In the Booth with Ruth – Gemma Wilson, Anti-Human Trafficking Activist

“When people who were once trafficked are rescued and out of the hands of traffickers, they often recount the days and years spent in slavery as being worse than what they imagined death to be like,” says Gemma Wilson, part of Northern Ireland’s counter-trafficking movement. She continues, “I found out there are more slaves today than there ever have been… I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t turn away…”

Ruth Jacobs

Gemma Wilson

How did you become involved in the movement against human trafficking?

I had what some would very rightly call a ridiculous fear of getting bored in the summer months between my undergrad and postgrad studies, so I gave myself a few projects. Having seen ‘Amazing Grace’, a film about the life and work of abolitionist William Wilberforce, I added researching slavery to my list of summer activities – which also included learning to enjoy running. Sadly, I have yet to tick that one off.

This project was based on the assumption that slavery was a thing of the past; I quickly found out there are more slaves today than there ever have been and was gripped by this new unveiled reality. I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t turn away from it.

I spent the guts of the following year researching the global picture of slavery: its various forms, the…

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