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Funding the fight against modern slavery: Mapping private funds in the anti-slavery and anti-trafficking sector – 2012-2014

April 1, 2016

This study sought to quantify the scale, focus and geographic location of private funding for anti- slavery initiatives, as well as identify promising trends and funding gaps that need to be addressed.

Our goal is to deepen the conversation among donors, NGOs and other partners in order to foster new partnerships, generate additional and sustained support, and promote strategic investing in those areas that will deliver the greatest impact.

With the global community committed to ending modern slavery by 2030, as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, it is important to take stock of where we are now and the important contribution that private donors can make in the coming decade to help realise this goal.

What we found:

  • In the three-year period from 2012-2014, US$233 million of private funds were used to combat slavery in all its forms.
  • Funding to anti-slavery and anti-trafficking initiatives is growing, up 13% in 2013 and 57% in 2014 compared to 2012.
  • New donors, large and small, are joining the fight against modern slavery.

The study highlighted the deep commitment that donors have to ending slavery and human trafficking. Of the 70 funders who directly reported their giving, 40 (57%) increased their contributions in 2014. Of those 40, 17 (24%) increased their giving by more than 100% compared to 2012.

The study also revealed, however, that private sector giving is fragmented and insufficient to tackle the enormity of the problem.

More overall funding is needed to combat the different forms of slavery, as well as more strategic funding to address the causes and consequences of slavery and human trafficking.


Image: Katie Orlinsky © Legatum Limited 2016

Written by
The Freedom Fund