Steve McQueen Dedicated His "12 Years a Slave" Best Pic Oscar to Victims of Modern-Day Slavery

| Mon Mar. 3, 2014 12:51 AM EST

The powerful drama 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards. During his acceptance speech, director Steve McQueen dedicated the award to the tens of millions of people still in slavery today:

Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.

Some estimates put the number at 30 million. McQueen is a patron of Anti-Slavery International and met with US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to discuss the fight against modern-day slavery. McQueen also made the point of 21 million modern-day slaves during an acceptance speech for best film at the BAFTAs.

Here's video (via Time) of McQueen's Oscar speech and 12 Years a Slave's big win: