Taking a stand against Modern Slavery and human trafficking13.10.23 - Merseyside
Merseyside’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner will join hundreds of local people for this year’s Walk for Freedom to raise awareness of Modern Slavery and human trafficking.
On a day of global action, thousands of people will hit the streets across hundreds of cities around the globe, all with one common goal; to raise awareness of Modern Slavery and how to put a stop to it.
It is believed that there are more people enslaved today than during the Transatlantic Slave Trade with an estimated 50 million people globally living as slaves today.
In the UK alone, there are estimated to be more than 100,000 victims silently hidden in everyday places like car washes, brothels, nail bars and restaurants.
This year’s A21 Walk For Freedom aims to educate people on this issue and increase awareness of the signs, so that people know how to identify if it’s happening in their community.
Tackling Modern Slavery is a priority for the Police Commissioner and a key theme in her delivery plan focusing on putting a stop to Violence against Women and Girls.
In September, Emily relaunched the region’s Modern Slavery Network focused on redoubling the efforts to tackle the issue and improve the support provided to victims.
Led by Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Jeanie Bell, the Network brings partners and agencies to work closer together with a focus on combatting Modern Slavery and putting effective interventions in place to protect potential victims across the region.
Merseyside’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Jeanie Bell said: “Modern Slavery is very much still a hidden crime, making it harder to rescue victims and bring those who choose to exploit vulnerable people to justice.
“Sadly, Merseyside is no exception, which is why it is so important we try and ensure people across our region know how to spot the signs of exploitation so we can stop this horrific crime from happening.
“Merseyside Police is committed to tackling this serious issue, but they cannot do this alone. Raising awareness is the first step to preventing it from happening and protecting victims. We need local people who are living and working in our communities, day in day out, to be able to recognise what could be signs of Modern Slavery and report any concerns they may have. By doing so, they could save a vulnerable person from a life time of exploitation and enslavement.”
Dr Esther Cole, a member of the Hope For Justice - Liverpool & Wirral Abolition Group, this year’s event organisers, says: “I’m proud to be taking part in this year’s A21 Walk For Freedom because we’re giving a voice to those who are unable to speak out for themselves, whose power has been taken away from them by their captors.
“Raising awareness of modern-day slavery and human trafficking is the first step to helping victims to be rescued from this awful situation. If anyone spots a sign that someone may be being exploited, whether it’s a gut feeling or something just doesn’t add up, then I encourage them to reach out to the Modern Slavery Helpline. It could save someone’s life.”
If you would like to take part in this year’s Liverpool Walk For Freedom, please register online:
Every step reduces vulnerability locally by empowering your neighbours, friends and community to identify and report suspicions.
Participants should arrive at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Building next to the International Slavery Museum from 10am. The walk officially starts at 11am and lasts for around 90 minutes. Please wear all black. Signs and banners will be provided. Wheelchairs, pushchairs and prams are welcome. There are also non-walking volunteer roles available.
Click here to learn how to spot the signs of modern slavery.
To report any concerns, contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or file a report online: modernslaveryhelpline.org