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What does impact look like?

May 5, 2016

Around the world, millions of people remain trapped in situations of appalling abuse. They are denied their liberty for someone else’s profit or pleasure. Whole villages remain locked in debt bondage in South Asia; major world industries – from seafood to clothing – continue to rely on forced labour in their supply chains; and conflicts from Syria to Afghanistan are pushing an unprecedented number of people into the hands of human traffickers.

At the same time, we are seeing more and more organisations take up the fight against modern slavery. One of the founding goals of the Freedom Fund was to ensure that those on the frontline of this movement – those who can make the biggest difference – have the resources to do the job.

I am immensely proud that in 2015, the Freedom Fund’s second year of operation, we have taken a major step toward that goal. Having funded 28 NGOs in 2014 in two slavery hotspots, we more than tripled that figure in 2015, identifying and investing in nearly 100 NGOs in six hotspots.

Our grants and expert support to these NGOs are transforming their ability to help the communities and individuals who need it most. They are giving shelter to migrant workers trafficked into the Thai seafood industry, securing land rights for low-caste communities in Nepal, working with retail clothing brands in Southern India to ensure adolescent girls are not forced to work in local mills, and helping Ethiopian women find safe ways to work abroad.

This impact is described in our 2015 Annual Impact Report, available here.

Beyond our work in the hotspots, we are bringing our resources to bear on the global drivers of slavery. This year we published research on the link between corruption and modern slavery, the treatment of mental trauma among survivors, and making cross-border migration safer for the most vulnerable. We launched an initiative to promote strategic litigation against governments and businesses that are not meeting their legal obligations.

We also continue in our endeavour to build a stronger anti-slavery movement, creating new platforms to share knowledge. And we are working to mobilise the leading international agencies in this fight: in December, we addressed the United Nations Security Council in its first ever debate on the subject to call for greater action against slavery.

This is a promising start for the Fund. But we have a long way to go. We draw inspiration from our partners on the frontlines, the communities they serve, and the stories we hear every day of incremental victories. We are also grateful to all of those who invest in the Freedom Fund – as without their investment none of this would be possible.

We thank all of you for your continuing support for our efforts.

Very best,

Nick Grono


Written by
Nick Grono