Various other fundraisers and events were held across the world to "shine a light" on modern day slavery, known as human trafficking, which comes in the forms of coerced or forced work or sex.
Today is "Shine A Light on Slavery" Day initiated by the End It Movement encouraging people to draw a red "x" on their hands and take a selfie, or share one of the graphics the organization has prepared using the hashtags #EndSlaveryAct and #EndItMovement. Since it's now 2017, we know those numbers have only increased. The hearing featured powerful testimony from actor Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of Thorn, and Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First, both sporting the END IT red X pin on their lapels. There's essentially two categories of modern-day slavery, sex trafficking and labor trafficking, but they're both horrific.
"As part of my anti-trafficking work, I've met victims in Russian Federation, I've met victims in India, I've met victims that have been trafficked from Mexico, victims from NY and New Jersey and all across our country".
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At the event, graduate of the Victory Through Grace Program, Samantha Hope, shared her story of overcoming child neglect and sex trafficking.
"This grassroots viral effort has been taking the world by storm, lighting a fire amongst people of all ages and creating a truly impassioned social movement", said Jenni Brown, END IT Movement Campaign Director. Wondering how to change your profile picture to a red X for Shine A Light On Slavery Day? Working with private sector donors and foreign governments the United States raising $1.5 billion that will go towards "the freeing and sustainable recovery of victims of modern slavery", as well as the prevention of individuals from enslavement.
The campaign was launched in 2013 as a way to support victims of human trafficking by educating people about the hidden signs while introducing them to resources available to victims.