Freedom March to lead to State Capitol on April 18

Freedom March - April 18th @ 4:30 Union Plaza
Freedom March - April 18th @ 4:30 Union Plaza

The 2011 U.S. Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report states there are more than 27 million people enslaved around the world.

To help bring awareness to the issue, members of the Nebraska University Students Against Modern Day Slavery are holding a freedom march on April 18 beginning at 4:30 p.m. in front of the Nebraska Union. Students and guest speakers will march to the State Capitol.

Four guests will join the freedom marchers on the steps of the State Capitol: Kristy Childs, a human trafficking survivor, will share her personal story; Paul Yates, director of involvement for Tiny Hands International; Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill; and UNL professor Ron Hampton. Tiny Hands is dedicated to intercepting girls being trafficked across the Nepal/India border. McGill introduced LB1145 to strengthen Nebraska's laws that address human trafficking. Dr. Hampton has been working in the area of human trafficking over the past four years in Kiev, Russia, on various funded projects.

Sriyani Tidball, an advertising and public relations professor who helped to co-found NUSAMS, said the students want to demonstrate that slavery will not be tolerated.

“We want to educate the public and Nebraska’s elected legislators on the importance of making Nebraska a Slave FREE state,” Tidball said, “and students have been working since February to organize the event. “

UNL joins other universities that are sponsoring similar campus events. Ryan King, an activist and co-founder of the Justice Project, sponsored a Modern Day Slavery event at Oakland University on March 8. The Justice Project is a nonprofit based in Europe and works against human trafficking.

“When we started the organization in 2006,” King said, “the figures estimated 4 million children under the age of 14 globally in human trafficking … five years later, and that number is at 13 million and growing … and we aren’t even talking about the whole number, just children.”

NUSAMS is an officially recognized student organization of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The group is composed of passionate students wanting to end human trafficking in Nebraska.

For more information on the event please contact Sriyani Tidball at (402) 472-3041 or


The United Nations defines human trafficking as “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation."
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