Anti-Slavery Walk Aims To Build on Prior Year’s Success

WASHINGTON– In the wake of last year’s record-breaking walk that attracted more than 2,000 participants and raised more than 0,000 for the cause of abolition, the anti-human trafficking group DC Stop Modern Slavery (DC SMS) is gearing up for its third annual walk in Washington, D.C.

DC SMS will host the DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the National Mall. The 5K (3.1 miles) walk will bring people together to celebrate progress in the anti-human trafficking movement, raise awareness about trafficking and raise funds for anti-trafficking nonprofit organizations.

“More slaves exist today than at any point in history – an estimated 27 million. Slavery can affect anyone, male or female, infants to the elderly, Americans and members of the international community” said Danielle Wipperfurth, lead organizer of DC SMS. “The Washington, D.C. area, in particular, is a hotbed for human trafficking activity,” she added.

This year’s walk will feature a performance by Idan Raichel, a triple platinum Israeli recording artist. According to the New York Times, the performer was recently voted as Israel’s musician of the decade in polls the media conducted.

Upon releasing the U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2011, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that “fighting slavery and standing up for human rights is part of our national identity.” She added that “we must ensure that our efforts continue to address all forms of trafficking, whether for sex or labor, internal or transnational, or affecting men, women, or children.

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.

DC SMS said it is thankful for the support of its financial sponsors, including Humanity United, Soroptimist International, Keany Produce and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing illicit industries, 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.

DC SMS began in 2004 as a small group of concerned citizens and has grown into an action-oriented group of volunteers with more than 1,000 members devoted to ending modern-day slavery. For more information, please visit http://walk.stopmodernslavery.org.