Deloitte and Free The Slaves Fight To End Modern Day Slavery

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Sadly, slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. This evil practice continues today in one form or another worldwide. From women forced into prostitution to children and adults forced to work in agriculture or domestic work, from factories and sweatshops producing goods for global supply chains to young girls forced to marry older men, this illegal practice still casts a dark shadow over our modern world. According to the International Labour Organisation, around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in some form of slavery. However, these are just the victims we know about because, as slavery is hidden in nature, it means the actual numbers are likely to be far, far higher.

Trying to find a way to end this crime, Deloitte University Press has released a report called The Freedom Ecosystem – How the Power of Partnership Can Help Stop Modern Day Slavery. It is a collaborative effort between Deloitte and Free the Slaves, which describes how the ‘Freedom Ecosystem’ can use collective action to remove conditions that allow slavery to exist. The ecosystem is a cross-section of organisations from the private sector, civil society, government, funding community and the general public.

In 2011, Deloitte began work on an analytics project that demonstrated how the power of data can help eradicate human trafficking and slavery. The project results inspired Deloitte to get more involved and work with organisations like Free the Slaves to help figure out what is really driving slavery and ways to eradicate those drivers. Since Free the Slaves started in 2000, it acknowledges that ending modern day slavery will require a comprehensive approach involving all sectors of society.

Now, this joint report provides compelling evidence for embracing partnerships and collective action to eradicate slavery. Through a series of interviews with experts from across the ‘Freedom Ecosystem’, extensive secondary research and analysis of successful collective-action examples, the report authors have identified three elements that allies should apply in collaborating for increased progress: align on common goals; build mutual ownership; and create scalable solutions.

By incorporating these elements of collective action, allies from across sectors can establish a framework to help reinforce future change, including addressing some current challenges such as a standard definition for human trafficking, gaps in and sharing of data, limited resources and policy. They will create a professional association for joint learning; mobilise resources through strategic alliances and unite around a common policy agenda. The report gives great examples of recent actions to help end slavery, showing how organisations can work together to bring about greater impact in working to eradicate slavery.

Modern slavery is a global problem that transcends age, gender, nationalities and ethnicities. It’s important that we bring this hidden crime into the open.

Photo Credit: Free Slaves