Walk for Freedom in Ipswch

Here the Ipswich Star reports

The A21 Walk for Freedom saw protestors, who were dressed in all black and were in complete silence, march around the town centre and waterfront for an hour on Saturday morning.

A21, an organisation opposed to human trafficking and modern slavery, describe themselves as “the abolitionists of the 21st century”.

Similar marches to the Ipswich protest took place all over the world on Saturday.

Hannah Aria, who created signs for the protest, said: “We were shocked to realise that the global issue of human trafficking is very real in our own town. It’s a huge problem hidden in plain sight.

Event organiser, Francesca Marcus said,

We’re walking to raise awareness of modern day slavery and between 30 and 40 people and so we should have a really nice impact on our town of Ipswich and we’re just going to silently walk through the town and just raise awareness of this massive issue. So slavery is massively On The Rise. I think people think that slavery was abolished a long time ago, but actually slavery is increasing. It’s the fastest growing crime. Human trafficking, people being trafficked around the world for sex slavery or for labour and it actually takes place here in Ipswich and we hear all the time that there are people being trafficked into Felixstowe Port And so the walk is about raising awareness of the issue. So we’re walking around the town and showing people that this is still problem especially here in Suffolk.

We gave out a leaflet. The public response was very moving. It was a combination of shock that slavery still exists and saying that we were doing something good.

Last week Investigators raided a property in Ipswich to arrest a 37-year-old Romanian man suspected of human trafficking and modern slavery offences. The raid was carried out by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority in the east of the town after officers received intelligence that the suspect was controlling the finances of potential victims. More here.

Previous operations by authorities saw seven people arrested on modern slavery charges in Ipswich in February. A further operation last August, saw a 42-year-old Romanian man arrested in the town. More here.

Suffolk authorities teamed up earlier this year to launch a campaign alerting people to the signs of slavery. The message: “The signs aren’t always clear – Is modern slavery.

If you suspect it, report it. Call the modern slavery helpline when you witness signs of trafficking, which is 08000 121700.

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