Last week, the Freedom Fund convened a forum in London with the leaders of 60 anti-slavery and anti-child labour civil society organisations (CSOs) from more than 20 countries to discuss their role and involvement in the new Alliance 8.7 process.
Alliance 8.7 is a global partnership that provides strategic coordination towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 against forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour.
While many regional consultations have taken place within the framework of the alliance, this was the first time participants focussed on the specific role and involvement of frontline CSOs in the Alliance 8.7 process.
“This forum is a critical opportunity for Alliance 8.7 to engage with civil society leaders from all over the world to end modern slavery and child labour,” said Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund. “All efforts to eradicate this terrible crime must include voices from the frontlines, and we welcome their views and recommendations on the way forward”.
The event opened on 11 September at the Legatum Institute with an address from UK Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel. The Secretary of State warmly welcomed the representatives and reiterated the UK Government’s commitment to tackling modern slavery and child labour.
The majority of the forum’s participants represented frontline organisations working against modern slavery and child labour. These included leaders from India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nepal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Jordan, Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica, who came together to discuss their role in Alliance 8.7 and also explore ways in which they can collaborate more broadly.
The voices of frontline organisations are too rarely heard on the global stage. This forum was critical in providing a platform for CSOs to participate in international policy discussions and to present their views on how best to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The two-day meeting led to an initial set of advice and recommendations on how frontline organisations can engage with Alliance 8.7. Because civil society organisations understand the challenges of preventing and tackling slavery, they are best placed to identify, innovate and advocate for policy and programmatic solutions. The forum took place from the 12th to the 13th of September at the Congress Centre in London.
World leaders adopted the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Goal 8, which lies at the heart of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, seeks to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.
Alliance 8.7 was created to bring all concerned parties together to coordinate action on ending modern slavery.
Read the NGO Forum Summary Notes.