Albert and Deidre Pujols Honored by United Nations With 2019 Humanitarian Award for Their Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking
The United Nations Women for Peace Association’s (UNWFPA) Annual Awards Luncheon, in celebration of International Women’s Day, was held on Friday, March 1st at the United Nations Headquarters. This year, UNWFPA honored Albert and Deidre Pujols with the Humanitarian Award for their efforts to combat human trafficking through their organization Strike Out Slavery.
Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre created Strike Out Slavery in 2017 after learning that children and adults are being forced into labor and sex trafficking, which enslaves 45.8 million people in 167 countries –and it’s on the rise in the United States. Modern-day slavery is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating $150 billion annually, with more than 400,000 victims in the US alone. Deidre and Albert knew that if Major League Baseball teams, players and fans joined them, Strike Out Slavery could spread awareness about modern slavery and help a global network of nonprofit organizations rally against it. The inaugural Strike Out Slavery event was held at Angel Stadium in September 2017 and in 2018 Strike Out Slavery expanded as the Washington Nationals and pitcher Stephen Strasburg took a stand against slavery, enabling the message that ‘enough is enough’ to reach legions of baseball fans across the nation. This year, the organization is poised to host events in even more stadiums, with more player ambassadors joining the cause.
“When I learned that we were going to be receiving this award, there was just no way it was just going to be about Albert [Pujols] and I, because there are people working around the world tirelessly against injustices,” said Deidre Pujols. “Everyone here with me is part of Strike Out Slavery. These are some of the most incredible people. I celebrate this award and share it with them.”
Other honorees included: actor, writer, and activist Ben Stiller (UNWFPA Advocacy Award), fashion designer Naeem Khan (Women’s Empowerment Award), and Think Equal Founder and CEO Leslee Udwin (Activism in Arts and Education Award).