Of the 40 million people trapped in modern slavery today, 70 percent of them are women and girls. Every day across the globe, millions of women and girls are used, controlled and exploited for commercial or personal gain. They are trafficked into the sex industry, kept in servitude as domestic workers in private homes, forced to work in exploitative conditions in factories and bonded into agricultural labour. They suffer terrible violence and are denied their basic rights and freedoms.
Our report, “Her freedom, her voice: Insights from the Freedom Fund’s work with women and girls“, draws on insights from our last four years working in countries with a high burden of slavery. The report identifies promising approaches to tackle this scourge, and highlights priorities for further research and investment.
The Freedom Fund has sought to identify and invest in the most effective frontline efforts to eradicate slavery. Across ‘hotspots’ in Ethiopia, India and Nepal we are supporting frontline NGOs to tackle the risks and vulnerabilities that communities face, including the specific vulnerabilities faced by women and girls. From building rights awareness and keeping girls in school, to opening up new economic opportunities and improving conditions in the workplace, our local partners are working to help women and girls protect themselves from slavery, address the root causes of their exploitation, recover from trauma, prosecute those who abuse them and activate government to take responsibility.
Globally, more research and sharing of knowledge is needed on the most effective frontline strategies to address the gender dimensions of slavery. In an effort to contribute to this knowledge, this report draws together lessons from Freedom Fund-supported interventions to date.
Photo credit: Katie Orlinsky, Legatum Limited, 2018