Free the Slaves
At the core of our approach is a simple, elegant idea—slavery is defeated when at-risk communities acquire the knowledge, tools and resources they need to overcome vulnerability and secure freedom.
Fighting for Freedom
Free the Slaves was born in the early days of the new millennium, dedicated to alerting the world about slavery’s global comeback and to catalyze a resurgence of the abolition movement.
Slavery has been outlawed everywhere, but it has not been eradicated. Free the Slaves exists to help finish the work that earlier generations of abolitionists started.
We help those in slavery escape the brutality of bondage. We help prevent others from becoming trapped by traffickers. We help officials bring slave holders to justice. We help survivors restore their dignity, rebuild their lives, and reclaim the future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Slavery will end when businesses clean up their supply chains and consumers demand slavery-free products, when governments and international institutions toughen enforcement and fund anti-slavery work worldwide, and when activists and advocates educate the vulnerable about their rights and empower those in slavery to take a stand for freedom.
Free the Slaves is building a world without slavery by demonstrating that ending slavery is possible.
Our Mission: Liberating slaves and changing the conditions that allow slavery to persist
Slavery is the result of vulnerability. It flourishes where people cannot meet their basic needs and lack economic opportunity, education, health care, and honest government.
Slaves usually come from the poor, the desperate, the uneducated, the marginalized, and the unprotected. People are forced to work without pay, under threat of violence, and they’re unable to walk away.
Our strategy is to reduce people’s vulnerability, help those in slavery to freedom, and transform the political, economic, cultural, and social circumstances that make slavery possible.
Our Vision: A community-based model for freedom
We help communities chart their own path toward sustainable freedom based on their unique needs and circumstances.
We strengthen the capacity of grassroots organizations, government agencies, advocacy coalitions, and the media to take action. We support vulnerable communities through education, mobilization, and increasing access to education, vocational training, and essential services.
We rescue those in slavery and help them rejoin their families and communities. We record and share success stories so the world can see what both slavery and freedom look like. And we systematically assess our work to ensure accountability and continuously improve our programs. Free the Slaves co-implements all community projects with and through locally-based organizations.
Our History: Anti-slavery pioneers and innovators
Free the Slaves was founded in 2000—and today we are considered a leader and pioneer in the modern abolitionist movement.
We have helped awaken the world to the fact that slavery still exists, why it does, and where it’s worst. We’ve developed a global blueprint for change to inform governments, international institutions, faith communities, businesses, and the public what they can do.
We’re now implementing our community-based strategy in strategically selected countries, demonstrating that our model works and that it is both scalable and replicable. Our groundbreaking research and rigorous evaluation informs our policy advocacy to strengthen anti-slavery laws and rid slavery from manufacturing supply chains and business practices.
Our Impact: Thousands freed from slavery
Our model delivers results. Since our founding in 2000, we have liberated 12,000 people from slavery.
In 2015, Free the Slaves programs produced these results:
- 1,106 people freed from slavery
- 4,051 slaves or survivors receiving support from FTS or our partner organizations
- 327,135 people reached through awareness raising and rights education about how to protect their families from traffickers
- 1,709 villages and neighborhoods supported to protect their communities from slavery
- 1,405 government officials trained on how to more effectively stop slavery
- 74 traffickers and slaveholders arrested
Our Guiding Principles: Inclusion, transparency, accountability
- All people have the right to be free from any form of slavery and to realize their true potential.
- Sustainable solutions do not unintentionally hurt the very people we’re trying to help.
- Our approach and methods in each unique community are based on accurate research.
- We are committed to building a diverse movement and to seeking guidance from local anti-slavery programs.
- We are nonpartisan and politically independent.
- We are transparent with our finances and programs.
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