Starting December 6, 2009, actor Peter Gadiot and a team of 11 people will attempt to break a world record by rowing 3,000 miles, unassisted, from the Canary Islands to Antigua in under 30 days (the current world record is 33 days).
Their goal is simple; they want to spark a light about the issues of modern day slavery in the world. No longer are people loaded into boats and sailed across the world in chains, but there are forms of slavery still present in the world that most are not aware of:
- Bonded labour affects millions of people around the world. People become bonded labourers by taking or being tricked into taking a loan for as little as the cost of medicine for a sick child. To repay the debt, many are forced to work long hours, seven days a week, up to 365 days a year. They receive basic food and shelter as ‘payment’ for their work, but may never pay off the loan, which can be passed down for generations.
- Forced labour affects people who are illegally recruited by individuals, governments or political parties and forced to work “” usually under threat of violence or other penalties.
- Slavery by descent is where people are either born into a slave class or are from a ‘group’ that society views as suited to being used as slave labour.
- Human trafficking involves the transport and/or trade of people “” women, children and men “” from one area to another for the purpose of forcing them into conditions of slavery, often as sex slaves.
— Rowing Against Slavery
The team will be lead by Ian Couch, one of only three men in the world to have rowed both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The crossing is an enormous physical challenge, with all crew members rowing 2 hours on, 2 hours off, continuously for 24 hours a day so that the boat never stops, at a pace of 4 minutes per mile “” not to mention the salt sores and blisters, no cooked food and no toilet facilities.
“Our friends at Anti-Slavery International and Save the Children are working directly to free people in slavery and rehabilitate them. Together we can help them to do this. I’m giving my own time and money to row across the Atlantic ocean and would be delighted if people could show their support. If everyone who visited this site gave just £1, $1 or ?1Euro it would make a real difference. Please donate today.Thank you.” — Peter Gadiot
To follow the team’s progress, offer support, and see photos of their boat, please see the links below: