International Justice Mission Cornell held a drop-in call session to petition their congressmen and women to protect funds aimed at ending modern-day slavery on Thursday.
IJMC organized the event to protect the funding guaranteed to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery by the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act, passed in 2016.
“We want to make sure that funding the EMSI and helping fight slavery is at the front of [our government’s agendas],” Isis Encinas ’20, co-president of IJMC, told The Sun.
At the event in Goldwin Smith Hall, IJMC provided a script and a phone number for students asking their senators and representatives to maintain and protect funding for this initiative.
Participants in Thursday’s call session were moved by IJMC’s mission and initiative to contact members of Congress.
“It’s a direct connection between people and government representatives,” said Samwise Parkinson ’20, who left a message for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “It’s important for citizens to make their voices heard about this issue.”
According to a video shown at the event, more than 40 million people are currently victims of modern-day slavery. The Facebook event page noted that as per the 2016 Global Slavery Index, there are more people enslaved today than ever before.
Given these statistics, Evelyn Shan ’19, IJMC co-president, stresses the need for students to advocate for protection of anti-slavery funds.
“In general, our goal with events is really to spread awareness on campus,” Shan said. “We want to mobilize students becauses a lot of people care about this, and desire to see this accountability at higher levels.”
IJMC also plans to hold more campaigns against cheap clothing throughout the semester.
“Our next event we’re planning is a thrift clothing exchange,” Shan said. “A big part of forced labor is for cheap clothing in the consumer industry, so we want to raise awareness for conscientious consumerism.”