KNOXVILLE (WATE) – University of Tennessee students shined a light on slavery Thursday as part of the national “End It” movement.
The campaign was launched in 2013 as a way to support victims of human trafficking by educating people about the hidden signs while introducing them to resources available to victims.
Volunteers gathered on the pedestrian walkway Thursday, marking red Xs on the hands of students and teachers as a way to bring awareness to the problem.
“There’s over 27 million people enslaved around the world. That’s more than at any other point in human history. When a lot of people think about slavery, they think about the Civil War and then after that it just being gone, but it’s one of the worst tragedies that our generation faces,” said organizer Turner Matthews.
While a lot of people think of human trafficking as an international problem, it affects us on a domestic level as well. Interstate 75 is a known corridor for human trafficking. Last year in Knox County alone, there were 100 cases of human trafficking.
UT’s Rock was painted with a red X for the movement. VFL Peyton Manning even took part, sharing a photo on social media of the red X on his hand.