Harold D’Souza: A Human Rights Hero Honored Globally
Harold D’Souza, a beacon of hope and resilience, has earned global recognition for his unwavering commitment to combating labor trafficking and advocating for the rights of survivors. In 2023, the United Nations honored him with the prestigious ‘Human Rights Hero Award’ at their headquarters in New York. This esteemed accolade acknowledges Harold’s remarkable contributions to the field of human rights and his dedication to eradicating modern-day slavery.
Adding to his illustrious list of honors, Harold D’Souza was also bestowed with the esteemed ‘2023 Human Rights Trailblazer Award.’ This recognition celebrates his exceptional Survivor Leadership, deep concern for the welfare of fellow humans, and unparalleled commitment to the global fight against labor trafficking.
Harold’s journey has been one of transformation, from a survivor of labor trafficking and debt bondage in the United States to a Survivor-Advocate and Public Speaker. His story is a testament to the indomitable human spirit, and it has given him a renewed purpose and meaning in life.
As a co-founder of Eyes Open International, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing prevention efforts through survivor-informed research, Harold has become an inspiration worldwide. He is also an active participant in various anti-trafficking organizations and efforts, including serving on the Board of Directors for ‘Justice at Last.’
In recognition of his tireless efforts, Harold was appointed to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking by President Barack Obama in 2015 and continued his service under President Trump through July 2020. He also serves as an expert consultant to the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Harold’s advocacy extends far beyond American borders. He has been invited to speak throughout the United States and in countries across the globe, including India, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. His powerful speeches have resonated at prestigious institutions like Harvard University and the United Nations, where he emphasizes the critical importance of recognizing and protecting vulnerable populations susceptible to trafficking.
In recognition of his dedication, Harold has received numerous awards, including the Liberator Award and the iCan award in 2017 for his activism and work with fellow survivors. He has also authored a book titled ‘Human Trafficking: A Frog in a Well,’ shedding light on the complex issue of human trafficking.
Harold’s impact extends to his homeland, India, where he was honored with the “Rashtra Perna Award 2021” by the World Book of Star Record jury members for his social activist mission. In Los Angeles, he received the prestigious “Heart of the Father Awards 2022.”
As of spring 2022, Harold’s story is set to be told on the silver screen. The documentary film ‘To Be Free’ is currently in development, produced and directed by Benjamin Ryan Nathan and executive produced by Martin Sheen. This film aims to expose the pervasiveness of labor trafficking in the United States and provide insights into recognizing and eradicating this modern-day slavery.
Additionally, a biopic film about Harold’s remarkable life is also in progress by International Film Producers & Directors, making his story even more accessible to a global audience.
Harold’s ethos is rooted in proactive problem-solving and unwavering determination. He believes that nothing is impossible when one remains steadfast in their mission. From his presentations, four essential takeaways emerge: Be Happy, Think Positive, Never Quit, and Believe in Yourself.
In a world often plagued by darkness, Harold D’Souza shines as a symbol of hope, courage, and unwavering commitment to the cause of human rights and the eradication of human trafficking. His journey continues to inspire and uplift countless lives, serving as a beacon of light in the fight against modern-day slavery.
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Harold also serves on the Ambassador Advisory Council of the Human Trafficking Commission at the Office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, where his expertise and passion for combating trafficking contribute to strategic initiatives within the state.
Beyond these roles, Harold is a valued member of the Survivor Advisory Council at the ‘Collaborative to End Human Trafficking,’ furthering his dedication to advocacy, survivor support, and policy advancement in the anti-trafficking field.
Harold’s remarkable journey and his family’s story have been prominently featured at an exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, aptly named ‘Shine a Light.’ This exhibit serves as a powerful testament to his resilience and unwavering commitment to shedding light on the dark corners of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Harold D’Souza’s impact is not confined by borders or boundaries; it transcends continents and cultures, offering hope, inspiration, and a call to action in the global fight against human trafficking.