Traffickers target people in financial trouble. When a medical crisis or other emergency strikes — like a fire, flood, drought, cyclone or earthquake — traffickers offer quick loans to desperate people who promise to “work it off.”
When the borrower arrives at the job site, they find themselves in modern slavery. They’re overworked, never paid and often beaten. In many cases, they’re confined by armed guards.
This is why financial resilience is a key strategy of the Free the Slaves community model for freedom. When we liberate the enslaved, we help them establish savings and loan clubs. People can borrow from the club instead of from a trafficker. This protects villagers from slavery and helps entrepreneurs start microenterprises that benefit everyone.
The key ingredient is freedom. When people are free, they keep the money they earn and build collective financial security. Savings start with freedom, and those savings keep people free.
I hope you will take a moment this holiday season to invest in freedom by making or renewing your annual pledge to Free the Slaves.
Visit our special It Starts With Freedom webpage to stay in touch with our fall campaign.