, END IT is each of us standing for what’s right until the number of men, women, and children suffering in silence moves from 40 million, to ZERO.”

Organizations that make up the coalition include A21Campaign, Made in a Free World, ECPAT USA, Not for Sale, Free the Slaves, Polaris Project, International Justice Mission (IJM), World Relief, Love 146, World Vision, As Our Own, Bombay Teen Challenge, The Exodus Road, Hagar, Hope for Justice, The Salvation Army, and Street Grace.

“Ending slavery is one of the few things we can all agree on as a nation,” Jenni Brown, END IT Movement Campaign Director, told PR Newswire. “No matter your political beliefs, slavery is a fundamental violation of human rights, and we must END IT. Each year this campaign grows in awareness and we are gratified to see this issue receive the widespread global attention it deserves.”