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Freedom Rising

Freedom Rising is the Freedom Fund’s new effort to equip and connect frontline leaders, especially women and survivors, to accelerate the movement to end slavery.

Join us and special guests on 2 December for the Freedom Rising virtual launch event to celebrate the rise of a new generation of frontline leaders as they come together to advance the global movement to end slavery.  


  • Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders


  • P. Jayashree, Program Manager, CARE (Tamil Nadu)
  • Claire Falconer, Head of Global Initiatives and Movement Building, The Freedom Fund
  • Anannya Bhattacharjee, International Coordinator of Asia Floor Wage Alliance
  • Moderator: Amy Rahe, Director North America, The Freedom Fund 


The lack of female representation in leadership across anti-slavery organisations is glaring, given that women and girls comprise over 70% of those enslaved today. Discrimination based on gender is a key factor that drives exploitation. Yet very few women or survivors are supported to become leaders in the anti-slavery movement.

As a leader in the global movement to end modern slavery, the Freedom Fund recognises the need to incorporate marginalised voices and challenge unequal power structures. In order to ensure that the anti-slavery movement reflects the communities it serves, women, survivors and other underrepresented groups must have greater access to resources, support and leadership opportunities.

The power of Freedom Rising

Freedom Rising builds on the Freedom Fund’s existing programs and enables us to scale our impact by equipping individuals with the necessary skills, networks and support to lead more effective organisations and build collective power. It is unique for its:

  • Explicit focus on elevating emerging leaders, especially those who have traditionally been excluded from positions of leadership such as women and survivors
  • Grounding in local context, with local training in leaders’ own languages
  • Emphasis on building stronger and more strategic organisations
  • Ultimate goal of building a more effective and inclusive movement.

Program structure

The ultimate goal of this program is to create the conditions in which a powerful women and survivors-led anti-slavery movement can take root and grow. To create these conditions, transformative change is required at three levels – the leader, the organisation and the movement.

Each cohort of leaders will receive 12 months of leadership and technical skills training, focused on personal growth and leadership development, organisational management and movement-building. Due to the risks posed by covid-19, the program will start with online learning before moving to in-person when safe to do so. The training will be complemented by ongoing efforts to strengthen leaders’ networks and support them to play more active roles in the global anti-slavery movement. After completing the year-long leadership training, participants will be formally introduced to the program’s alumni network, enabling them to continue to build and strengthen connections at the local, regional and international levels.

Supporting and promoting the leadership of women and survivors

Freedom Rising aims to directly address the lack of support for and representation of women and survivors in the anti-slavery movement. The recruitment process will prioritise women and survivor candidates and focus on reducing barriers to their participation. Course content will highlight the value of lived experience and cover issues such as bias, discrimination and challenging social norms. Both male and female participants will be equipped to identify and understand power structures and become advocates for gender justice and survivor leadership both within and beyond their organisations.

Launching a global program

Following an initial pilot in southern India in 2020, the Freedom Fund will roll out the program to other parts of India, Nepal, Thailand, Ethiopia and beyond.

The Freedom Fund is grateful to the following donors for their foundational support for the Freedom Rising program: Laudes Foundation, Stardust Fund, The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, and UBS Optimus Foundation.

Additional resources


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