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The Freedom Fund’s First Eight Months

September 16, 2014 / Freedom Fund Updates, Blog Nick Grono / @nickgrono

Dear friends,

I’m writing to thank you for your tremendous support over the eight months since I joined the Freedom Fund as CEO. It’s been a busy time, but highly productive – and we have already taken some big steps to advance our mission.

We’ve now got key staff in place; moved into offices in London and New York; launched our first hotspot in Northern India; started implementing our second hotspot, in Nepal; and are well advanced in planning for three potential hotspots for next year, in Ethiopia, Brazil and Thailand.

For our Northern India hotspot, we have partnered with 17 community organisations which are doing inspiring work to fight bonded labour and other forms of slavery in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. By June, working with our partners, we had freed 160 people from slavery, and advised over 10,000 members of vulnerable communities of the risks of slavery and ways in which they could avoid its clutches. Those numbers will accelerate rapidly throughout this year and thereafter as we increase the reach of that hotspot, and start new ones.

However, it’s not just about numbers – but also about identifying what works best and why, and how it can be scaled and replicated. We are in the process of commissioning a groundbreaking independent study on the efforts of our biggest India partner to slave-proof vulnerable communities, and measure the prosperity generated by freeing those enslaved. We will publish that study mid-next year.

The Freedom Fund - survivors of modern slavery

We’ll soon be launching, with our partners Polaris and Walk Free, the world’s most extensive directory of anti-slavery organisations; and we’ve also got a couple of ambitious legal initiatives underway – the first to map potential legal interventions in India, and the other to look at the role of international criminal law in fighting slavery. So there’s lots going on.

You can learn more about all of our efforts on the Freedom Fund’s website and we post regular updates on our new blog “A World Free of Slavery”.  We will occasionally email the most interesting of those updates to those of you who have signed up to hear our latest news (which you can do at the foot of any page on our website).

With thanks again for your ongoing support,

Nick