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.
Walk Free Foundation founder, Mr Andrew Forrest AO, today welcomed the announcement by the Australian Government to introduce an historic Modern Slavery Act for Australia.
Mr Forrest said enacting this legislation would be a game-changer in the fight to end modern slavery, both here and overseas.
“This is a tremendous decision and will be a major blow against slavery in the Asian region,” he said. “The Australian Government is to be congratulated for its leadership in introducing this measure. There is bi-partisan support for the legislation, so the Government can move quickly to have it passed.”
I first started working in the anti- slavery space on a counter trafficking programme in Timor-Leste. We were implementing a programme that looked very similar to counter trafficking programming around the world , which included providing technical advice to the government to develop counter trafficking legislation and a national action plan, support to NGOs to improve delivery of services, and training for police to better investigate crimes. One of my roles was tracking our impact, and while we were successful in achieving all our outputs, the answer to the question of whether we had reduced trafficking remained somewhat elusive.
By Professor Zoe Trodd
Almost 46 million people are enslaved around the world today. But we’re in the middle of history’s fourth great antislavery movement. We have a global commitment to ending slavery by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, and a deep commitment from the UK government, in the new Modern Slavery Act.