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The Freedom Fund’s fight to end slavery receives boost with $10m CIFF grant

Press release
July 27, 2015

Grant to the Freedom Fund will scale efforts to fight child slavery around the world.

London: 27 July 2015 – The Freedom Fund, the world’s first private donor fund dedicated to ending modern slavery, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). The British philanthropy will grant the Freedom Fund USD$10 million over five years to scale its anti-slavery work around the world, with a particular focus on tackling the exploitation of children.

Globally, more than 35 million people are trapped in modern slavery, and it is estimated that 25% of those enslaved are children. The Freedom Fund’s work is based on a hotspot approach —targeting resources to clusters of local partner organisations on the frontlines of the fight against slavery in those countries with a high prevalence of the crime. The Freedom Fund’s current hotspots in Northern IndiaSouthern IndiaCentral Nepal and Ethiopia focus on liberating children from modern slavery and preventing them from becoming trapped in the nightmare of slavery.

These interventions enable whole families to free themselves from bonded labour in brick kilns and stone quarries in Northern India, help adolescent girls escape forced labour in the garment industry in Southern India, prevent the trafficking of Ethiopian women and girls to the Middle East for domestic work, and combat commercial sexual exploitation of children in Central Nepal.

“CIFF’s commitment to the Freedom Fund, and to efforts to end the slavery of children around the world, will be transformative. CIFF’s support is a powerful endorsement of the work of the Fund and its evidence-based model. We hope that it will encourage other funders globally to prioritise efforts to combat modern slavery and the exploitation of children,” said Nick Grono, Chief Executive Officer of the Freedom Fund.

“For too long child slavery has evoked apathy rather than anger. Now leaders around the world are calling for an end to child slavery, but we need to find more effective ways to take action. The Freedom Fund will innovate, test, and work with communities to develop new approaches. It will accumulate evidence so that we can all learn what works best,” said Michael Anderson, CIFF’s Chief Executive Officer, who will also join the Freedom Fund’s Board of Directors.

Alan McCormick, Managing Director of Legatum and Chairman of the Freedom Fund Board said, “The Freedom Fund is part of a new global abolitionist movement committed to bringing about the end of slavery in our lifetime. The Freedom Fund’s contribution is to act as a catalyst, convenor and source of capital with the goal of identifying and scaling high impact anti-slavery initiatives. CIFF is the natural partner in this effort and its grant will enable the further scaling of programs in the fight against slavery.”

Following 12 months of intervention, the Freedom Fund’s program in Northern India has liberated 2,940 people from slavery and placed over 8200 at-risk children in school – a major life-change which will significantly reduce the risk of them falling into modern slavery in the future.

The Freedom Fund was established in January 2014 with an initial $30 million investment from the Legatum FoundationHumanity United and Minderoo Foundation. It was set the ambitious goal of raising a total of $100 million to measurably reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in slavery hotspots.

Ranya Alkadamani
[email protected]

About the Freedom Fund
The Freedom Fund is a new philanthropic initiative designed to bring much-needed financial resources and strategic focus to the fight against modern slavery. With an expert team and global perspective, the Freedom Fund aims to raise $100 million by 2020 for smart anti-slavery investments in the countries and sectors where it is most needed.

Its approach is to focus on hotspots—defined geographic regions with a high concentration of slavery—and target resources to frontline organisations closest to the problem.

Its country-based experts visit high-risk areas to identify the grassroots partners and systemic initiatives that are having the biggest impact in protecting those at risk from slavery, enabling liberation and recovery of those already enslaved, and bringing those responsible to justice. It works closely with partners to help them improve their results and rigorously measure their outcomes.

About the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation, headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi. It works to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries. Areas of work include children and mothers’ health and nutrition, children’s education and welfare, and smart ways to slowdown and stop climate change. It places significant emphasis on quality data and evidence to measure and evaluate progress with partners to achieve large scale and sustainable impact.

More information at

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The Freedom Fund