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Stand for Freedom: students hold anti-slavery event outside Sir Duncan Rice Library.

It is estimated that over 40 million people worldwide are currently enslaved, according to Anti-Slavery International.


By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Picture courtesy of Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco


Last Monday, members of Just Love, a Christian social justice student organisation, sought to raise awareness about this vital issue.


The group marked UK Anti-Slavery Day by participating in Stand for Freedom, an event designed to bring issues of modern slavery to the forefront of students’ minds.


Standing outside the library for nearly 12 hours, students distributed over 600 leaflets about modern slavery, engaging dozens of conversations with passersby.

The event highlighted the work of International Justice Mission (IJM), an organisation that works to rescue people from slavery around the world.

Zephaniah Petit, a second-year student who participated in Stand for Freedom, said:


“Being a politics student, slavery is often talked about and looked at; however it is usually seen as a problem of yesterday, not of the present. This is a grave mistake as it is just as prominent today as it has been throughout history. I wanted to show solidarity for all of those who are currently enslaved and let people know that the fight against slavery is not over.”


Free, ethical chocolate from Tony’s Chocolonely was also given away, along with Fairtrade teas, coffees and biscuits.


Rachel Sunter, a third-year music student, also commented:


“Modern-day slavery is something that the more I hear about the more I'm shocked and angry I didn't already know. Even though it seems like such a big issue and there's nothing we can do - there is. I got involved to try to spread the word about what we can actually do.”


In December, Just Love will host Dressember, a fundraiser for IJM.


Students are encouraged to wear dresses or ties throughout the entire month to raise funds and awareness for this important issue.