The year 2020 brings several important anniversaries. It’s the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Palermo Protocol, the landmark treaty to confront modern forms of slavery worldwide. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the cornerstone for America’s governmental programs to combat human trafficking. And:
2020 marks the 20th birthday of Free the Slaves!
We were born in the early days of the new millennium as a small collective of dedicated activists committed to alerting the world about slavery’s global comeback and to catalyze a resurgence of the abolition movement. Free the Slaves exists to help finish the work that earlier generations of abolitionists started.
We’ve grown over the years, and now help those in slavery escape the brutality of bondage. We help prevent others from becoming trapped by traffickers. We help officials bring slave holders to justice. We help survivors restore their dignity, rebuild their lives, and reclaim the future for themselves, their families and their communities.
Ultimately, slavery will end when you take action. We’re building a movement for social justice, and that takes everyone doing their part. During January, which is officially National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the U.S., we hope you will join us join us in spreading freedom worldwide.
- We free slaves. We’ve liberated more than 14,000 people so far. Many more need help.
- We prevent slavery. We’ve trained more than 650,000 vulnerable villagers how to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors from traffickers.
- We bring traffickers to justice. We’ve trained police worldwide, and we’ve filed cases that get police to conduct raids that liberate the enslaved and incarcerate their traffickers.
- We protect children. More than 25 percent of slavery victims are kids. Our child rights strategies help parents and communities safeguard their youngest and most vulnerable members.
- We protect entire communities. We identify specific vulnerabilities that put people at risk, then help people make their village slavery-free and slavery-resistant.
- We create lasting freedom. We help survivors with counseling, education, skills training and microcredit so they can remain free after they break free.
- Freedom creates social progress. Research shows that people in liberated communities enjoy better health care, nutrition, education, government services, civic participation, gender equality and economic opportunity.
- We create a freedom dividend. People in freedom get paid for their work. Slaves do not. When people start earning money again, they boost their local economy.
- We take a holistic approach. Our community-based strategy does more than liberate the enslaved. It changes the conditions that allow slavery to persist. Systemic change ensures sustainable freedom.
- You can trust us. We rigorously monitor our projects and publish our results to ensure we’re getting the job done in hot spots around the globe. Your contribution is not a gift, it’s an investment. We make sure that it generates results.
- We educate and mobilize. Our front-line teams ensure that community members learn about their rights and then band together to demand stronger rule of law to free those in slavery and better social services to prevent slavery’s spread. Collective action is the key to community-wide protection.
- We speak truth to power. Our policy advocacy work inside the U.S. has strengthened American law and increased funding for anti-slavery programs at home and abroad. Our work at the United Nations is ensuring that civil society organizations have a seat at the table in crafting global anti-slavery projects.
- We’re building the movement. Our annual Freedom from Slavery Forum convenes anti-trafficking activists from organizations big and small to share best practices, coordinate action and strengthen our collective voice.
- We’re scaling-up. Our Community Liberation Initiative is helping large international development organizations to integrate anti-trafficking activities into a wide range of aid programs that are already at work in communities where slavery is a persistent problem.
- We’re cleaning-up the global economy. We’re championing legislation that requires corporations to cleanse their supply chains of forced labor – all the way down to the production of raw materials from mines, farms and fishing fleets.
- Ending slavery is the right thing to do. It’s morally wrong and it’s against the law. Period.
- Ending slavery is the smart thing to do. Imagine putting $150 billion into the hands of impoverished and vulnerable people. That’s how much traffickers profit each year. Ending slavery is a great investment to address global poverty.
- Your donation makes a difference. Our strategy to free entire communities, rather than individuals only, accelerates the spread of freedom.
- You can make history. Early abolitionists successfully outlawed slavery, but they didn’t eradicate it. That’s our generation’s job, to end slavery for everyone everywhere.
- Freedom is the best gift you could ever give. Imagine the impact you can have on the trajectory of child’s life, or the stability of an entire family, with a donation to Free the Slaves.
We’ll keep you up to date on events during 2020 as our 20th birthday year unfolds. On behalf of our founders, board members, partners and staffers around the world, our gratitude for making a difference by making Free the Slaves one of the world’s most widely-known and respected anti-slavery organizations.