Celebrities call to end modern slavery to mark Anti-Slavery International’s 175th anniversary

23 September 2014

anti-slavery poster saying 'together against slavery today'

Fundraising ball to mark the anniversary on Saturday 27 September in Grosvenor House, London

Distinguished names from the world of film, fashion, music, art, and sport will gather on 27th September to mark 175th anniversary of the world’s oldest international human right organisation Anti-Slavery International and to call on the public to urgently support the campaign to end modern day slavery.
We are delighted to have support from Steve McQueen, especially after his recent Oscar success, as well as other patrons of the organisation such as Judi Dench, Jerry Hall, Hugh Quarshie and Shakira Caine. Boris Becker, Katherine Hamnett, Ozwald Boateng and Xara Vaughan are amongst the well-known names expected to attend the event.

Anti-Slavery International was founded in 1839 by the abolitionists on the back of the successful campaign to abolish slavery in the British colonies. Throughout the years the organisation has been instrumental in ending many forms of slavery in many different corners of the world and protecting the rights of the most vulnerable.

However, today there are still 21 million people in modern forms of slavery such as bonded labour, forced labour, trafficking, forced marriage, domestic servitude or child slavery. Many of these abuses affect the public as it taints the supply chain of producers of every day good that end up on the shelves of our high street shops.

Anti-Slavery Internationals aims to end all those forms of slavery and is working all over the world to bring the governments and businesses to account for their efforts to end them, as well as working with local communities to empower them to claim their own rights and sustain their efforts to live in freedom.
This year’s ball celebrates 175 years of experience and expertise in this complex area as well as the countless number of individuals whose lives have been transformed by Anti- Slavery International’s holistic interventions.

Oscar winning director for ’12 Years A Slave’ and Anti-Slavery patron Steve McQueen said:

‘Right now, there are Solomon Northups in every region of the world who have been taken away from their families and placed in slavery, just like in my film.’
‘Governments lack the political will and the moral courage to address its underlying causes and businesses remain faithful to the old mantra of maximising profits whatever the human cost. But it is us who allow them to get away with it.

‘If we don’t change our way of thinking and get fully behind modern anti-slavery campaigners, in 175 years from now someone will make a film about our ambivalence to slavery.  We have to do something about it.So join Anti-Slavery today and support their work.

Oscar winning actor and Anti-Slavery patron Judi Dench said:

‘Trafficking of children into forced labour and other forms of modern slavery is an urgent problem and we need to support the work of Anti-Slavery to stop these abuses.

‘With 175 years of experience Anti-Slavery are the best placed to lead today’s abolitionist movement as they did  so many years ago  in the fight against the transatlantic slave trade.’

Director of Anti-Slavery International Aidan McQuade said:

‘Much of the low cost consumer-centric lifestyle that we enjoy today in the West is built on the suffering of people in slavery. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat. We have a responsibility to start questioning the origins of what we consume and say no to slavery around the world.
‘If we all come together we can make big changes happen and bring all forms of modern slavery to an end.But if we are to make a significant change we need resource and energy. This event is only one step forward but I hope it will encourage others to join the Anti-Slavery campaign’.

To become Anti-Slavery member visit www.antislavery.org/membership.
To donate to Anti-Slavery International visit: www.antislavery.org/donate.
To join Anti-Slavery campaigns visit: www.antislavery.org/campaigns.

The event will take place on Saturday 27 September at 7pm in the The Ballroom, Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, W1.
To find out more about the event or to arrange an interview please contact Anti-Slavery International Press Officer Jakub Sobik on 0207 501 8934, mobile 07789 936 383 or at j.sobik@antislavery.org.