Developing Freedom

Establishing a clear case for the global development community to prioritize anti-slavery and anti-trafficking in development programming.

Date Published
16 Sep 2023
Project Status

This project aimed to establish and promote a clear case for the global development community to prioritize anti-slavery and anti-trafficking in development programming and policies.

Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 commits states to fight modern slavery as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Target 8.7 underpins rallying efforts including Alliance 8.7 and the UK-initiated Call to Action. Buy-in to the Call to Action is growing (currently around 70 countries), but implementation through the global development system has so-far been limited. Major development actors (e.g. UN country teams, OECD DAC and the World Bank) are notably absent. Why?

One reason may be that the development case for fighting modern slavery has not yet been well articulated. The direct ‘pay off’ to governments and business from fighting modern slavery has not been well explained. Many governments see little reward for the costs involved in taking on the vested domestic political, transnational corporate and sometimes criminal interests that sustain modern slavery. And many corporate interests still see anti-slavery as a philanthropic exercise and cost centre, not as a profit strategy. The ‘return on investment’ has not been well identified.

This project seeks to provide evidence-based materials that will begin to fill this gap, making a clear and strong ‘development case’ for fighting modern slavery.

Research output:

Developing Freedom: The Sustainable Development Case for Ending Modern Slavery, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking

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