On the eve of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the Legatum Institute was delighted to welcome the Freedom Fund
to open their 2016 conference: ‘Tackling Slavery to Promote Freedom and Prosperity’.
Launched in January 2014, the Freedom Fund is a private philanthropic initiative that invests in front-line efforts to end slavery. To date, the Fund has invested more than $11.31m in projects and partnerships that combat slavery across the world, impacting more than 207,000 lives, and liberating almost 9,000 people living in enforced slavery today.
The scale of the task is clear: 46 million people living in slavery worldwide, half of whom are women and girls, and two thirds live in just 10 countries. The top ten OECD donors spend just £120 million on the problem but the Freedom Fund were keen to stress there are grounds for optimism. Firstly slavery is actually illegal everywhere. Secondly making the case to end it is easier since its moral abhorrence is clear to all and nobody seriously defends it. Thirdly, governments, religious leaders and communities are all increasingly aware of its pervasiveness and are starting to act.
Speaking at the event, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, gave keynote remarks in which she announced the Government’s intention to double its funding to its Women and Girls Refugee Protection Fund. Reinforcing this commitment, the Secretary of State issued a firm message: “We have to see a world free of slavery. It has to be our global objective, and we can only achieve it together … working in partnership with Legatum, the Freedom Fund, businesses, charities and others will be crucial to reducing and preventing modern day slavery”. She went on thank the Freedom Fund and its investors and partners for their visionary ideas, funding and leadership towards combatting what remains a “gruelling and abhorrent 21st-century issue.
The reception also included remarks by Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund, Sarah Newton MP and Parliamentary Undersecretary with the brief for modern-slavery, who said it was a personal mission for her to re-inforce British law to stop slavery and trafficking to the UK, Alan McCormick, Chair of the Freedom Fund and Baroness Stroud, CEO of the Legatum Institute.
Drawing on her own experience, Baroness Stroud expressed the Legatum’s Institute shared vision in tackling this global issue, and announced that it will be working with the Freedom Fund and other organisations to produce evidence-based research that can promote and support global efforts to eradicate modern-day slavery, once and for all.
Above: Sarah Newton MP and Nick Grono
About the Freedom Fund
The Freedom Fund is the world's only philanthropic initiative designed to bring much-needed strategic focus and financial resources to the fight against modern slavery. With an expert team and global perspective, the Freedom Fund identifies and invests in the most effective frontline efforts to end slavery in the countries and sectors where it is most prevalent. The Freedom Fund was founded by three founding investors; Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and the Minderoo Foundation.