The Global Slavery Index was developed to accurately measure the prevalence of modern slavery, the strength of government responses and the level of vulnerability to enslavement in 167 countries. This real time intelligence enables countries to develop informed actions to end slavery and to be supported by informed funders.
The Bali Process is a regional forum that aims to eradicate crimes against humanity including people smuggling and human trafficking. The Walk Free Foundation was invited to work with the Australian Government on the Bali Process Government and Business Forum. It will be launched in August 2017, bringing together Bali Process Ministers and key private sector leaders to examine slavery and trafficking with the aim of adopting an agreed set of principles. Our Founder Andrew Forrest this year accepted an invitation by Australia’s Foreign Minister to take the lead as Australia’s “Business Champion” for the Forum, representing Australia’s private sector and mobilising global business support round ending modern slavery.
Of the 45.8 million people estimated by the Global Slavery Index to be enslaved worldwide, the majority are victims of exploitation in private sector activities, such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Forced labour and slavery is big business. The illicit profit estimated by the ILO is 150 billion dollars a year. Business needs to step up and tackle the crisis of modern slavery in supply chains head-on as modern slavery awareness is increasing fast and consumers increasingly demand more responsibility from their favourite brands. Our organisation provides assets for companies in Australia and globally to be informed on how to eradicate slavery from their supply chains and get ahead of the curve on this issue.
Drawing on global research on modern slavery, fisheries catch and trade statistics, we are undertaking research to provide a global analysis of the scale of the slavery in the fisheries sector. This information will inform the effective allocation of resources by business and government to key sectors in the global fishing industry. It will also allow ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of government and intergovernmental policies which attempt to address the problems of modern slavery.
The Global Freedom Network was formed in late 2013 and has brought together faith leaders from across the world, bridging cultural, religious and political divides to pledge an end to modern slavery by 2020. Further commitments have been made by an additional 27 faith leaders who signed the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery in Australia, India and Indonesia.
The Walk Free Foundation is one of three founding partners, alongside Humanity United and the Legatum Group, of the Freedom Fund – the world’s first private donor fund to bring financial resources, strategic focus and robust analysis to grassroots partners in the fight against modern slavery. The Fund aims to raise US$100 million by 2020 for smart anti-slavery investments in the countries and sectors where it is most needed. Since its inception in 2013, Freedom Fund has liberated over 10,000 people. In 2016 alone, Freedom Fund and its partners had a direct impact on 130,568 of the world’s most vulnerable people – more than in any other year since the Freedom Fund’s inception.
Freedom United was launched as WalkFree.org in 2012 as a global community with a shared vision of a world free from modern slavery. Andrew and Nicola Forrest founded the organisation with their daughter Grace, after her volunteer work exposed them to the reality of modern slavery. In just four short years, the organisation has grown to a global community of over 8 million people who have driven 35 campaign wins and held over 200 events. After incubating WalkFree.org over the past four years, leadership of the Movement was passed over to U.S.- based Audacity Factory, an accelerator and collaborative focused on ending modern slavery. Since then, the fight has continued with significant wins to protect children, address slavery in conflict regions, imprisoned activists freed and thousands of domestic workers protected.
We are collaborating with the Global Fund to End Slavery in recognition of the need for government developed and driven, fully budgeted, strategies to end modern slavery. The Fund aspires to build a unique public-private partnership to leverage unprecedented levels of resources to dismantle the systems of slavery. These funds will be invested to scale effective anti-slavery interventions in partnership with nation states.