Women gather to walk for freedom

LAUREN BICKLEY

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Women nationally and globally gathered in public places to walk in one line with one mission, for freedom.

Every single year, millions of women are victims of sex slave trafficking.

Victimised women are often abused mentally and physically and require not just rescuing but long term rehabilitation.

Walk for global freedom. Photo: A21

Walk for global freedom. Photo: A21

This is where A21 comes in. A21 is a foundation that helps authorities and governments remove women from the sex traffic industry and also supports them through the rehabilitation process.

On a global scale, A21 established field offices, shelters, transition homes and administrative bases in nine countries.

Whilst everyone can’t build shelters and transition homes, A21 recognised everyone can play a part to help by either raising awareness or funds.

A21 long-term supporter Tracy Winn said the Walk for Freedom allowed people to help locally.

“Basically we’re a group of sisterhood ladies not just across Queensland but global, and we’ll all be going to a local area and doing a walk for A21 which is raising awareness to our local community of this wonderful program that helps rehabilitate girls from sexual trade,” Ms Winn said.

Hundreds gather to stand for women's rights. Photo: A21

Hundreds gather to stand for women’s rights. Photo: A21

“Today’s walk will not only bring awareness to our [members] amongst the sisterhood in Brisbane and Noosa and across the globe, [but also] our own [ladies] will know a bit more about A21 and what it does.

“Mostly it’ll bring it into our local community areas, that they’ll be aware of A21 and people will start to ask questions. Perhaps when they see the walk [they’ll see] it’s simple, single filed.

“We’re not screaming and jumping and shouting but we’re quietly walking along so that we can bring awareness that we’re walking for freedom for these girls that are held captive right now at this moment. There is something that each one of us can do.”

Brisbane Walk for Freedom participant Carly Luke said she along with 50 others marched single filed through a local shopping centre.

“Over 27 million people are in slavery today and a huge percentage of them are children who have been trafficked. The average age is 12,” Ms Luke said.

Walking against abuse and torture. Photo: A21

Walking against abuse and torture. Photo: A21

“We want to make a statement to society to make [it] aware that this human trafficking is going on, it may not be going on in our worlds but it definitely is a real and prevalent situation that’s happening on this planet and we need to do something about it.”

The walk for freedom had taken place in various global cities, such as Sydney, California, Montreal, Berlin, Stockholm, Greece and many more.

Next years walk for freedom campaign will launch on the 17th October 2015.

For more information about the A21 walk for freedom and how to get involved, go to http://www.thea21campaign.org/content/walk-for-freedom/gkyuiw

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