United Way Worldwide has launched a center to campaign against modern-day slavery and put the issue on the agenda for the 2016 presidential campaign, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.
The Center on Human Trafficking and Slavery, based at the global charity's Alexandria, Va., headquarters, will also seek to raise more money to combat slavery and support anti-trafficking efforts by United Way affiliates.
Experts put the number of worldwide trafficking victims at more than 21 million, many of whom are sold into sex slavery or forced labor in agriculture, construction, and other fields. Mara Vanderslice Kelly, the center's executive director, said traffickers "are making $150 billion a year in profits," vastly outstripping the resources of anti-slavery groups, and said she wants White House candidates to declare how much they will put it into ending trafficking.
The United Way said it will try to buy only products and services determined to be untainted by slave labor.