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Convening and coalition building

FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY FORUM

The Freedom Fund partnered with the Daniel Elkes Foundation and international anti-slavery organisation Free The Slaves to convene the Freedom From Slavery Forum in September 2014 and September 2015.

The Forum is an annual event, which provides a unique opportunity for leaders of the antislavery movement to convene, share evidence-based practices and build a shared agenda as a movement. In order to achieve the goals of the Forum, it is critical to involve leaders working in different geographic areas and contexts. The inclusion of leaders working on the frontlines of fighting slavery is imperative to ensuring nuanced discussion and the development of a shared action agenda. The grant requested from the Freedom Fund funds the travel costs of eight participants from developing countries.

Project

The abolitionist movement is still at a relatively early stage of intellectual development. There is an acute lack of evidence about interventions for preventing slavery, ending slavery where it exists and fully reintegrating slavery survivors. In addition, forums are needed for anti-slavery leaders, practitioners, and advocates to develop and share information about evidence-based practices. The present lack of communication prevents leaders from  developing a shared agenda for action to address slavery.

The Freedom from Slavery Forum is designed to help address this. The agenda of each meeting will cover themes that will be revisited on an annual basis. Leaders will develop a joint action plan that will include follow-up activities after the meeting. 35 to 40 leaders of anti-slavery organisations will identify specific actions they can take, individually or collectively, to address gaps in the movement.

The goal is to create a long-term process and structure for dialogue, sharing of evidence and lessons learned and building of a common agenda among the leaders of anti-slavery organisations. A half-day event open to the general public takes place on the final day of the Forum with a view to raising awareness and promoting solutions for addressing slavery.

Deliverables

  • Creation of a collegial space where leaders can coalesce, form partnerships and develop a shared agenda for action that will further the anti-slavery movement.
  • Distillation, documentation and dissemination of experiences and evidence gained from programs, and identification of critical gaps needing attention.

Potential investments

Funding for future convenings

Capital is required to support the forum in future years (2016 and onwards). An investment of $50,000 will assist in bringing anti-slavery leaders from developing countries to the forum and cover 40% of the annual running costs.