Our Model: Strengthening Communities
Free the Slaves focuses on strengthening entire communities. That way, people who break free won’t fall back into slavery and traffickers won’t enslave others to take their place. By helping communities chart their own path based on their unique needs and circumstances, we build sustainable systems of freedom.
Our Model: Local, Collaborative, Fundamental, Holistic
Our model for freedom focuses on identifying at-risk communities and then developing the intellectual, organizational, legal, political, and physical assets needed to liberate those enslaved and overcome fundamental vulnerabilities to slavery.
Our model is built on evidence-based strategies that have proven successful in significantly and sustainably reducing the prevalence of slavery. Our work is based on thorough investigations into and firsthand experience within local communities, and it is carried out with and through local partner organizations.
Our Model: Addressing Key Vulnerabilities
Slavery overwhelmingly affects vulnerable communities. While no group is immune, slaves usually come from the poor, the desperate, the uneducated, the marginalized, and the unprotected.
Often people do not know their rights and accept forced labor. Many are unaware of risks, and they believe promises made by traffickers offering jobs far from home. In many communities people lack adequate income, education, health care, and housing—as well as effective local organizations that can advocate for social benefits and legal protection.
Free the Slaves help communities overcome these vulnerabilities by:
- Helping people understand and exercise their rights
- Freeing enslaved people and advocating for the provision of basic needs for food, shelter, and safety
- Strengthening household security by addressing deficiencies of income, schooling, and health
- Organizing community groups against slavery
- Educating people on the risks of migrating for work
- Providing access to adequate legal protection
- Increasing the cost and consequences to perpetrators of slavery
- Dismantling the systems that allow slavery to flourish, and creating others that support former slaves learning to live in freedom
Our Model: Freeing Slaves, Ending Slavery
Free the Slaves works with grassroots groups, international aid and development institutions, non-governmental organizations, advocacy coalitions, governments, and journalists. Together we’re making a remarkable impact. Since our founding in 2000, we have liberated 13,000 people from slavery.
In 2016, Free the Slaves programs produced these results:
- 1,123 people freed from slavery
- 2,625 slaves or survivors receiving support from FTS or our partner organizations
- 189,052 people reached through awareness raising and rights education about how to protect their families from traffickers
- 1,395 villages and neighborhoods supported to protect their communities from slavery
- 955 government officials trained on how to more effectively stop slavery
- 59 traffickers and slaveholders arrested
Read the Harvard University report about how the community-oriented approach being implemented by FTS’ front-line partner in India is reducing slavery and improving lives.