Mendes Joins the ILO’s “End Slavery Now!” Campaign

Sérgio Mendes is speaking out against slavery across the globe…

The 71-year-old Grammy-winning Brazilian musician has teamed up with Jada Pinkett Smith, Mila Kunis and others in supporting the International Labour Organization’s fight to end slave labor throughout the world.

Sergio Mendes

The ILO reports that an estimated 21 million people around the world—most of them women and children—work  as forced labor or in conditions so oppressive that they would be considered “slave-like.” Sadly, one out of every four contemporary slaves is a child.

The dire situation has struck a chord in Hollywood, with a new group of celebrities like Mendes offering their public support for the International Labour Organization’s global “End Slavery Now!” campaign.

This week, Pinkett Smith released a video appeal for the ILO, a subsidiary of the United Nations, while Mendes released an image of himself holding an “End Slavery Now!” sign.

“When we think of slavery,” said Smith, “we think of the past. But the truth is that three out of every 1,000 people in the world today are either in forced labour, have been trafficked or work in slave-like conditions. . .It has to stop.”

In a statement issued from the organization’s Geneva headquarters, ILO Director General Guy Ryder said, “For all of us, having a decent job with a fair wage, having our fundamental rights protected and having access to minimum protection in times of need is a basic aspiration. Sadly, even today, millions of women and men, boys and girls are caught in the nightmare of slavery and forced labour. That’s why the ILO is greatly encouraged to see so many leading artists join this fight.”

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