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Making slavery visible through research and data

June 30, 2020 / Freedom Fund Updates, Blog Nick Grono / @nickgrono

At the Freedom Fund, when we talk about modern slavery and human trafficking, we often talk of them being a hidden crime. By this, we don’t mean that slavery is always invisible – sadly it’s often far too visible. What we mean is that, given slavery is illegal everywhere, it can be very difficult to get an accurate picture of the scale of the problem and how it survives and thrives in many parts of the world.

It’s for this reason that the Freedom Fund has been committed since its founding to making slavery more visible and more clearly understood – all the better for combatting it. We have a strong commitment to research and data and analysis. We are proud of all the research and data we have helped generate over the last six years, and wanted to share an overview of it with you.

In brief, since 2014 we have:

  • Designed and implemented a best in class monitoring system and processes for our more than 100 frontline partners.
  • Published a total of 70 reports, produced through collaborations with 42 research organisations from 13 countries.
  • Within that body of research, published nine prevalence studies to quantify the scale of child labour, forced labour, sex trafficking and forced marriage.
  • Examined the broader systems that enable slavery to persist, with 18 of our reports focusing on business responses and 12 on government responses to modern slavery.

We strongly believe in sharing our work and our lessons learned for others to use and build upon.

You can find here a memo outlining our system for collecting, reviewing and reporting our monitoring data. The memo also gives a summary of all of our research reports, with links, along with key insights. And finally, we detail the lessons learned on operating a monitoring and evaluation system to achieve impact at scale.

Producing this research and building these systems is, of course, a team effort, but I want to particularly acknowledge the leadership of Yuki Lo, our Head of Research & Evaluation, and Dan Vexler, our Managing Director, Programs.

We hope you find this material of use.

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