WATCH: Derek Hough Directs Powerful Dance to Bring Awareness to World Day Against Trafficking In Persons
Derek Hough is using his talents to bring awareness to the "horrific problem" of human trafficking.
July 30 marked World Day Against Trafficking In Persons, a day dedicated to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights," according to the United Nations. The UN explains that "every country in the world is affected by human trafficking" — a "crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex."
To "shine a light and bring awareness" to this harrowing reality, the Dancing with the Stars alum, 35, produced and directed a powerful dance, which he shared to Instagram Thursday.
"I wanted to create something that would shine a light and bring awareness to this horrific problem, but also educate people on the shocking statistics. It’s truly something you can’t UNLEARN," Hough wrote alongside the video.
"The only way to stop this is to face it. Shed as much light as possible on the darkest corners and GET LOUD. Let’s send out an army to find them and rescue them. RISE UP 🙏🏼," he continued.
The dance featured 14 female dancers, who performed a choreographed number to the tune of Lauren Daigle's "Rescue Me."
Earlier this year, Hough said he "was asked to be a part of an event that would raise money for a very important cause," he wrote in another post.
As he "was educated and learned more about the cause," he "quickly realized I could never UNLEARN this dark truth."
"Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world. Today, there are 40 million slaves in the world. 10 million of those are children," Hough explained. "Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide."
"The only way to stop this is to face it. Shed as much light as possible on the darkest corners and GET LOUD. @ourrescue," said Hough.
Hough also tagged Our Rescue, an organization that has "gathered the world's experts in extraction operations and in anti-child trafficking efforts to bring an end to child slavery," according to its website. Our Rescue's "Ops Team consists of former CIA, past and current law enforcement, and highly skilled operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts. These operations are always in conjunction with law enforcement throughout the world."
Hough's fellow DWTS pro Lindsay Arnold also brought awareness to World Day Against Trafficking In Persons, admitting that she was "in shock" when she first learned about the harrowing statistics.
"Today is World Day Against Trafficking and today there are more people in the world enslaved than EVER in history. 10 million of these slaves are children. When I first heard this I was in shock… heartbroken and upset. This is not ok and that's why I am so grateful to @ourrescue and the work they do with Operation Underground Railroad to rescue children from slavery," the pregnant dancer, who is expecting her first child — a daughter — with husband Sam Cusick, wrote in an Instagram post.
"I hate to admit that up until I started following along with @ourrescue I was clueless to the severity of child sex trafficking in our World today and I can't express how important it is for me as a soon to be mom, to be AWARE," wrote Lindsay, 26, who cradled her baby bump in the photo. "I also feel an immense amount of responsibility to our baby girl and all the kids out there to share my knowledge and speak up!!"
She concluded: "If you are like me and want to be more aware, go to ourrescue.org to get educated about signs of human trafficking/predators, how to stop/prevent it from happening to your own children, and ways to help support the fight! #worlddayagainsttrafficking #childsextrafficking #humantrafficking #ourrescue."
To learn how you can join help in ending child and human trafficking, visit OurRescue.org. Donations can also be made to the Blue Heart Campaign, which is a global awareness raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society.
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