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Freedom Movement Challenges Americans to Stand up to Modern-Day Slavery and Take the Pledge to END IT

Group of Non-Profit Organizations Rally Behind END IT, a National Awareness Movement Aimed at Revealing 20-30 Million Slaves Worldwide

ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/01/13 -- END IT, a coalition of seven non-profit organizations aiming to shine a light on modern-day slavery, announced today the launch of its national awareness campaign on February 1. Fittingly taking place on National Freedom Day(1), 148 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States, the launch of the END IT Movement plans to expose the fact that there are more people enslaved around the world today than at any other time in history.(2) Designed to awaken Americans to slavery's prevalence, END IT aims to generate mass awareness for the organizations currently doing the work to rescue, restore and prevent modern-day slavery in America and around the world. Once awakened to the issue, the hope is for these individuals to move from awareness to action by taking the pledge to END IT on www.enditmovement.com.

"When most Americans hear the term 'slavery,' they think of a practice that ended with the Civil War," said coalition partner Gary Haugen, president and CEO of human rights agency International Justice Mission (IJM). "Sadly, that is not the case. The END IT Movement is shining light on the darkness of human trafficking and awakening our nation and the world to the reality that slavery lives on today."

It is estimated that between 20 million and 30 million slaves exist throughout the world today(3). END IT recognizes slavery as one person completely controlling another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control. Human trafficking, the modern-day slave trade, refers to the illegal trade of human beings through abduction, the use of threat or force, deception, fraud, or 'sale' for the purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor.(4) The U.S. Government estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States annually and there are currently 200,000 people in America who have been trafficked.(5)

The END IT Movement launches officially today on National Freedom Day, February 1, with a full-page ad in USA Today. The goal of the movement is to galvanize Americans from every aspect of culture -- including entertainment, media, sports and faith -- and challenge them to lend their voices to a synchronized global movement to stop slavery. END IT's message of freedom will also be supported by social media, a dedicated website, public service announcements (PSAs) with influencers, a dedicated advertising campaign, action kits and cross-country mobile activations.

"We are looking to raise awareness among the current generation and are asking for their commitment to carry the issue of slavery through the balance of their lives," said coalition partner Justin Dillon, CEO & founder of Made In A Free World, which launched an app that lets users enter their purchases and behaviors to learn how many slaves they 'own.' "We can't allow the traffickers to wait us out."

About END IT:

END IT is a coalition of seven non-profit organizations aimed to shine a light on slavery and show the world that the practice still exists. Its members include A21Campaign, Free the Slaves, Made in A Free World, Love146, International Justice Mission (IJM), Not For Sale and Polaris Project, all of which are working around the globe to rescue, restore and prevent human trafficking. For more information about these partners, visit www.enditmovement.com.

About END IT's Coalition Partners:

The A21 Campaign
The A21 Campaign prevents trafficking through awareness, education and protection of those who have been trafficked in addition to prosecuting traffickers.

Free the Slaves
Free the Slaves helps slaves break free and stay free in global trafficking hotspots, while changing systems that allow slavery to exist.

IJM is comprised of lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals, who work with local officials to rescue victims, prosecute perpetrators and protect the poor.

Made In a Free World
Made In a Free World provides businesses and consumers solutions to remove slavery from supply chains and uses the free market to free people.

Love 146 works to abolish child trafficking and exploitation through prevention and aftercare while contributing to a growing abolition movement.

Polaris Project
Polaris Project is one of the leading organizations in the fight against modern-day slavery and strives to transform the way the world responds to human trafficking.

Not for Sale
Not for Sale uses work on the ground and in mainstream supply chains and targets the root causes of slavery while equipping the movement for freedom.

1: U.S. Department of State Official Blog (2012) retrieved from: http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/national_freedom_day_2012
2. International Labor Organization, The Cost of Coercion Report (2009) retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/sapfl/Informationresources/ILOPublications/WCMS_106268/lang--en/index.htm
3. The CNN Freedom Project Rights group: 21 million now in forced labor (2012) retrieved from: http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/01/rights-group-21-million-now-in-forced-labor/
4. The CNN Freedom Project, The Facts: Slavery, human trafficking definitions (2011) retrieved from: http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/20/the-facts-slavery-human-trafficking-definitions/
5. National Association of Social Workers, Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery (2006) retrieved from: http://www.naswdc.org/diversity/affirmative_action/humanTraffic1206.PDF

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