Ending Human Trafficking
A21 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to end human trafficking. The WalkForFreedom is a global event to raise funds and awareness for their efforts to bring an end to this atrocity.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labor and sex trafficking. As the world's fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery.
Human trafficking fuels the growth of organized crime, undermining health, safety, security, and the basic needs of humanity. Of the 27 million people in bondage across the globe, a scant 1-2% of victims are ever rescued. With the average age of a trafficking victim being a mere 12 years old, there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.
The goal of A21 is to abolish this injustice in the 21st century through their four-fold strategy of Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership.
The WalkForFreedom's signature attention-grabbing factor is a single-file line of participants dressed in black with black tape across their mouths. The walk exists to reflect A21's heart for freedom and justice, and it is ultimately designed to turn awareness into action.
Chris Broderick, organizer of the Chicago WalkForFreedom, says they weren't sure how Chicago would respond to the invitation to participate, but "were thrilled with the results of the first WalkForFreedom. The silent march garnered attention from Chicagoans strolling through Lincoln Park, enjoying the zoo, shopping at the nearby farmers market, and attending ball games at adjacent sports fields."
Here's some more info about the WalkForFreedom 2016:
- 2016 was the largest A21 awareness event to date, with 300 walks held in 40 countries, a 20% growth in the number of walks being held this year compared to last
- The Chicago walk consisted of approximately 250 individuals
- Numerous churches across Illinois participated: more than 30 volunteers from FreeChurch in Oak Park, IL, 17 walkers from Shorewood Church of God, 6 volunteers from City Church Chicago, a walking team of 6 from Willow Creek in Barrington
- 5 volunteers from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Business also helped
The 2017 WalkForFreedom is slated for Saturday, October 14.
Freedom Walker Wayne Wasion extends his gratitude to Roscoe and President Jim Buik, who did not hesitate in jumping on board to sponsor him.