media library

The ZN Case: one man takes on the system


Hong Kong is one of the few countries where human trafficking is still not criminalised. One man known as “Zn”, is courageously taking on the Hong Kong authorities, attempting to change these laws.

ARTICLE: Combatting Ethnic Violence, War and Modern Slavery Practices in the Horn of Africa – High Hopes for the New Prime Minister of Ethiopia


The recent appointment of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is heralding a new era of peace in the Horn of Africa. The previous Prime Minister stepped down in February after months of deadly riots and demonstrations protesting human rights abuses. Within just a short space of time, Prime Minister Ahmed has already signed a peace treaty with neighbouring Eritrea, which has brought an end to the war and military stand-off between the two countries. Promising progress includes the release of political prisoners and the recent reopening of border crossings.


Walk Free calls for G20 action plan on modern slavery in global supply chains

MENDOZA, ARGENTINA, 5 September 2018 — G20 member states must form concrete action plans to eradicate modern slavery, according to a new Walk Free Foundation report.



Stretch targets, by nature, are designed to spur action. One hugely critical target, however, is at risk of passing by unmet. This target is the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, a global goal which calls for effective measures to end forced labour, human trafficking and child labour by 2030. In short, what we call modern slavery.

MEDIA RELEASE: Religious Leaders Unite in Colombia to Eradicate Modern Slavery

Medellín, COLOMBIA, 26 August 2018 –  Latin American faith leaders have united to jointly declare their commitment to stand against modern slavery.

The religious leaders were brought together at a historic event in Medellin, Colombia, organised by the Global Freedom Network, an initiative of the Walk Free Foundation, in collaboration with the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM). The event united religious leaders from the region to commit to eradicating modern slavery through spiritual and practical actions.

Picturing Slavery: Learning from Antislavery Murals

By Hannah Jeffery

As of 2017, every habitable continent in the world houses murals or public art installations dedicated to raising awareness of contemporary slavery. Texturing the streets of Bluefields in Nicaragua, Miami in the United States, New Delhi in India, Freetown in Sierra Leone, and Buenos Aires in Argentina, for example, are contemporary antislavery murals.


Once ratified, the Forced Labour Protocol will require the Australian Government to take important steps including:

  • Ensure that all laws relevant to forced labour, including labour laws but also victim support and compensation laws, apply to all workers and all sectors of the economy in Australia.
  • Protecting migrant workers in Australia from abuse and fraud in the recruitment process.
  • Supporting due diligence by both the public and private sectors on supply chains.
  • Ensuring that victims of forced labour are not penalized for things they did while under the control of criminals.

Tackling Modern Slavery in the Hotel Industry

By Isobel Archer, Shiva Foundation 

Following the implementation of legislation such as the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) and California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (2010), modern slavery has come to the forefront of the minds of senior executives in business. With an ever increasing number of governments (Australia, Hong Kong, France, Netherlands) facing calls for new laws on corporate responsibility to combat modern slavery from the top down, the onus at last seems to be on businesses to step up and take responsibility for tackling this hidden crime. Some sectors now face scrutiny en masse, with the garment, food, electronics and construction industries being just a few of those perceived to be particularly at risk for labour exploitation.

MEDIA RELEASE: Walk Free Foundation applauds NSW Parliamentary inquiry recommendations aimed at stamping out modern slavery #EndSlaveryAUS

The Walk Free Foundation welcomes the NSW Parliamentary Committee Report on Human Trafficking as an important contribution to improving Australia’s efforts to stamp out the human rights scourge of modern slavery.

Walk Free Foundation Chairman and founder, Mr Andrew Forrest AO, says “the report highlights the role that not only government but business and the community can play in ending this horrific, and often, hidden crime.”

Survivors’ Solutions: The Value of Survivors’ Voices in the Antislavery Movement

By Andrea Nicholson

Slave narratives have long been a valuable tool in abolitionism; the pamphlets, papers, art, lectures and writings by abolitionists, slaves and amanuenses during the 19thcentury were central to galvanising the abolitionist movement and effecting change. These collections continue to inform our perspectives of slavery today, with historic narratives providing a basis upon which we can understand the nature of slavery then and now.

