Today at the Vatican I was honoured to witness a truly historic development – a joint declaration against modern slavery by many of the world’s faith leaders, include Pope Francis and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The declaration underlined that modern slavery is a crime against humanity. It also affirmed a commitment by the faith leaders to work for the eradication of slavery globally.
I was present at the first convening against slavery at the Vatican a year ago – in my then capacity as CEO of Walk Free – and am delighted that so much has been achieved in such a short time. This is in no small part due to the drive and vision of Australian philanthropist Andrew Forrest, supported by his quality team at Minderoo Foundation (a co-founder of the Freedom Fund) and the Global Freedom Network.
The commitment of Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby and other faith leaders will be transformative if it is followed by sustained and high profile faith leadership on this issue, combined with the active engagement of their worldwide congregations. Whatever our beliefs, that truly will be an outcome we can all celebrate in the ongoing fight to end the scourge of modern slavery.