Once you know about the global issue of slavery, it is hard to look away.
These are the words of A21 Walk Host, Betina Hughes.
On Saturday she will lead a Walk For Freedom along the streets of Singleton in the hope of drawing attention to an issue many choose to avoid contemplating.
It will be one of many held around the globe to raise awareness about the millions of men, women, and children who are still trapped in slavery today.
Walk For Freedom is distinctly recognised by its participants who are in single-file lines, wearing black shirts and yellow bandanas across their mouths, to give a voice to every victim’s story.
The Singleton walk begin at 10am and will depart from Generate Church on Campbell Street.
Miss Hughes says if more people knew about human trafficking, they would want to see it ‘Abolished in the 21st Century (A21)’.
“I believe by participating in this event, we can raise awareness and funds that will actually change people's lives and see them saved from the devastation they are in,” she says.
“You can't do everything, but you can do something.”
She explains A21 has helped many around the world escape their captors.
“I hope the people of Singleton, and the wider Upper Hunter community, can support this event and take a stand for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It is amazing to be a part of this global movement, and locals keen to make a difference are encouraged to join us as we walk single file through town.”
There are an estimated 4300 slaves in Australia, according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2016 Global Slavery Index.
“The common perception we have here in Australia is that slavery doesn't exist in this moment in history, let alone in our own backyard. Walk For Freedom provides a pathway for our communities and the next generation to become educated and take action against this injustice. We all have a valuable part to play in abolishing slavery everywhere, forever,” says Erina Low, A21 Australia’s Prevention, Awareness and Education Coordinator.
People can register at www.a21.org/singleton-au or for more information, find Walk For Freedom Singleton on Facebook, or message the page.