On March 14th every year, students around the world raise awareness of modern slavery on #MyFreedomDay.

Worldwide, at least 10 million are children in slavery, trafficking and other forms of forced labour. These children are some of the most exploited in the world, denied their most basic rights to be free, safe, or educated. If we raise our voices until these injustices are impossible to ignore, together we can help end child slavery.

That’s why the 100 Million campaign is supporting this global moment.

We’ve asked youth activists to let us know what freedom means to them – hear more from them below, and join the conversation on Twitter #MyFreedomDay.

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What does freedom mean to me?

By Grace Rubin,  junior at Carleton College, Minnesota, and 100 Million youth activist in the United States. 

Many of us often take our freedom for granted and can have the tendency to forget or misidentify our privileges as universal givens. This is a privilege in and of itself. But freedom is not a collective absolute. As child labor and child slavery persist across the globe, thousands of young people are denied this basic human right every day.

In the U.S., many of us are not forced to work as children, nor do we face the risk of being sold into slavery. Instead, we are granted access to free education—perhaps the most important factor in mitigating unfreedom.

As a woman, many of my experiences and opportunities have been made possible by freedom—experiences and opportunities which are not available to all women around the world. As a free person, I had the ability to attend primary school, which enabled me to attend secondary school and later attend college. As a free person, I am able to learn and grow, to be challenged and inspired on a daily basis. But most importantly, as a free person, I can be an activist for the rights of those denied their freedom.

Many Americans derive pride from being residents of “the Land of the Free.” If we are so proud—so committed to protecting and spreading freedom—then we must support others, especially the most vulnerable, in claiming their own. This is our duty, in fact, as people who possess the privilege of freeness.

To ensure the freedom of all young people, we must band together in the fight against child labor and child slavery. Only then can all the world’s youth enjoy freedom, safety, and education.

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#MyFreedomDay activities organised by Takoma Park Youth Council, Maryland

Takoma Park Youth Council is a representative group of young people working to improve their local community. To celebrate #MyFreedomDay, they organised a screening of the award-winning film, The Price of Free, which documents Kailash Satyarthi’s fight to end child labour. They also asked participants to describe what freedom means to them.
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