Tuscarawas County's 2nd-annual Walk for Freedom will be held Saturday, October 20, in New Philadelphia. (Submitted photo)
New Philadelphia, Ohio - A silent, single-file procession through the streets of New Philadelphia will shed light a growing problem that’s often hidden in plain sight.
Tuscarawas County’s 2nd-annual A21 Walk for Freedom kicks off tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. at Tuscora Park as walkers begin a three-mile trek to raise awareness about human trafficking.
The event is sponsored by A21, a global nonprofit dedicated to ending modern-day slavery, and will among hundreds of walks taking place worldwide on the same day.
Amanda Miller is a member of Tusc A-team A21, the group organizing the event in Tuscarawas County. She says human trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing enterprise, generating an estimated $150 billion annually. Of the millions of trafficking victims worldwide, she says only about 1 percent are ever rescued.
Miller says one of the goals of the event is to educate the public that human trafficking can happen anywhere, including in Tuscarawas County.
“We’re trying to bring awareness. We don’t want to scare people but we just want to educate that it does happen, and it can happen locally,” she says. “We’re not immune from it. It can happen here too.”
There is no cost to participate in the walk, however, donations will be accepted to support A21’s efforts to educate the public, identify victims and empower survivors.
Same-day registration begins at 10 a.m. at Tuscora Park, and individuals can also register online in advance by visiting www.a21.org/new-philadelphia.
For more information on human trafficking, including how to spot potential victims, visit www.a21.org. To report suspected human trafficking or request services, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. The service is available24/7 and is completely confidential.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV