In a powerful collaboration to mark International Men’s Day on 19 November, Leeds native and Married at First Sight UK star Matt Jameson has teamed up with 18 other renowned male figures to shed light on the alarming increase in men’s vulnerability to modern slavery. Joining forces with household names like Stephen Fry, Dr. Ranj Singh, and Mr. Motivator, Causeway’s campaign, titled ‘Hidden Men of Modern Slavery’, aims to unravel the unsettling truth about men’s vulnerability to this growing threat. In a unique film released this week, the celebrities open up about the shocking statistics and challenges male victims face.
Modern slavery affects an estimated 50 million people globally, with over 100,000 victims in the UK alone. A concerning trend appears as the number of male current slavery victims in the UK continues to rise year on year. Currently, three-quarters of the identified modern slavery victims in the UK are men, spanning various forms of exploitation, including labour, criminal activities, and organ harvesting.
Raising awareness: celebrities unite
Causeway’s ‘Hidden Men of Modern Slavery’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by male victims of modern slavery. The campaign’s powerful film features a star-studded cast of 19 male celebrities, including Matt Jameson, Stephen Fry, Dr Ranj Singh, Mr Motivator, celebrity chef Ken Hom, EastEnders actor Rudolph Walker, and Happy Valley’s Vincent Franklin.
Other notable figures joining the cause are darts champion Bobby George, Rocketman star Steven Mackintosh, The Last Kingdom actor Jacob Dudman, Gogglebox’s Tom Malone Jr, and The Great British Bake Off’s Selasi Gbormittah. The lineup comprises Countryfile’s Adam Henson, DJ Pat Sharp, Coronation Street’s Charlie Condou, Channel 5 presenter Rob Bell, Sky Sports pundit Johnny Nelson, Star Wars actor Andy Secombe, and YouTuber Chris Cowlin.
Causeway’s chief operating officer, Amy Bond, expressed gratitude for the support of these influential men, emphasising their role in bringing awareness to the shocking statistics surrounding male modern slavery victims.
Matt Jameson, known for his appearance on Married at First Sight UK, emphasized the importance of uniting to support and elevate the voices of some of the most vulnerable people in society. He commended Causeway for their work and highlighted the significance of joining forces with Stephen Fry, Dr Ranj, and other influential men to spotlight men’s increased risk of modern slavery.
Modern slavery does not discriminate
Stephen Fry, actor and broadcaster, underscored the indiscriminate nature of modern slavery, saying:
“The statistics around modern slavery in the UK are truly startling, and modern slavery does not discriminate. Anybody can be at risk of trafficking and exploitation, regardless of age, gender, or nationality. I am proud to be involved in Causeway’s Hidden Men of Modern Slavery campaign to get away from this.”
Vincent Franklin, Happy Valley actor, acknowledged Causeway’s crucial role in supporting those who have experienced appalling situations. He said:
“Causeway is such an important charity, supporting those that have been through some of the most appalling situations. However, like all charities, they need our support. I am honoured to have joined up with them for their Hidden Men of Modern Slavery campaign, to raise awareness of how trafficking and exploitation can affect anyone anywhere.”
Time to unite
Several other celebrities involved in the campaign, like Ken Hom, celebrity chef Steven Mackintosh, Rocketman actor Bobby George, former darts champion Johnny Nelson, boxer and Sky Sports pundit, and Selasi Gbormittah, The Great British Bake Off star shared their perspectives, stating:
“The campaign underscores the vital role in dispelling stereotypes and increasing awareness of the growing number of male victims in modern slavery, emphasizing the shocking prevalence of the issue. It urges support for Causeway’s initiative, highlighting that modern slavery can affect anyone, anywhere, and stresses the imperative for heightened awareness and action to address the alarming rise in this form of exploitation.”
Causeway, a beacon of compassion and resilience, has stood as a national charity for nearly two decades. Causeway’s modern slavery services assist survivors referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), addressing varied forms of exploitation from forced labor to debt bondage. In criminal justice, their successful trauma-informed approach reduces reoffending rates, benefiting individuals and communities. With a person-centered approach, Causeway has been a guiding force for nearly 20 years, offering diverse services, from safe houses to counseling and training, fostering progress and resilience in those on their recovery journeys.
As Causeway’s ‘Hidden Men of Modern Slavery’ campaign gains momentum, the collaboration of these influential men serves as a beacon to raise awareness of the escalating risk faced by men in modern slavery. With International Men’s Day on 19 November, the campaign strives to spark conversations, challenge stereotypes, and encourage support for a world free from trafficking, exploitation, and modern slavery. The star-studded lineup’s collective plea is clear: “It’s time to unite, raise awareness, and effect positive change.”