Hillary Clinton Former United States Secretary of State
I want to congratulate Walk Free on the first ever Global Slavery Index. When it comes to human trafficking around the world, we still have a lot of unanswered questions. What are the root causes of this terrible crime? Just how prevalent is it? How can we improve the way we protect survivors, and punish their abusers? This Index will help us find answers. It also reminds us that trafficking in persons is a crime that affects every country in the world, that all governments have a responsibility to deal with this problem and that no government anywhere is doing enough. So I urge leaders around the world to view this Index as a call to action, and to stay focused on the work of responding to this crime, even if your country receives a positive rank. Now we know the Index isn’t perfect and can’t answer every question about modern slavery, but this is an important starting point. It’s an opportunity for partners across the anti-trafficking community to come together, to help refine the methodology and improve this tool going forward, and all of us to work together to shine a light on an evil that still so often hides in the shadows. For law enforcement and law makers, for advocates and activists around the world, this Index is going to help guide us toward achieving our shared goal. – a world in which no person lives under the exploitation of slavery, and every person has the freedom to pursue his or her God given potential. That is our goal, and that is what we will work toward together. Thank you.
Bill Gates Philanthropist, Chairman of Microsoft, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Millenium Development Goals work because they hold the world to some commonly agreed standards. The Index can be an equally important tool to let governments, NGOs and business take stock and take action against this terrible problem.
Tony Blair Former UK Prime Minister, Envoy to the Middle East on behalf of the Quartet
Human trafficking and child slavery are unfortunately not something in our history, but something in the present and the work of Andrew Forrest and Walk Free is an attempt to eradicate it for the future. If we take responsibility for this problem, if we understand it, analyse it, know where it’s happening, and know what we can do about it, we can make it a thing of the past. That’s why the work of Walk Free matters and that’s why it is important we support it.
Gordon Brown Former UK Prime Minister, United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education, United Nations
Andrew Forrest and Walk Free’s pioneering work to expose the full scale and horror of child slavery is a landmark moment in the struggle for children’s rights. He has undertaken the vital work of revealing the full evidence that will allow us to campaign for children to move from exploitation into education, from oppression into opportunity, from slavery into school. With this evidence, we can now plan the end of child slavery in our generation. If anybody is in any doubt that slavery is a thing of the past you must look at the Global Slavery Index produced by the Walk Free Foundation and Andrew Forrest. It exposes the horror and injustice of millons of people condemned to slavery in the 21st century. It is the most powerful call to action, and that action must be heeded by the international community
Tony Abbott Prime Minister of Australia
Most people think that slavery happened hundreds of years ago – wrong. It’s happening today. Around the world, even here in Australia, there are some people working long hours, often in cruel jobs, and they can’t leave. They can’t leave. That’s why I am so proud of the work that Andrew Forrest has done to alert people to what is going on, sometimes under our very noses, and to try to ensure that people aren’t wittingly or unwittingly taking advantage of modern day slavery. We have to stamp it out. And thank you, Andrew Forrest, for helping us to do so.
Julia Gillard Former Prime Minister of Australia
I want to thank Andrew Forrest for showing me the truth about slavery in the modern world. I thought slavery was something in the history books, but it exists today, and that’s the real importance of the Global Slavery Index. It’s going to mean we all know where slavery exists. And if we know where it is then we can work to make sure that people can Walk Free.
Mo Ibrahim Philanthropist, Telecommunications Pioneer
Modern slavery is a really shameful and big problem and somehow everyone is silent on it….I’m just delighted that my friend Andrew here is doing something at last…it’s time to have a scorecard, we need to know what is happening and which countries are still suffering from this problem. That’s why the Global Slavery Index that the Foundation is releasing is very important. You better read it and do something about it.
