Students in 27 hour human trafficking protest

Students have organised a 27 hour demonstration, to raise awareness about the 27 million victims of human trafficking worldwide.

JustLove, a Christian student group, took turns to stand in central Oxford last weekend to encourage people to demand that clothing and food supplies be free of trafficking. Over 1,000 people signed two petitions, one calling for an end to trafficking, and another calling for the United Nations’s 2015 Development Goals to focus on reinforcing public justice systems.

The event, entitled ‘Stand for Freedom’, was originally suggested by the charity International Justice Mission.

Hannah Coate, a student at Jesus College, organised the 27 hour protest. She said, “The idea of Stand For Freedom came from the charity International Justice Mission who send lawyers, investigators and after-care professionals to countries all around the world who then work with local police forces and lawyers to rescue victims of trafficking and prosecute traffickers.”

She continued, “We thought that by taking it in turns to stand in the centre of Oxford for 27 hours over a busy weekend, we would be able to draw attention to the problem of trafficking and encourage people to demand that clothing and food supply chains be free from trafficking.”

Coate commented that the event was success. “We were also able to talk to people who had never heard of human trafficking and who were shocked to hear the statistics and about the extent of trafficking in seafood and cotton industries especially.”

JustLove’s campaign will continue in Michaelmas, when students will be called to engage with the Modern Slavery Bill, which is currently being debated in the Commons.