Recently, beloved athlete Sir Mo Farah revealed to the public for the first time that he was illegally trafficked to the UK and forced to work as a domestic servant.
It was reassuring to witness the outpouring of support the Olympic gold-medallist received but his revelations also proved a poignant reminder that slavery and trafficking is still very much a reality in our modern world.
It serves as the perfect time to highlight the work of the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) – a global, action-driven network of Rotarians working together to abolish modern slavery.
Despite the common notion that slavery is a thing of the past, there are currently 40.3 million people in forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced marriages worldwide.
Through this documentary I have been able to address and learn more about what happened in my childhood and how I came to the UK. I'm really proud of it and hope you will tune into @BBC at 9pm on Weds to watch. pic.twitter.com/rqZe41gFm8
— Sir Mo Farah (@Mo_Farah) July 11, 2022
Mo Farah has a documentary that will be on BBC iPlayer delving further into his past as a victim of human trafficking.
Trafficking victims such as Sir Mo are commonly lured away from their homes on false promises and are then trapped doing forced labour – an industry that earns $150 billion every year, the equivalent of over $4,750 per second.
As brutal as the situation is for millions around the globe, there is hope of abolishing modern slavery and RAGAS wants to be a part of that mission by empowering Rotarians to engage their communities to eradicate modern slavery.
As International Justice Mission Founder Gary Haugen said: “For the first time in human history, there is a generation alive that could bring an end to slavery as a force in human affairs. In thousands of years this has never been possible before but now, on your patch of history, it is possible.”
RAGAS’s plan is to connect their members who are passionate about ending human trafficking/modern slavery and then equipping them with the easily accessible, relevant resources to create community awareness.
This video on the Rotary GB&I YouTube channel details what Rotary Action Groups, including RAGAS, are doing to tackle the world’s largest issues.
RAGAS have developed a Community Awareness and Prevention Education (CAPE) Plan to act as the catalyst for community projects fighting against slavery which are easily accessible on their website.
So far, RAGAS and its members have completed anti-slavery projects all over the world in collaboration with grass root organisations such as South East Asia Coalition against Child Servitude (India), Free the Slaves (USA) and Rescue Mission for Children (Thailand).
The organisation recently had reason to celebrate as the Rotary International Board decided to adopt Resolution 21R-28 which “requests the RI Board to consider encouraging all Rotarians to oppose the growing problem of modern-day slavery”.
If you are a Rotarian who wants to be part of the mission to abolish every form of modern slavery, then becoming a member of RAGAS is a more-than-worthy commitment.
Find out all the ways you can get involved in helping victims reclaim their freedom and become a RAGAS member here.