A cadre of rockers has joined forces for a new album to help combat the issue of global child slavery.
Coming as the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram is threatening to sell nearly 300 kidnapped schoolgirls into slavery, "Set Them Free" features songs by the Police and Sting covered by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Slash, Journey's Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda, Joe Bonamassa, Heart, Julian Lennon, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Trapeze), Free alumnus Andy Fraser and EnVogue to support and raise funds for Rock Against Trafficking (R.A.T.), a new nonprofit group dedicated to raise awareness of and fight for an end to child slavery worldwide. The set is being curated and produced by R.A.T. founder Gary Miller, and Schon tells Billboard that a September concert in the U.K. has also been broached.
"This is for a very good cause," says Schon, who recorded the Police's "Synchronicity II" with Pineda for the project. "All kinds of artists are on this record. "All these different versions of their songs will be on the album, and hopefully a live show that will probably be filmed for the benefit."
In a statement, R.A.T.'s Miller says that, "27 million people are slaves today. 80 percent of trafficking victims are women and girls. Fifty percent are minors, and every year two million children are exploited in the global sex trade. We are joining together in a solid commitment through music to make a difference."
R.A.T.'s Director of Public Relations John Schayer adds, "It is our goal to unite people around the world to join us in this heartfelt effort to stop child trafficking and send the children home."
A release date, full track listing and other details are set to be announced in the near future.