What do you call a room full of international development professionals? A golden opportunity!
And that opportunity unfolds this week as InterAction hosts its 30th Annual Forum in Washington. For the first time, Free the Slaves will be on hand as an InterAction member organization.
That’s important because one of our key goals is to get activists who work on causes such as women’s rights, children’s education, micro-enterprise development and rural health to recognize that they should also join the fight against modern-day slavery.
InterAction, a “united voice for global change,” is an association of more than 180 organizations working toward a “peaceful, just and prosperous world.” InterAction fosters partnerships, thought leadership and high standards. FTS was carefully vetted by InterAction’s evaluation team before being accepted for membership earlier this year.
The FTS message at this week’s InterAction conference is that modern-day slavery and other international development causes are interrelated. People fall into slavery because of poverty, discrimination, corruption and a lack of social services. Those problems make them vulnerable prey for traffickers. By reducing those vulnerabilities, and organizing people at the community level to overcome those challenges, we will reduce slavery.
As well, many people don’t benefit from international development investments such as new schools and medical clinics because they are trapped in slavery. When organizations that are promoting education and health also target slavery, more people will be able to participate in development programs. (Read more in this FTS article in InterAction’s monthly magazine.)
FTS Executive Director Maurice Middleberg and our Nepal country director, Neelam Sharma, are spreading the word this week at InterAction that everyone can help end slavery. We’ll let you know how it went in a future post.