Slavery was abolished in 1865…. WRONG
The truth is that there are more slaves living in the world than EVER before- and it’s happening right on our doorstep. An estimated 2 million children are exploited in the sex trade every year, and the industry generates an estimated 104.5 billion pounds annually. This makes human trafficking the second largest organized crime.
Although Google, Wikipedia, and our history lessons tell us slavery was abolished in 1865, it is actually believed that there are around 13,000 people working as slaves here in the UK. With stories like this it is so easy to be desensitized to the scale of suffering, let alone what little relation it may have to us.
We tend to care about things that affect us- it’s human nature, whether that be the Black Lives Matter movement or issues surrounding LGBT rights. To make a change people must start campaigning for things not directly relating to them.
For example, I have become passionate about the way Muslims are portrayed in the media even though I am a Christian and have no links with Islam. With this said, there is one thing we all want in life and can relate to and this is freedom. Right now there are millions of slaves living in the world that don’t have that freedom and it’s time for us to stand up for them.
This Saturday, London will participate in a global fundraising and awareness event called the #WalkForFreedom. The purpose of the event is to shine a light on the millions of men, women, and children who are still trapped in slavery today.
There will be over 250 walks happening in cities across the globe on the same day with the goal to take a united stance that will turn awareness into action. Participants will be in a single file line, dressed in black with tape covering their mouths to represent the slaves who have no voice. Whilst walking they will hand out information about human trafficking which outlines what we can do to help.
Charlie Blythe, A21 UK Director who’s heading the campaign, says that one of the key focus areas for organisations fighting on the ground is prevention and awareness:
“This isn’t just a walk,” he said, “this is about shining a light on what is a very dark and hidden crime. The more people are aware of this crime, the less likely they are to fall victims and the more they are empowered to protect themselves. Through Walk For Freedom, we hope to gather and mobilize everyday men and women to step up and raise their voices against modern day slavery in our city, nation and across the globe”.
The Walk For Freedom in London will be taking place on 15th October 2016 from 10am-12pm, meeting at Old Palace Yard in Westminster and walking past key landmarks including Parliament Square, The London Eye, Golden Jubilee Bridge and Trafalgar Square.
Let’s abolish slavery, once and for all.
For more details head to www.a21.org