Thursday, 31 July 2014

"Slavery is closer than you think" - 31st July

Today has seen the launch of the Modern Slavery campaign ( to raise awareness and help victims of slavery. This reinforces the aim of the William Wilberforce Monument Fund to not only “light the monument” but also to “light the message”. Our message is that slavery exists around the world today and the UK is not immune to it. Our campaign is homegrown and was started to remember past achievements of this city and start a conversation about current issues around slavery.

Wilberforce and his fellow abolitionists around the world started us off along the road but somewhere along the line, their efforts have been undermined and it is for each of us to do what we can to support their efforts and make them count.  

It is difficult to admit that slavery exists in this country and yet it does. The Human Trafficking Foundation suggests that more than 20,000 people are working in slavery in the UK. In this country the most common forms are in agriculture, brothels and domestic roles. The estimated 29 million people still enslaved around the world tells us that there is much to be done and that there is a moral call to do something.

Help us in our campaign to light the monument and draw attention to the fact that Hull was instrumental in starting the path to abolition, and that Hull recognises the need for the world to do more to realise the Wilberforce ethos of freedom and fairness.

Past blog entries (21st April and 8th June) mention issues around the Modern Slavery Bill but more than ever as we become more informed, it becomes imperative that the politicians play their part and move to get this bill through parliament before the next general election.

Please continue to support us - all fundraising is welcome. Homage to the Emancipator, the book about how the monument was built and moved is now in Waterstones in Hull and at the University branch, priced £5.99. Go out, get yourself a copy and support the campaign!

Image taken from the Tumblr page of California-based anti-slavery organisation Made In A Free World.