Many have fallen prey to human trafficking. On Oct. 14, 2017, Sisters of Wave Church will raise awareness with the A21 “Walk for Freedom.” Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. 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, with an estimated 27 million in bondage worldwide. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.
Wave Sisters is hosting the A21 Campaign’s annual “Walk for Freedom” in Coastal Virginia – more specifically in Norfolk right by the beautiful Waterside district. This walk, which includes men and women, will make a powerful statement globally and locally. The “Walk for Freedom” will take place in approximately 500 locations worldwide at on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017.
In 2007, Christine and Nick Caine founded the A21 Campaign with a mission to make a difference while fighting for justice on behalf of those hurt by the exploitation of the sex trade and forced labor to which victims of human trafficking fall prey. To this same wise, Steve and Sharon Kelly, senior pastors of Wave Church, have joined forces to bring awareness to this modern-day slavery in hopes of seeing countless men and women freed from slavery.
Human trafficking is an international problem that has found a landing-place in neighborhoods many would least expect. Reports of the exact number of human trafficking cases worldwide vary greatly due to the difficulty of identifying victims who are kept in the shadows and cannot speak up and defend themselves. However, Virginia ranked 15th in the United States for the most reported cases of human trafficking in 2016. Last year, the state reported 148 cases with 59 involving minors, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. When asked why Wave Sisters hosts the Freedom Walk, Pastor Sharon replied:
As a community of women, dedicated to impacting the communities around us we are taking the time to bring awareness to the worldwide issue of human trafficking. Through awareness comes change and we are honored to play our part.
Although not everyone can carry out an actual rescue of human trafficking victims, they can do their part and sponsor or join one of the many Freedom Walks around the world. Freedom Walks were created to draw people together in the fight for justice and freedom for those who are exploited. Anyone, regardless of age, can join a walk in their local area as a way to stand up and be counted as a voice for those who have none; just as Wave Sisters will do next Saturday. By banding together, it raises the visibility of the issue as well as money to fund the ongoing efforts to abolish this form of modern-day slavery.
Wave Sisters have been firm supporters of the A21 Campaign for several years. Pastor Sharon hosts an annual women’s conference named Devoted, which has a continued partnership with A21. The attendees of the conference generously give their finances to support the efforts of the campaign all over the world. Each year, because of the generosity of these women, a check from Devoted Conference is written to the A21 Campaign to help fund all its endeavors to end human trafficking around the globe.
The clandestine nature of the trafficking operation makes it difficult for governments to collect accurate statistics and fuels a mindset for official denial of the issue. According to a 2009 United Nations report, there is a definite need for greater involvement on all levels in order to escalate the efforts to end the slavery of human trafficking. The Walk for Freedom is just one of many ways citizens can join the mission to fight for justice and join a group of world changers who take a bold stand to see this modern-day slavery eradicated. In addition, to regular financial support, the women of Wave Church will band together for the A21 “Walk for Freedom” Campaign.
The A21 Campaign was created to raise awareness for the continuing problem of modern-day slavery and inspire more people to get involved in the fight against human trafficking. Join Wave Sisters, on Saturday, October 14, at 9 a.m., and bring awareness to human trafficking with the A21 “Walk for Freedom.” Register for this empowering event at A21.org/walkA21.org/walk and click on Norfolk, Coastal Va. Freedom Walks will take place across the globe, find one, and join the fight.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
A21 Campaign: Walk for Freedom
Wave Church: Sisters
Human Trafficking Hotline: Virginia
Top Image Courtesy of Wave Church – Used With Permission
Inline Image Courtesy of Royce DeGrie’s Shutterstock Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Sjoerd Lammers Photography’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License