The annual Walk For Freedom took place today at Westminster to make people aware of modern slavery worldwide. This was the first walk after the pandemic restrictions. The campaigners were welcomed with black and white balloons at 11.30 AM this morning alongside music. Some of the participants brought their children, who also walked alongside the adults.
Peter Brickwell has attended the Walk For Freedom four times:
‘We wanna raise awareness by this march in London and across the world to say ’’We haven’t forgotten you. People, who haven’t got a voice, we are still with you, and we want to find a way of breaking you out of slavery today.’’ ‘
Further, Mr Brickwell added that today people have the ability to ‘raise voices against slavery’ in comparison to what wasn’t possible more than 200 years ago.
Typically the campaign runs through a designated route and returns back to its starting point. Today the participants walked starting from the Statue of King George V opposite the House of Lords, crossed Westminster Bridge, and continued alongside the Thames river towards Waterloo bridge, which was their turning point back. The etiquette of the anti-slavery walk includes marching silently in one line. A21 calls it a ‘peaceful walk’. Wearing black clothes and holding posters with various informative slogans and facts about victims of modern slavery are further rules of the Walk For Freedom. Additionally, the campaigners handed out flyers to people in the streets.
Despite enslavement being officially abolished globally, new forms of it have emerged since. This growing trend has developed into an international problem, which is heavily impacting the world today.
An estimated £115.5 billion are generated yearly by human trafficking only. It is also ‘the fastest growing criminal industry in the world’. Around 50 million people are ‘stuck’ in modern slavery according to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization. The most common areas of the contemporary slavery machine are forced labour and forced marriage.
The organiser a21.org is a non-profit body that fights injustice and tries to raise awareness of the impact of present-day slavery. They are located in 14 countries worldwide and operate since 2008. The Walk For Freedom is held on the same day simultaneously across the globe.
The next walk is scheduled for October 14th 2023.
Watch this TikTok video from the Walk For Freedom starting point for more insights.