More than 45 million people are held in some form of slavery throughout the world. Modern slavery is a complex and often hidden crime that crosses borders, sectors and jurisdictions. It impacts on all of us, from the food we consume and the goods we purchase. And it is our responsibility to tackle this crime.
The Walk Free Foundation works to provide an integrated strategy to respond to this scourge against humanity. We believe that a strong multi-faceted approach through a combination of direct implementation, grassroots community engagement and working in partnership with faiths, businesses, academics, NGOs and governments around the world, is needed to end modern slavery. This includes building a robust knowledge base to inform action, driving legislative change in key countries and harnessing the power of businesses and faiths.
The Foundation was launched by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2012 and encompasses their vision to end modern slavery globally. Seed funded by the Forrests’ Minderoo Foundation, it provides the information and capabilities required for countries to defeat slavery in their jurisdictions.
By Dr. Alison Gardner
In July 2016, UK Prime Minister Theresa May promised to ‘flex the muscle of all parts of the UK Government’ in eradicating modern slavery. Yet whilst her government seeks to ‘get a real grip’ on policy at a national level, there has been minimal focus in the UK on the potential contribution of local public services, places and communities.
By Shaeron Yapp
In 2017 the Australian Government will be considering whether we need to introduce a “Modern Slavery Act”. The recently announced Federal Inquiry provides an invaluable opportunity for consultation between the Government, businesses and civil society to determine what reform is needed here in Australia.
Joint research by the International Labour Organization and the Walk Free Foundation will provide critical data for measuring progress on achieving Target 8.7 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).