We are delighted to share the Freedom Fund’s impact results for the first half of 2017. From January to June, our 101 partners around the world directly impacted the lives of an additional 56,277 vulnerable people. This includes 2,625 adults and children liberated from slavery, 6,218 children enrolled in school, and 549 new legal cases brought against traffickers. Our partners also played a role in 69 arrests and 16 convictions, up 40% compared with last year.
Across our hotspots, our partners are working directly with vulnerable communities as well as applying their on-the-ground experiences to challenge the systems which enable slavery to continue. In our Central Nepal Hotspot, our partners’ efforts working with the Kathmandu city government led to a requirement for all adult entertainment venues to become registered, which is a critical first step to combatting the commercial sexual exploitation of children commonly occurring in these venues. In our Thailand Hotspot, the Freedom Fund launched a new national advocacy platform composed of our partners, environmental NGOs, and coordinated by Oxfam.
In addition to direct interventions, we are also commissioning rigorous research to support evidence-based programming in the anti-slavery community. As an example, a study in our Ethiopia Hotspot by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examines the risk and protective factors for Ethiopian migrant workers in the Middle East. This paper was recently published in the peer reviewed journal, Globalization and Health.
Finally, while we’re incredibly proud of the progress that we’re making through our six hotspots, we consider them as a means to an end. Given the scale of modern slavery – estimated to affect 40.3 million people around the world – our ultimate goal is to harness the lessons from these hotspots in order to identify and scale effective interventions, policies and investments. By transparently capturing and sharing the results of our hotspot programs, we hope to contribute towards better practices across the global anti-slavery movement.