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Our impact for 2016, what does it really tell us?

May. 3, 2017 / Blog The Freedom Fund / @freedom_fund

Measuring our impact is integral to the Freedom Fund’s mission to build a global anti-slavery movement. Our work relies on a formidable network of partners – including community-based organisations, human rights advocates and individual participants – and it’s important that we remain accountable and honest about this model by assessing whether our collective efforts are bearing fruit.

As you will see from our newly released 2016 Annual Impact Report, in the last calendar year our combined efforts have liberated 4,225 women, men and children from slavery, enrolled 10,662 at-risk children in school, and impacted on 130,568 of the world’s most vulnerable people. This shows the power of a community-led, collective model of action in combatting modern slavery across a range of settings.

Looking under the bonnet, our impact figures dissected by time and location also provide nuanced insights into the changing context of slavery and the gradual evolution of the Freedom Fund’s work. For example, in northern and southern India where our hotspots are reaching maturity, we are slowly beginning to combine activities that focus on individuals with activities that influence larger systems. In 2016 we supported a record number of legal cases through the judicial process, intensified efforts by local champions to inform legislation and public services, and generated over 600 media stories on progress against trafficking. Of course, we continue to support freedom groups and reintegration of survivors in the community; however, over time we believe these grassroots-level results and experiences garnered can also become powerful instruments for systemic change.

Lastly, we recognise that quantitative measures do not convey the full story: each victim who is liberated has reclaimed their dignity and is no longer subject to horrid abuses, each child who is encouraged to return to school now has greater ambitions and an alternative trajectory for the future. Nevertheless, quantifying the results of our work demonstrates the scale and impact of a community-led, collective model. The Freedom Fund and our partners alone cannot emancipate the 46 million people in modern slavery. We hope that by measuring and sharing the results of our work we can inspire others to join the cause and amplify our efforts to end modern slavery.

Photo credit: Alice Carfrae, © Legatum Limited 2017