Special Edition of CHANCE on Modern Slavery

By Davina P. Durgana, PhD

Over the past year, the Walk Free Foundation Global Slavery Index and CHANCE, a journal of the American Statistical Association (ASA), have collaborated closely to develop a Special Issue on Modern Slavery.  Global Slavery Index Executive Director of Global Research Fiona David, Senior Research Manager Jacqueline Joudo Larsen, and Senior Researcher Dr. Davina Durgana have authored articles in this Special Edition alongside prominent anti-slavery scholars and esteemed Expert Working Group members. This special edition is now available online and was commemorated at an official launch event at Harvard University on October 2nd, 2017 sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights and the Inter-University Consortium Against Modern Slavery (ICAMS) Network.

MEDIA RELEASE: 40 million in modern slavery and 152 million in child labour around the world #Achieve87

New York, 19 September 2017 – New research developed jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has revealed the true scale of modern slavery around the world. The data, released during the United Nations General Assembly, shows that more than 40 million people around the world were victims of modern slavery in 2016. The ILO have also released a companion estimate of child labour, which confirms that about 152 million children, aged between 5 and 17, were subject to child labour.

A Clarion Call for Change

By Zunaira Khan

Do you support modern slavery? This is not a difficult question, one which most companies and individuals would answer with a resounding no. It is far more difficult to deny that modern slavery is happening all over the world. Almost 46 million people around the world are living in some form of modern slavery.

MEDIA RELEASE: Modern Slavery Parliamentary Report a great step forward

The Walk Free Foundation today welcomed the Interim Report by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia.

The Committee’s Report was tabled in Parliament and demonstrates strong support for a comprehensive Modern Slavery Act.

“The Committee has seized the importance of this issue and has shown the way forward for a strong Australian response,” said Walk Free Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jenn Morris.

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia’s Modern Slavery Legislation Applauded


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.”

What works to combat modern slavery? Reviewing anti- slavery and counter trafficking evaluations

By Katharine Bryant

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.

The Rights Lab

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.

Global Research for Global Problems: Government Responses

Working on the Walk Free Foundation’s government response database is a fascinating, thought-provoking, and troubling experience. As a researcher going from knowing relatively little about the global situation of modern day slavery to spending several months conducting detailed research into the topic, I was exposed to just how extensive this global problem is, and how useful the work conducted by the Walk Free Foundation is in combating modern slavery.

Slavery from Space

By Bethany Jackson and Dr. Jessica Wardlaw

Modern slavery remains a pressing human rights issue, with the latest Global Slavery Index (2016) estimating that 45.8 million people are currently enslaved globally. India alone accounts for over 18 million affected individuals, in industries ranging from domestic work and construction to agriculture and quarrying. Efforts to eradicate this pervasive human rights violation have ramped up in the last couple of decades, but the widespread nature of modern slavery means that our understanding of its practice continues to evolve. New methods for tackling slavery in certain industries are essential to free these enslaved people and build resilience in vulnerable populations.

Advancing supply chain management for the challenges of Modern Slavery By Dr Alexander Trautrims

Supply chains that compete solely on price with little opportunity to differentiate from the competition or to compete on value-added propositions, are almost naturally drawn towards modern slavery and other unethical labour practices. This is particularly the case for industries where low skill labour is a key resource and in places where automation cannot economically compete with the abundant supply of such labour resources.

How do we build capacity in the field of anti-slavery?

By Professor Kevin Bales, CMG

We all want to end slavery, but how? We all want to support freed slaves, but how?

Sooner or later everyone in the world of human rights, anti-trafficking, and anti-slavery asks these questions. These questions spring up whenever we wrestle with the tough challenges of liberation and reintegration. Around the world people and professionals can be baffled trying to understand the nuances of the ever-changing yet ever-constant ugly facts of slavery. Definitions vary, laws vary, the many types of enslavement vary, even anti-slavery strategies and goals vary – how can we make sense of them all? This confusion, this hunger for understanding, is not surprising given that there has been no organized, in-depth, professional training and education program available to anti-slavery and anti-trafficking activists and workers… until now.

The Case for an Australian Modern Slavery Act

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.

JK Beberkan Bentuk Perbudakan Modern yang Harus Diberantas

CNN – Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla turut hadir dalam acara penandatanganan deklarasi memberantas perbudakan modern yang digagas oleh Global Freedom Network dan Universitas Paramadina. Dalam acara tersebut JK membeberkan bentuk-bentuk perbudakan modern di zaman sekarang.

