I am not for sale

My name is David Westlake and I am not for sale. But twenty seven million people in the world today have been sold.

God first got my attention on this issue when I was walking down a well lit shopping street in Thailand and a girl who I later found out was 14 asked me if I wanted to have sex with her. Her opening price was £7. I shudder to think what I could have negotiated her down to. I had the freedom to walk away. She didn’t.

Of the 27 million modern slaves, 70% are women, 50% are children. They are slaves in brothels and the sex industry, factories and sweatshops, agricultural fields and in domestic labour. They are traded for their body parts.

The one thing the 27 million have in common is that they are poor. Being poor makes the vulnerable to the false offers of a better life and for to the traffickers. As well as providing help for the victims of trafficking we can fight poverty in order to reduce the vulnerability of poor people. In 2000 the rich nations committed to halve world poverty by 2015 as the most fitting way to mark the millennium. This autumn we are asking our leaders to remember their promises despite the recent financial turmoil.

The other thing that the 27 million slaves have in common is that they are made in Gods image. They are infinitely valuable. They are not for sale.

So far this summer 7000 young people have declared that no one should be for sale and asked the UK government to remember their promise to the poor. Will you add your voice?