Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Human Trafficking: Massive walk to address human trafficking problem in Washington, DC

Source: DC Stop Modern Slavery - Eradicating modern-day slavery is an enormous undertaking that begins with small steps. One group of Washington abolitionists is asking the local community to join the action by taking steps toward creating a slavery-free district.

The group DC Stop Modern Slavery (DC SMS) will host its second annual DC walk on Saturday Oct. 23, 2010 on the National Mall from 9 a.m.2 p.m. to raise awareness about human trafficking and how to end it.

This year's 5K (3.1 miles) walk will build on the success of last year's walk, which raised about $40,000 for the cause of abolition, and attracted more than 700 participants. The walk is expected to be the largest anti-human trafficking event in the District's history.

"The DC Metro area is unfortunately an active zone both for foreign nationals being trafficked to the United States, and for U.S. citizens being trafficked domestically," said Ray Lian, DC SMS lead organizer.

The DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk complements President Barack Obama's resolve to fight human trafficking both nationally and internationally. Earlier this year, he urged Americans to learn about all types of modern slavery and said that fighting modern slavery and human trafficking is a "shared responsibility."

The walk will provide a common meeting ground for concerned officials, celebrities, non-profit organizations, faith leaders, artists, business leaders, anti-trafficking activists, journalists, musicians and survivors of trafficking. A complete list of speakers and special guests will be released shortly.

DC SMS is thankful that several individuals and organizations have supported the walk by participating as sponsors, including ICF International, the Home Foundation, Bill Smith Group, John & Mary Lee Malcolm, My Backyard Foundation, Keany Produce, the Protection Project, and Prime Policy Group.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing illicit industries in the world, with an estimated 27 million people enslaved worldwide. According to the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Public Affairs, modern-day slavery exists in several forms, including forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude, sex trafficking, and child sex trafficking, among other types.