Sidney community rallies to fight human trafficking


SIDNEY — COVID-19 has made fighting human trafficking even more difficult, but Sidney residents press ahead with determination and hope for change

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase obstacles for counter-human trafficking efforts across the globe, the Sidney community is standing up to raise awareness and funds for those caught in human trafficking worldwide. On Oct. 16, 2021, local residents will join thousands of people around the globe to participate in global anti-human trafficking nonprofit A21’s seventh annual Walk for Freedom.

Walk For Freedom is an annual day of global awareness and local action in the fight against human trafficking, reaching hundreds of cities and towns right across the world with the important message: that modern-day slavery still exists, and it’s often hidden in plain sight.

The walk will commence at 11 a.m. and participants will walk around the courtsquare for 30 minutes followed by a short informational presentation from Raven Loaiza representing Crime Victim Services and Northwest Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition

Walks will take place in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries across six continents raising awareness for the millions who remain enslaved across the globe. Participants will be walking in single-file lines all over the world, in local towns, through busy intersections and city centers, on dirt tracks in crowded villages, along bridges, tunnels, and water banks.

“The fallout from COVID-19 has required a diversion of resources across the globe, allowing traffickers to operate even more in the dark, making the need for public awareness and education about new online tactics even greater,” said Christine Caine, A21’s Co-Founder. “That’s why Walk For Freedom is more important than ever — because there’s power in gathering together, in showing up in force, and shedding light on this injustice that is all too often hidden in plain sight.’”

Organizers of the Walk For Freedom, global anti-human trafficking nonprofit A21, operates in 19 locations across 14 countries, and aims to combat modern-day slavery through a multi-dimensional operational strategy: Reach, Rescue, and Restore. A new report released by A21 earlier this year highlights the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on anti-human trafficking efforts across the world, including the ways traffickers have moved online, and the ways in which A21 shifted strategy accordingly. Read the global report, or regionalized reports at A21.org/ImpactReport.

To participate in a local Walk for Freedom, visit A21.org/Sidney. Learn more at A21.org or on social media @A21.