Slave-Free Alliance shines a spotlight on modern slavery to mark Anti-Slavery Week
Slave-Free Alliance organised a jam-packed programme of events to mark this year’s Anti-Slavery Week. The 2022 campaign was supported by hundreds of individuals, organisations and businesses across the UK.
It was an opportunity to raise awareness about a hidden crime – a crime of control and deception that devalues human life. Today there are an estimated 49.6 million people trapped in modern slavery across the globe (Source: International Labour Organization, ilo.org). In the UK, there could be up to 136,000 victims (Source: Global Slavery Index).
This year, to mark Anti-Slavery Week, the international social enterprise Slave-Free Alliance hosted a series of online events. The overall aim was to raise awareness of modern slavery and to inspire our members and clients to do the same.
Rachel Hartley, Training and Technical Team Lead for Slave-Free Alliance, said: “Anti-Slavery Day is a great platform to raise awareness of modern slavery in our communities and organisations. Along with many others around the UK, we hold a week-long campaign to engage with friends, family, colleagues, customers, suppliers and partners about this global issue.
“For 2022, we had a particular focus on how modern slavery sits within the social stream of the ESG (environment, social and governance) agenda. We all have a responsibility towards one another and organisations have a vital role to play in this. We looked specifically at how organisations can ensure that human rights are considered in eco-sustainability initiatives, and how businesses can address their modern slavery risks in war, conflict and crisis.
“It was fantastic to see so many organisations raising awareness of the plight of victims of modern slavery, showing how they are addressing it, empowering their supporters and consumers to make informed, ethical choices, and inspiring them into action.”
Anti-Slavery Day is held annually in the UK on 18th October. It was created by the Anti-Slavery Day Act, a Private Members Bill introduced Anthony Steen CBE.
This year, more than 90 organisations that were new to Slave-Free Alliance chose to partner with us for our Anti-Slavery Week programme of events.
We ran four preliminary workshops to help organisations and businesses prepare for Anti-Slavery Week, which ran between 17th and 23rd October. We then equipped them to talk about the issue and host their own events by providing additional resources. This included a digital pack comprising downloadable graphics and an ‘S’ in the ESG graphic series.
Throughout the week, we hosted four virtual events, including a LinkedIn Live giving viewers the chance to ask our specialists their modern slavery and ESG questions. One of the virtual events was for university students and early year professionals, to motivate the workforces of tomorrow. We also organised a roundtable discussion and a webinar with Gartner’s Koray Köse, on the topic of supply chain visibility and management.
In addition we produced a series of short informative videos about the ‘S’ in ESG and offered practical tips for organisations. These have been shared hundreds of times on social media.
Our major fundraiser during this week of action was a 40.3 Miles to Freedom challenge. We asked our member organisations to rally their teams to walk, run, cycle or swim 40.3 miles to raise awareness and funds to combat modern slavery.
Over 180 people attended our events, with our member and client companies helping to raise more than £5,000 for global anti-slavery charity Hope for Justice.
Slave-Free Alliance is wholly owned by Hope for Justice, which runs anti-trafficking projects in five continents. SFA is part of the charity’s portfolio of preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society, with all profits invested in Hope for Justice’s work to end slavery and change lives.