Aiming to unify efforts towards combatting modern slavery, Free the Slaves has been establishing partners throughout the regions. As part of collaborating with similar-minded organizations, Free the Slaves organizes the Freedom from Slavery Forum, which aims to address the most pressing issues in the Asia region, which are identified by key stakeholders.
This year, the Freedom from Slavery Asia Regional Forum convened 338 participants, bringing together anti-slavery movement leaders and stakeholders virtually to discuss critical issues facing the Asian region. Through discussions on collaboration, partnerships, survivor engagement, and empowerment, the forum provided valuable insights and proposed solutions to combat modern slavery. By building networks, empowering survivors, and enhancing the capacity of frontline workers and NGOs, stakeholders can work together to create a more inclusive and effective anti-slavery movement. The outcomes and discussions from the forum serve as a roadmap for future actions, highlighting the importance of continued collaboration and collective efforts in the fight against modern slavery.
Through panels and workshops, participants gathered crucial information, discussed challenges, and explored potential solutions. The discussions focused on the impact of the pandemic on modern slavery, identifying areas where collaborative efforts can be strengthened to mitigate the adverse effects. The participants shared their experiences, best practices, and strategies for establishing and strengthening regional and local partnerships. The goal was to improve problem-solving skills among stakeholders and prevent sexual exploitation, forced marriages, and forced labor in the region. The forum also emphasized the exploration of effective partnerships to increase resource mobilization, recognizing the need for collective action to combat modern slavery.
In addition, participants deepened their understanding of ethical survivor engagement across various sectors of the anti-slavery movement. The forum highlighted the significance of amplifying survivor voices in policy development and practice. The discussions emphasized the need for genuine allyship and the inclusion of survivors in planning, program delivery, policy design, and justice activities. By valuing survivor perspectives and experiences, stakeholders can develop more effective strategies and promote survivor empowerment. The workshops facilitated exchanging best practices for survivor engagement, ensuring survivors are at the forefront of the fight against modern slavery.
The forum highlighted the importance of empowering survivors and leveraging their unique experiences to raise awareness about the realities of modern slavery. Survivor-led advocacy efforts can drive policy changes and contribute to the development of more effective prevention measures. Providing survivors with essential resources such as education, job training, healthcare, and legal support is crucial for their healing and reintegration into society while reducing the risk of re-trafficking. Engaging survivors in prevention efforts allows for the identification and disruption of trafficking networks. Survivors can act as key informants, providing insights into traffickers’ tactics and operations and educating their communities about the dangers of trafficking.
It is vital to enhance the capacity of frontline workers, including social workers, law enforcement officials, and service providers, in case management to effectively address cases of trafficking. Training frontline workers in identifying trafficking indicators, survivor-centered approaches to service delivery, and effective case management strategies equip them to provide trauma-informed care. Coordinated and comprehensive support for survivors can be ensured through improved capacity building. By building the capacity of frontline workers, survivors are more likely to receive the services and support they need to heal and recover.
Detailed information on the 2023 Freedom from Slavery Asia Regional Forum and the report can be found here: https://freedomfromslaveryforum.org/2023-asia-regional-forum/