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Hostile Environment: The nexus between modern slavery and environmental destruction

March 31, 2021

Modern slavery and environmental destruction are concurrent crises – but what if they are more interrelated than we ever imagined?

This session was the first in a series curated by the Freedom Fund exploring the nexus between modern day slavery and environmental destruction. From the devastating deforestation of the Amazon, the mining industry’s decimation of protected areas in the Congo to the fishing sector in South-East Asia, slavery is inextricably interwoven with some of the worst environmental destruction on the planet. Yet, this connection remains one of the most under-researched topics.

The Freedom Fund was joined by the Environmental Funders Network and Ariadne Network for a discussion exploring how modern day slavery and environmental destruction weave together, and how by better understanding the interlinkages, we have a possible route to protecting both the most vulnerable people in the world, and some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.

Watch the recording here.

Speakers at the 20 April 2021 webinar were:


  • Kevin Bales, CMG – Research Director of the Rights Lab and Professor of Contemporary Slavery, University of Nottingham


  • Maggie Gardner – Managing Director, Development and Partnerships, The Freedom Fund
  • Leonardo Sakamoto – Investigative journalist and founder of Repórter Brazil


  • Julie Broome – Director, Ariadne Network

Read more about the connections between modern slavery and climate change here.

Written by
The Freedom Fund