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24 September 2014
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    Abolition

    Stop the Traffik

    Ian Pearce
    As we approach the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, it is important to remember that slavery and human trafficking is still very much with us.

    Ben Kahan, David Newton and Matthew Greene
    Ben Kahan, David Newton and Matthew Greene

    'Stop the Traffik' is a campaigning coalition involving organisations such as schools and faith groups as well as businesses and charities. Teenage girls are forced into prostitution and the buying and selling of human flesh is organised crime's fastest growing business with up to two million people trafficked into the slave trade each year. There is a direct link between poverty and slavery. Where poverty exists there will be traffickers who will exploit it. There are still people in this world who have to agonise over the decision whether to sell a child or not.

    I've just been to an amazing assembly at Watford Grammar School for Boys. Three boys from the school are leading an awareness and fund raising campaign to support 'Stop the Traffik'.

    14 year old Matthew Greene from Northwood spoke graphically about the problems of human trafficking before asking the boys to sign petition cards. He and 15 year old Ben Kahan are going to address all the boys in the school at assemblies during the week. The lads are also selling key rings with the 'Stop the Traffik' logo.

    Sixth former, 17 year old David Newton, is making sure the message wont be forgotten. He is wearing shackles for a week. The shackles and chains link his hands and feet and have been made in the school's CDT department. Not as heavy as the shackles worn by enslaved Africans on the slave ships two hundred years ago perhaps, nonetheless they restrict his movement. He can't take them off either. The keys are in the pocket of his headmaster Martin Post.

    David Newton
    David Newton will be wearing shackles for a week.

    David is going about his normal business including travelling to and from school from Radlett on the bus. He's going to wear a tabard explaining what he's doing and why. He won't be able to change his jumper for a week, but his mum has been creative with boxer shorts and Velcro to avoid complete embarrassment. David hopes to raise a thousand pounds in sponsorship.

    The head of Watford Grammar School for Boys is impressed with the boys' campaign.

    "It's been totally their initiative and they've highlighted the issues throughout the school and through BBC Three Counties Radio to a wider public. We're delighted to support them."

    So if you see a figure stumbling round Watford in chains, give David Newton your support. He can ask for the shackles to be removed at any time. According to his headteacher he may have to wait a while if that's at three in the morning. I just hope he doesn't lose the keys...

    last updated: 21/03/07
     
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    anna-marie greene
    i am so glad that my brother raised so much money. He's so great

    Hannah Kramers
    The guys' example is a great challenge to all of us. Let's stop ignoring the pleas of those who have lost hope and stand up for the cause of justice today.

    Jenefer Joseph
    Watford (& Bushey, where I live) is proud of your initiative & inventiveness. It puts Herts. on the map! Congrats!

    Tony Shalhoub
    Very interesting, well done David, Matthew and Ben!

    ian pearce
    Brilliant. well done guys.

    Matthew Greene
    Thanks for posting this I appreciate it, we've collected 874 petition cards and raised over £1500 Thanks.

    Fiona Martindale (david's big sis, number 1)
    Well done Bro I'm proud of you. :)

    Dom O'Halloran
    good stuff!

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