Muhammad Yunus Economist, Nobel Peace Prize Winner
What? Slavery? In the 21st century? Yes, slavery in the 21st century, it still exists. You and me don’t see it because we are too far away from it. Or we don’t even pay attention to it, that’s why it exists. It exists in many forms – sometimes is it bonded labour, sometimes in trafficked women, sometimes in many other forms, sometimes in the types of wages we pay for our workers in our factories. You will see it doesn’t fit into the whole idea of getting human beings out of slavery, so we have to now recognise it because these are hidden. Lights don’t go into those nooks and corners, we have to put through the lights and make sure the 21st century becomes a century where there will be no slavery, there will be no poverty, there will be no way anybody will be earning a wage less than $2.50 per day. Why should anybody earn less that $2.50? If we still pay less than $2.50, we are keeping people in poverty knowingly. So why can’t we remove that? It’s all a question of making up our mind, and we can make it happen so our initiative will be to make sure all forms, all shapes, all sizes of slavery can be revealed, be addressed and cleaned up so that we know in this century we were the last century that ever heard of a trace of slavery. Thank you for your support.
Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Businessman
What would you do if you knew, there were 40,000 people enslaved in your country? Or 4 million? Or even 14 million? Well, I’m not kidding, I’d be wanting some answers. Today, the Walk Free Foundation has released the Global Slavery Index, which for the first time estimates the number of slaves in each country on earth. It’s not a good story. In fact, it’s unconscionable. Take a look and see for yourself how many people are living under the unimaginable condition of slavery in your own country. Be shocked, and ask your government for answers. Because now that we have finally started to measure the extent of this horrific crime, we can start taking the steps needed to end it.
Luis CdeBaca US Ambassador in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
To confront modern slavery, we need more information: information about prevalence, about push-pull factors, and most importantly, about how to identify and help victims and to bring their traffickers to justice. The Global Slavery Index, in its inaugural edition is helping to close many of those gaps and I applaud those efforts. Most importantly, the Index reinforces the message to governments around the world that this is a crime and you have a responsibility to fight it. As we look at the fight against human trafficking, the Index is a great first step for all of the policy makers. For those countries that see themselves as doing well however, in this inaugural edition, this is not a shield for activity, this is not a reprieve or a justification to back off in the fight against slavery, let this be a call to action for all of us. Because unfortunately, there will always be criminals who seek to profit from enslaving other people. We understand that this first edition of the Global Slavery Index is a work in progress; the methodology, the data, but Walk Free has been committed to taking on board suggestions about improving the data, to thinking about the next steps in putting together the diagnostic tool that we need to fight this crime. Because at the end of the day, what we need is information, an index that can help us learn who the traffickers are, where they do their business, how they impact our supply chains, how they impact our communities, and most importantly, how to find and help their victims. I applaud Walk Free’s activities and the courage that it takes to start such an effort.
Jean Baderschneider President, End Trafficking Now, former Exxon Mobil Vice President
I’ve spent the last 35 years in the private sector, and the last 6 years in the fight against modern day slavery. Those of us in the fight against slavery are just beginning to understand the full nature and scope of modern day slavery. Andrew and Nicola Forrest have led the way in shining a bright light on the nature of this atrocity. I believe it is grossly underestimated and the Global Slavery Index will up the ante, up the volume at just the right time. We are at an inflection point, where businesses, NGOs, governments, civil society need to work together and the GSI will increase awareness, channel the dialogue and create an anti-slavery language. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great start. We all need to get behind it, support it and make it better every year. Thank you.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Awarding winning activist, writer and politician, Founder of the AHA Foundation
Most of us take our freedom for granted. But today, there are millions of little boys and little girls who are slaves who have no freedom. Andrew Forrest is the William Wilberforce of our time. He has started an initiative, the Walk Free Foundation. And the Walk Free Foundation has developed the Global Index of Slavery. It is the best tool, the most powerful tool to end slavery in our time. Please support us.
Bono Co-founder, ONE Foundation
The word slavery elicits an emotional response because the idea of it is so mortally offensive. But while emotion can create momentum for change (it), in itself can’t bring about change, which is why the Global Slavery Index gets me so excited. Andrew and Walk Free are intent on describing the problem as accurately as they can, and using hard-headed policy analysis and data to figure out solutions. This is good! The Index is full of numbers, but the story it tells is more dramatic than anything you find on the New York Times Best Seller List. It’s a different kind of ranking, where human wrongs are measured in order that we take other steps towards human rights for all, on the long journey of equality. Many of the statistics documented are the lives of the same people who we work for at the One Campaign in the fight against extreme poverty, the poorest and the most vulnerable whose choices have become so limited that they’re forced to do things which go totally against the grain decency and humanity. So we at One are especially grateful to Andrew and to Walk Free for their work on this. Walk Free, indeed.
