Collaboration between Walk Free Foundation and the International Organization for Migration


In January 2015, the Chairman of the Walk Free Foundation, Andrew Forrest and the Director General of the International Organization for Migration, William Lacy Swing, signed an Memorandum of Understanding committing the two organisations to working together against modern slavery.

While many think slavery is a relic of the past, unfortunately today, criminals continue to find new ways to exploit the vulnerable, and extract their labour or services by force. Whether this takes the form of the sexual enslavement of Yazidi women in Iraq by ISIL, or the deceptive recruitment and capture of fisherman on board Thai fishing vessels for forced labour, this crime is alive and well.

Drawing on the respective strengths of the two organisations, collaboration has included data sharing drawing on the IOM’s database of more than 46,000 cases of human trafficking, and joint research on modern slavery in the Middle East (see further, The Other Migrant Crisis, 2015).

Now in the second year of what is already proving to be a very successful collaboration, the two organisations have developed a work plan for 2017, which involves research projects aimed at achieving better understanding of the prevalence of modern slavery in situations of crisis, and prevalence of modern slavery amongst specific demographics, including women and children.

Media enquiries:
Walk Free Foundation: Tess Ingram, mobile: +61 (0) 448 922 364, email:
IOM: Harry Cook:; +41 22 717 9 502