More than 300 Vancouverites took to the streets to march in the third annual Walk For Freedom, which shines a spotlight on human trafficking, considered by some modern-day slavery.
The walk, organized by global anti-human trafficking group A21, saw protesters wearing black tape covering their mouths, representing over 27 million slaves around the world.
Volunteer, Jennifer Timberlake, says some people might be surprised to hear that most slaves in Canada are actually Canadian.
“It’s not something that has been on the forefront and something that people have been fighting for, for a very long time, but our goal is to get the word out there about what’s happening and what’s happening right here in our city. We can walk by someone and not even know they’re being exploited.”
She says sexual exploitation is the most common reason for trafficking in Vancouver.
“In Vancouver, especially, people think of Main and Hastings as one of the worst areas, and any time you see anybody standing on a street corner, the chances are they are being sexually exploited.”
Timberlake says most slavery involves sexual exploitation or forced labour.