Freedom from Slavery Forum

The Freedom from Slavery Forum is the anti-slavery movement’s annual thought leadership convening. By sharing best practices, learning from each other, building new networks, and coordinating strategy, we strengthen our collective voice.

 Freedom from Slavery Forum


Free the Slaves serves as the secretariat for the annual gatherings of anti-slavery leaders from around the world to create collegial spaces where leaders can coalesce, create partnerships, discuss promising practices, and develop a shared agenda for action. Participants build relationships and prioritize actions in areas such as advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and collaboration with other sectors.

Regional convenings in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa focus on aspects of modern slavery specific to each region. An annual CEO summit convenes organizational leaders from around the world to shape strategy for strengthening the anti-slavery movement and increasing impact.

Visit the Freedom from Slavery Forum webpage for videos and reports from past proceedings and to learn about future conferences. 


The Elkes Impact Awards

Dan Elkes is a visionary leader who established the Freedom from Slavery Forum to bolster the grassroots anti-slavery movement. The Forum focuses on bringing together key actors to identify and implement practical solutions to eradicate slavery around the world. In addtion to supporting the Forum, he continues to contribute to the eradication of modern slavery globally.

The Awards

The Elkes Impact Awards are established in recognition of the tremendous work being done by:

  1. Local advocate survivors who may not get the opportunity to be acknowledged for the great impact they are creating in their communities affected by modern slavery;
  2. CSOs working in affected communities at the frontline of the fight against modern slavery.

Local survivors and organizations too often do not receive widespread acknowledgment of their work, despite their efforts being central to the fight against slavery. In 2020-2021, despite the challenges posed by many factors including the COVID-19 global pandemic, war and displacement, political instability, growing inequality, etc., movement leaders tirelessly continued to be resilient in the fight against modern slavery in local communities. From Africa to Asia to Latin America, thousands of advocates and grassroots organizaations fought to end modern slavery and make the world a freer place.

The Elkes Impact Awards hope to shine a light on efforts and the tangible impact survivors and local organizations are having. It is also an opportunity for the global movement to take inspiration from them as well as encourage them to continue their excellent work. The best local advocate survivor award is given to an exceptional survivor who embodies using their experiences to aid others. Survivors living in affected communities have a lot to contribute to the movement and are active in local communities in many ways including in preventing people from modern slavery such as human trafficking, forced labor, sex trafficking, forced prostitution, forced marriages, child labor, etc. Through this award, we hope to recognize their strength, resilience, hard work, and achievements in eradicating modern slavery.

The most impactful local organization award is given to a civil society organization (NGO, FBO, or CBO) that has made the greatest impact working at the local level during 2020-2021 despite the plethora of challenges they have faced. This award will celebrate those who took risks and showed courage in working in difficult conditions, including with very little or no financial resources. This award goes to the organization that truly put their community first and spared no effort in eradicating modern slavery. Through this award, we hope to recognize their dedication, raise their organizational profile, and celebrate their grassroots impact.


  1. Cash prize
  2. Recognition as an Anti-trafficking Movement Ambassador
  3. Skills-building opportunities

Nominee Criteria

Best Local Advocate Survivor


  1. A survivor of any form of modern slavery
  2. Based in local and/or affected community
  3. Demonstrated efforts to educate, mobilize communities against the issue of modern slavery
  4. Proven record of speaking out against the issue
  5. Low profile advocate at local level
  6. Engaged in the movement at local level
  7. Ability to lead effectively and expand efforts nationally or globally
  8. Committed to the cause and willing to continue advocating

Best Local NGO Contributing to the Eradication of Modern Slavery in their Communities


  1. Must be based in communities affected by modern slavery
  2. Record of effectively eradicating modern slavery in local communities
  3. Local NGO, FBO, or CBO
  4. Proven innovative approaches to eradicating modern slavery
  5. Demonstrated leadership on the issue of modern slavery at local level
  6. Commitment to the anti-modern slavery movement as a whole
  7. Established collaboration with various stakeholders at local level
  8. Evidence of impact on eradicating modern slavery during 2020-2021

Winners to be celebrated at Freedom from Slavery Forum.

Downloadable Info Sheet