'Amazing Grace' Film can Start Anti-Slavery Movement, World Vision Expert Says
World Vision's expert on human trafficking and exploitation issues says the film, Amazing Grace, has the potential to catalyse a movement to stop slavery that still exists today.
The film may have the power to encourage similar efforts today, according to Joe Mettimano, World Vision's director of public policy and a leading advocate on child exploitation issues. Mettimano notes that, first, people must become aware that the trade in human lives continues, and that ordinary citizens can work to put an end to it.
Amazing Grace traces the decades-long struggle of abolitionist William Wilberforce to end the African slave trade in the British Empire.
The film is know to be an inspiring account of the political, spiritual, and personal struggles of the abolitionist movement, and the defining moments in Wilberforce's life that compelled him to advocate for those suffering under slavery.
"When we think of slavery, we often fail to see that millions of children and women are systematically exploited in the commercial sex trade and domestic or bonded labour, many of them trafficked across borders," Mettimano says. "These present-day activities still enslave many vulnerable people around the world, fuelling what is estimated to be a multi-billion-dollar business."
As many as 800,000 people, mostly women and girls, are trafficked each year, according to US State Department figures.
Meanwhile, more than two million children are abused in the commercial sex trade. World Vision, a child-focused humanitarian organisation that works in nearly 100 countries, has a variety of programmes to protect and aid children and other vulnerable people.