Many will take to Facebook tomorrow to change their profile pictures to feature a red X. But you might not be aware of the reason.
The red Xs belong to the End It Movement, dedicated to ending modern-day slavery by partnering with leading organizations throughout the world, and raising over $4 million since 2013.
To honor the movement’s “Shine a Light on Slavery Day,” members of Congress, as well as celebrities like anti-trafficking activist Ashton Kutcher, are expected to mark their profiles with a red X, according to Refinery 29.
Kutcher, who co-founded Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, attended last week’s End Modern Slavery hearing, held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he gave emotional testimony against the issues he’s witnessed firsthand.
“I’m here today to defend the right to pursue happiness. It’s a simple notion…I believe that it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this nation, as Americans, to bestow that right upon others, upon each other, and upon the rest of the world.”
According to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who introduced the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act two years ago, 27 million people are currently enslaved in human trafficking and forced labor—the highest it’s ever been in history.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) February 22, 2017
At the hearing, Corker called Kutcher’s work “inspirational.”
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) February 15, 2017
Kutcher also praised the committee for its bipartisanship in combatting the issue, and emphasized the importance of using technology to help find victims. With the help of software, Thorn has identified over 6,000 victims in six months, helping 900 law enforcement agencies and cutting down investigation time by 60 percent, Kutcher said.
To show your support and take part in “Shine a Light on Slavery Day,” visit End It Movement, download the X, and upload it to your social media profiles. Or, draw a red X on the back of your hand and post the photo. Hashtag it #EndSlaveryAct and #EndItMovement.