It is estimated that profits from child trafficking amount to more than Google, Nike and Starbucks’ profits combined. Two children are sold every minute.
This Sunday will see thousands of runners taking to the streets of London to embark on the London marathon, one of the city’s biggest annual events, bringing together runners from all over the world, all with the same aims: to complete the distance, to beat their times and to raise money for charity.
Each day The Handbook brings you the latest news about what is going on in London, the most exciting venues, the events you have to attend and the celebrities you need to know. But today The Handbook is looking a little further afield than London, because whilst this Sunday our support will be with all those raising money in London, three Londoners are going to be going above and beyond any marathon so far.
Run For Love 1000 will see, Tom Stancliffe, Guy Hacking and Rob Martineau running 39 marathons in 33 days. So that’s a gruelling average of 31 miles a day for 33 days straight. Why? To raise money for Love 146, a charity that works toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation in Europe. Back in 2002, Rob Morris one of the founders went on a trip to Southeast Asia, alongside an undercover investigator. They visited one of the many hidden brothels where children were kept as slaves for sex work. What he saw there, wasn’t despair or sadness, it was a blank nothingness, the children were hollow, shell like. All apart from one girl, number 146, she still had fight left, a look of determination. The brothel was later uncovered and the children were saved but number 146 wasn’t there and this charity is in memory of that fighting spirit. Love 146 wants to stop sex trafficking and slavery for good. We might not see it. But it’s still there, it never left. It is nowhere near to ending. The selling of children still makes $32 billion dollars a year and it isn’t just in developing countries it is happening in Europe and America too, in fact 300 children are trafficked into the UK each year.
Statistics and facts can be overwhelming, but there is hope. And that is what Love 146 are focusing on, hope. They are educating children at risk, helping survivors and bringing down traffickers. And you can help, by donating to Run For Love 1000. Starting two weeks ago on the 1st of April, Run For Love 1000 began in Odessa, Ukraine and finishes on the 4th May in Cavtat, Croatia. Tom, Guy and Rob will be running a route that takes them through countries where sex trafficking is happening: Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia. They will be carrying their supplies on their backs and will be running without support vehicles or medical aid. Along the way 200 runners will be joining them to run a marathon, at different points along the way to provide an energy boost and pledge their support to this amazing achievement for a much needed cause. All they want is £150,000 to build Britain’s first residential trauma recovery centre for trafficked children. It’s not much to ask, to help stop a prevalent global problem. It is the fastest growing crime in the world. If everyone reading this donated £1 they would be well on their way to reaching their target. Slavery didn’t end in 1833, it didn’t vanish, it is still here, the invisible crime.