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Corporate accountability

Strategic litigation

Strategic litigation, as a tool to drive corporate accountability, has a unique power to compel business action to tackle modern slavery in global supply chains.

Challenging impunity through litigation

Strategic human rights litigation is recognised as a powerful tool to hold companies and governments accountable. This important legal tool is designed to redress the imbalance between victims and perpetrators, driving legal reforms and compelling corporations to act ethically. It stands as a deterrent, adding financial and reputational risks for those profiting from slavery.

The Freedom Fund is at the forefront of this effort, representing a unique entity among donors by specifically funding strategic litigation against corporations involved in modern slavery. Our strategy is to expand the diversity, reach, and impact of strategic litigation, supporting activities that range from research and evidence collection to the execution of legal actions across civil, criminal, and trade law frameworks.

Our focus on anti-slavery legal actions

Since 2017, our commitment to anti-slavery strategic litigation has supported significant legal efforts globally. This approach is essential to our mission to hold corporations accountable and has the capacity to extend its influence further. We prioritise jurisdictions where legal actions can set critical precedents to abolish modern slavery, backing frontline NGOs and lawyers who pursue trailblazing legal strategies, and funding research into novel accountability methods.

The impact of strategic litigation

The Freedom Fund commissioned research to assess the multifaceted effects of filing human rights cases against companies. The report focuses on the impact on corporate conduct as well as the broader international ecosystem. The report sheds light on the complexity of establishing clear, causal links between legal proceedings and companies’ actions, and reveals important considerations for initiators of human rights litigation, corporations, governments, and funders.

Our strategic approach: Three pillars of action


Advancing anti-slavery strategic litigation

We champion the fight against modern slavery by funding litigation that sets groundbreaking legal standards. We are at the vanguard of pioneering legal strategies that challenge the boundaries of corporate responsibility, including civil and criminal cases against companies implicated in exploitation through their supply chains.


Supporting locally-led litigation

Recognising that frontline NGOs play multiple and critical roles in strategic litigation, we aim to grow their resources and capacity to spearhead both domestic and transnational litigation efforts.


Cultivating a global legal movement

The Freedom Fund nurtures a network of partners to unify and enhance collaborative litigation efforts. We forge alliances with key stakeholders and perpetuate research and dialogue to establish litigation as an impactful anti-slavery tool.