Walkers protest against slavery

PUBLISHED: 12:50 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

Chris Atkinson in his ‘chains’.

Chris Atkinson in his ‘chains’.

A FREEDOM walk was held in Ely on Saturday, to spotlight the horrors of modern-day slavery. Churches Together in Ely organised the event for Stop the Traffik, a worldwide campaign to halt people trafficking. The march began at Ely Market Square at 11am,

The protest

A FREEDOM walk was held in Ely on Saturday, to spotlight the horrors of modern-day slavery.

Churches Together in Ely organised the event for Stop the Traffik, a worldwide campaign to halt people trafficking.

The march began at Ely Market Square at 11am, then moved to Palace Green. Children from local Sunday and primary schools were symbolically bound in 'chains' as they walked alongside the mayor and mayoress and the Bishop of Huntingdon.

An exhibition on slavery, which formed an important part of the day, can be viewed in the Cathedral Centre for the next two weeks. This is a mixture of entries for and winners of the Ely Schools and churches art/poetry competition, factual information and images about the worldwide practice of slavery today.

Two petitions will be available for signing at the exhibition. The first is part of a worldwide initiative to collect a million signatures by February, to be presented to the United Nations. The second will be sent to James Paice MP and calls for more resources to be provided to help and protect women and girls who have been trafficked into the UK for the sex trade.

Ben Jupp, event co-ordinator and chair of Churches Together in Ely anti-slavery committee, is urging as many people as possible to sign the petitions and register their protest at people trafficking of all kinds - from prostitution to mistreatment of migrant workers.

Liz Partridge from the anti-slavery committee said: "A good number of people walked with us and hundreds signed the petition. We certainly made an impact. People were shocked into realising for the first time that these things are actually happening at a local level, as well as internationally.

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