Hope for Justice has welcomed the passage of a new bipartisan initiative that seeks to end modern slavery worldwide and on which we have been running our ‘TOGETHER, WE CAN END IT’ campaign in support.
The End Modern Slavery Initiative, championed by US Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had its authorizing legislation included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (NDAA), which overwhelmingly passed the Senate this week.
Dave Rogers, Hope for Justice US program director (pictured, right), said: “Hope for Justice is proud to have worked with Senator Corker’s office as they moved to enact the comprehensive End Modern Slavery Initiative Act.
“The expansiveness of this law will enable nations and global organizations to address the enslavement of millions of people throughout the world. This law will make a very real impact in achieving our vision of a world free from slavery.”
Under the initiative, a non-profit, grant-making foundation in the District of Columbia will be created to fund projects to help set free victims of modern slavery and aid their sustainable recovery. It will also fund projects that prevent individuals from being enslaved, and enforce laws to punish individual and corporate perpetrators of modern slavery.
Senator Corker said: “We would not be here today without incredible support from countless individuals, organizations and faith-based institutions. I cannot thank them enough for their support and look forward to working with all involved in the months ahead as we begin to put this initiative into action.”
Explaining the background to his Bill, Senator Corker added: “More than two years ago, we created a bold vision to not only fight the horrific practice of modern slavery, but to put in place an effort to end it, and I am proud to announce that the legislation necessary to launch the End Modern Slavery Initiative will now become law.
“By providing strong US leadership and leveraging our limited foreign aid dollars, this initiative will work with foreign governments and philanthropic organizations to match the funding being provided by the US and create a coordinated effort to implement best practices to stop this crime of opportunity from occurring.”
The End Modern Slavery Initiative will have clear and defined goals and outcomes that can be empirically measured, and will seek to achieve a measurable 50% reduction of modern slavery in the areas the foundation operates. It will seek to raise $1.5bn, more than 80% of which will come through matching funds from the private sector and foreign governments. Sources of funding are as follows:
$250m in funds from the United States over several years ($50m has been appropriated through fiscal year 2017)
$500m from foreign governments
$750m in private funding
This is Senator Corker’s video from last year explaining the vital need for this initiative:
UPDATE: The End Modern Slavery Initiative was signed into law by President Obama on December 23rd as part of the NDAA. Fantastic news in the fight against modern slavery.