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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-When you hear the term slavery, you often think of a shameful institution that ended with the Civil War. Sadly, slavery still exists in 2013. WCBI’s Heather Black talks to people who want to raise awareness about this growing problem.

Picture 27 million people standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a line from one side of the United States to the other and back… that is the number of modern day slaves today throughout the world. Studies suggest that there are more people living in slavery now, than at any other time in history.

According to a new United Nations report human trafficking has been detected in 118 countries, including the U.S. Majority of the victims are women.

“This is modern day slavery it is happening right how I think it something that not a lot of people know you would be surprised how many people we’ve talked to that we said that there are 27 million slaves in the world, there are 200 thousand right here in your country. The average age of these slaves is 12 years old and the group that people have just the shock on their face that I’d had no idea that this was happening,” says Amina Bahamma.

“Stand for Freedom” is a 27 hour event held in the junction on the Mississippi State University campus. Participants stand in shifts to honor the 27 million people enslaved across the globe. One student says the event is a way participants can get a small idea of what others go through.

“We get too comfortable and complacent and being out here in the cold, I’m so glad its cold because we actually get to suffer a little bit even though we are dressed up really warm. I just think it’s a good thing for remembrance a good time for silence,” says Ryan Taylor.

Being informed about human trafficking is important, but its what people do with that information that matters most.

“I believe there are three things we should do about justice. First is having compassion awareness just remembering those that are enslaved, praying for them, raising awareness continuously preparing our hearts and minds for action to do something about it and third to claim the hope that one day these people will be rescued and will be redeemed,” says Katie Heckel.

The hope is to mobilize entire communities against the problem.

“I hope the have an awakening hope they notice that its not just about us here that there are brothers and sisters over seas that there are so many people suffering even here in America there are people suffering,” says Taylor.

“We want to raise awareness we want to raise our voice we just want this whole campus this whole community for their hearts to be broken for this,” says Bahamma.

Most victims affected by slavery are between the ages of 12 and 14 . The Stand for freedom will end at 6pm tomorrow night followed by the Run to Rescue 5K on the MSU campus.

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