On September 29, 2012, the Laogai Museum took part in the 2012 DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk’s resource fair along with nearly 30 other organizations committed to “a world without slavery.” Laogai Museum staff spoke with walkers and similar organizations about the ongoing abuses committed in the Laogai, China’s extensive network of forced labor camps. For many, it was the first time they had ever heard of these camps and the brutal human rights abuses perpetrated behind its walls. Those who visited the Laogai Museum table left with a bag filled with informational pamphlets and the knowledge that slavery—in the form of everyday things like binder clips to the clothes on their back—is neither a thing of the past, nor a phenomenon reserved for the Third World.
Besides being educational, the 2012 DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk also featured many calls to action. One in particular was organized by the Youth for Human Rights International, a non-profit whose mission is to teach youth about human rights. YHRI received many signatures from walkers and other organizations for their petition to support the implementation of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Other calls to action were indirect but important nonetheless. Vendors at the resource fair showcased their wares, which ranged from jewelry created by survivors of sex trafficking and totes crafted by those at risk of sex trafficking. Buying these wares provides a means for victims of sexual slavery to support themselves.
Of course, the most prominent call to action at the walk was to stop modern slavery. This year’s walk raised $87,499 and had 1,839 walkers. Though this year’s walk is over, you can still donate.
2012 DC Stop Modern Slavery Slideshow
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