MEDIA RELEASE: Indonesian religious leaders unite against modern slavery

This morning, seven religious leaders who represent all religions constitutionally admitted in Indonesia; Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism gathered and expressed their commitment to stand united against modern slavery in an event hosted by the Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, at the Vice Presidential Palace, Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta.

We can be the generation that ends slavery

By Shaeron Yapp

I want to make a difference to end child slavery all around the world – Emily, Age 12” was just one of inspiring pledges written by Year 7 students at the Thrive Event on 8 March 2017.

Innovation – Evolution – PARTNERSHIP!

By Professor Kevin Bales CMG

Every great change begins with an idea and a start-up, whether it is the transformation of the world through computer technology, or the beginning of the end of slavery. All start-ups evolve in a challenging environment, and in time those that survive and prosper tend to join together – maximising skills, human and financial resources, and reach. Today, 25 years into the fourth great anti-slavery movement in human history, consolidation and partnership is the theme of the hour. to start new chapter as Freedom United! was launched in 2012 as a global community with a shared vision of a world free from modern slavery. Andrew and Nicola Forrest founded with their daughter Grace, after her volunteer work exposed them to the reality of modern slavery. The Movement as it is fondly known to us, was the first initiative to be launched under the Minderoo-backed Walk Free Foundation.

Death, taxes, conflict and migration

Migration was a key political challenge for Europe in 2016, and has risen to become the current issue on the global agenda, following President Trump’s Executive Order, banning entry to the US for nationals of 7 countries, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Modern slavery – an issue for Australia?

This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.

On this Australia Day, anti-slavery campaigner Andrew Forrest is one of seven incredible candidates for the prestigious honour of Australian of the Year. While Mr. Forrest’s personal efforts to root out slavery in his own company’s supply chains have drawn much needed attention to the issue, the perception of most Australians remains that slavery is either a relic of the past or someone else’s problem.

UN Security Council acts on modern slavery in conflict

This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.
By Fiona David and Dr Eleanor Tighe

The failures of the UN Security Council remain a very real challenge for us today. In a world gone mad – children buried under rubble in Aleppo, war crimes being undertaken on all sides in the battle for Mosul – it is easy to lose hope, and particularly to lose faith in the key institution that was intended to ensure peace to the world, the UN Security Council. Is it any surprise that in Europe, one philanthropist has offered a $5 million prize to anyone who can come up with a new improved, system of global governance – a redesigned “UN 2.0”?

Has the Qatari government ‘abolished’ the Kafala system?

By Katharine Bryant

In recent news, the Qatari government has made the announcement that it has abolished Kafala, the exploitative labour system used throughout the Middle East. It effectively ties employees to their employers without the opportunity to change jobs or leave the country without their employer’s permission. Those who do not seek permission can face deportation or arrest. Reports suggest that construction workers have died because of appalling working conditions in the construction of the World Cup stadiums, while domestic workers working in private homes are particularly vulnerable to horrendous physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

It’s everyone’s business to end slavery

This article originally appeared in Huffington Post.
By Andrew Forrest

This is the challenge of fighting modern slavery in Australia, where it is not common, and where our daily lives don’t intersect with the horrors that fellow human beings are experiencing in other countries.

With Over 18 Million People, India Tops Global Slavery Index

This article originally appeared on NDTV.

India has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of people in the world trapped in modern slavery with 18.35 million victims of forced labour, ranging from prostitution and begging, according to a new report, which estimated that nearly 46 million people are enslaved globally.

46 Millionen Sklaven gibt es auf der Welt – heute!

This article originally appeared on Jetzt.

Der “Global Slavery Index 2016” berichtet über moderne Formen der Sklaverei. Finanziert wird er vom australischen Milliardär Andrew Forrest, der einen Großteil seines Vermögens mit Bergbauunternehmen verdient hat. Ein Gespräch.

45.8 million people are enslaved across the world


An estimated 45.8 million men, women and children around the world are today trapped in modern slavery – 28% more than previously estimated. They are enslaved through human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation. This is revealed in the 2016 Global Slavery Index, the flagship research report published today by the Walk Free Foundation.