The Walk For Freedom is taking to Vancouver’s streets again this year, as part of a global campaign to end modern slavery.
The awareness raising event, which is organized by anti-human trafficking organization A21, will start at Canada Place on Saturday, October 15.
Participants dressed in black will march in single file, with black tape covering their mouths, to represent the 27 million slaves around the world who have no voice.
Vancouver organizer Jennifer Timberlake told Daily Hive that human trafficking is an issue that affects us all.
“It’s happening right here in our city every single day,” said Timberlake. “One study even shows that 93% of victims in Canada are Canadian. “So it’s not just a global issue, it’s a Canadian issue. And it’s a human issue.”
Timberlake says she first got involved in the cause in grad school, when she became aware of the freedoms stripped away from people just like her.
“It became something I felt very passionate about and has held a place in my heart for many years since,” said Timberlake.
When the opportunity came to bring the Walk For Freedom to Vancouver, she says, there was no thought but to get involved.
“We can’t do everything, but every one of us can do something. For me, this is my something.”
Timberlake says millions of people have been reached through A21’s slavery prevention, rescue and prosecution efforts since the non-profit launched in 2008.
As well as educating refugees who are at extreme risk of being targeted by traffickers, A21 also works with survivors to help them recover emotionally and physically.
In addition, they collaborate with law enforcement around the world to try get justice for victims and offer survivors access to legal counsel and representation in court.
Vancouver is just one of 250 cities taking part in the Walk For Freedom worldwide. If you would like to take part, check here for a walk near you.
“I believe we are at our best when we stand for something greater than ourselves,” said Timberlake.
“In joining the Walk For Freedom, all those that take part not only unite in the fight for justice, we unite in the fight for humanity.
“That, I believe, does more than we will ever know.”
Where: Begins and ends at Canada Place – 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver
When: Saturday, October 15, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Register: Online at A21, totally free