One Family launched its Anti-Trafficking Fund at the 7th Asian Awards at Park Lane Hilton, London.
As the official charity partner of the red-carpet ceremony this year, One Family announced the dedicated fund to help tackle the trafficking of human beings around the world. Already working alongside ECPAT UK and UNICEF, One Family aims to harness the power of technology to disrupt strategies and routes employed by traffickers.
Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, second only to the drug trade, worth over 32 billion USD worldwide. It has a devastating impact on the physical, mental and emotion wellbeing of victims. They suffer from health issues including HIV/AID and malnutrition, as well as acute depression, shame, and fear. Trafficking also drives societal breakdown by taking women and girls, who make up 80% of the world’s trafficking victims, from their families to grow a criminal industry that is exploiting vulnerable communities.
While human trafficking is more prevalent in poorer and more economically challenged areas of the world, it also affects the vulnerable in more affluent countries. For example, there are 13,000 victims of modern slavery living in the UK.
On the evening, the launch of the fund was commended by many of the prominent personalities in attendance, including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, actress Amy Jackson, singer-songwriter Cerys Matthews MBE, and the multi-talented author and actress Meera Syal CBE.
Among the many highlights of the evening was the award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema, which was awarded posthumously to the much-loved actor, Om Puri. The award was accepted on his behalf in a moving speech by his widow, Nandita, and his son, Aashan. Elsewhere, Sunny Pawar, the eight-year-old Lion child-actor, who won the Rising Star award, came close to stealing the show, just as he did at the Oscars. However, the most memorable presentation of the evening was the tribute to legendary Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, who was only the fourth recipient of the Fellowship Award, which recognises a lifetime of outstanding achievement.