Modern-day slavery to be measurably reduced by 2020 with launch of the Freedom Fund next year, the largest privately-funded initiative of its kind in the world
Three leading anti-slavery activists and donors, Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Mindroo Foundation, today announced plans to launch the Freedom Fund, an ambitious seven-year effort to raise and deploy $100 million or more to fight modern slavery. The announcement was made at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
The Freedom Fund is based on the investment approach of its founders and aims to leverage donor funds to significantly increase the impact of existing and new anti-slavery initiatives and enable the scaling up of successful programs globally.
The Fund will target specific areas of high prevalence using a ‘Hotspot’ funding model. It will also fund innovation through thematic program interventions which deliver impact across multiple regions. By coordinating the efforts and resources of actors throughout the sector, the Fund aims to measurably reduce modern-day slavery by 2020.
“Efforts to combat modern slavery have traditionally been driven by individual actors and organisations with limited funding, relative to the scale of this significant problem,” said Randy Newcomb, president and CEO of Humanity United, a human rights foundation. “Our goal with the Freedom Fund is to unite those working in isolation in order to create scalable, lasting change for the estimated 21 million people living under the oppression of modern slavery.”
The Freedom Fund will support a variety of actors in the non-profit sector, including international NGOs. There will be an emphasis on providing resources to grassroots organisations working on the front lines to free and rehabilitate survivors of trafficking. The official launch of funding is anticipated in 2014.
“People are surprised to learn that slavery still exists today. The Freedom Fund is a new abolitionist initiative that will work to finally eradicate this modern-day scourge. It will serve existing efforts, identify best practices and mobilise new resources,” said Alan McCormick, a managing director from Legatum. “The structure of this fund has the potential to break the cycle of slavery for millions of men, women and children globally.”
Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Minderoo Foundation have each committed $10 million to seed the Fund and will seek to extend the partnership to others who share the same passion and commitment to the cause. The partners’ initial funding will be used to establish the organisation quickly begin directing resources to areas of need.
“What has been missing in the fight against modern slavery is a collaboration of effective resources and targeted efforts focused on outcomes,” said Andrew Forrest, founder of Minderoo Foundation. “We invite those who share our vision to unite and become part of that solution.”
Prior to the official launch in early 2014, the Freedom Fund founding partners will hire a CEO and develop a set of guiding principles, as well as funding and governance structures.