Karlie Kloss Model
Our mutual objective through Walk Free is to put an end to systematic slavery and forced labour in all forms, for all time, everywhere. Many of the world’s greatest business, humanitarian and political leaders are involved and support the Walk Free movement to end systematic slavery. Walk Free is one of the fastest growing social movements in the world today. Barely twelve months old, and we have nearly over four million supporters, and we’re just getting started. The Global Slavery Index is often called the missing piece in the fight against slavery. The Index is a comprehensive ranking of slavery in all countries. It offers for the first time, a true global measurement of the slavery industry. As the Walk Free initiative begins to free millions of people around the world affected by slavery, we will also be there to support them with microfinancing and education. Give such a person an inch of freedom, and they will make a mile of economic prosperity. Time is short, millions of people are living in modern day slavery. Let’s put an end to it. The Global Slavery Index launches October 17th. Please join me and be a part of the Walk Free movement to end systematic slavery, forever.
Gareth Evans Former Foreign Minister of Australia and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, Chancellor of the Australian National University
Good policy can’t be made without good data. The acute, ugly and under-recognised problems of modern slavery have long needed the high-quality database that Walk Free’s new Global Index will now supply.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown Former Head of UNDP, Deputy Secretary General of the UN
It’s one of the hardest things to accept about our new century, slavery still persists in both classic and new forms. Supposedly outlawed in the nineteenth century it persists to this day. Therefore identifying it in all its pernicious forms and campaigning against it remains vital.
Maria Livanos-Cattaui Former Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce
The Global Slavery Index will be a powerful tool in the fight against modern slavery. It will encourage governments to improve their efforts to end this terrible crime, and provide them with the data and analysis they require to do so.
Mark Eyskens Former Prime Minister of Belgium
The Global Slavery Index provides essential knowledge about an appalling phenomenon. Knowledge feeds wisdom and wisdom ignites action.
Maurice Middleburg Executive Director, Free the Slaves
The Global Slavery Index is a stark reminder that modern-day slavery, a heinous violation of basic human rights, remains a pervasive problem demanding urgent action. We commend the effort to create a more integrated barometer of the magnitude, risks and responses to slavery in specific nations. The Global Slavery Index is a welcome addition to the literature on slavery. It offers useful insights and underscores the need for systematic collection of primary data on slavery’s prevalence. The Global Slavery Index should compel national leaders to focus on finding durable solutions.
Gary Haugen President, International Justice Mission
Victims of modern-day slavery are told again and again through words and actions that no one cares about them or their plight – but incisive, precise and excellent research like Walk Free’s proclaims the truth: that each and every one of the children, women and men exploited and abused in modern slavery matters. This global battle for freedom cannot be won without a clear picture of what we’re up against. We at IJM are thankful to Walk Free for providing one in the Global Slavery Index.
Simon Adams Executive Director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Enslavement is a crime against humanity. The struggle to end mass atrocities and build a better world must involve ending slavery once and for all. The Global Slavery Index is a painful reminder of how far we still have to go.
Robert Dunn CEO, Synergos
Thanks to Walk Free and the global movement it has helped to grow, it is now possible to imagine an end to slavery and human trafficking. The Global Slavery Index represents a milestone in this struggle, providing vital information to concerned citizens, institutions and governments in every part of the world. The Index will help support targeted actions where they are most needed, recognize those who are leading by example and point the way towards global laws of greatest impact.
Princess Mabel van Oranje Chair, Girls not Brides
There is a misconception that marriage is a ‘safe’ option for girls. Recognising the worst forms of child marriage as modern day slavery helps to draw attention to the reality of servitude and exploitation often faced by young girls within marriage. This report is an important contribution to that debate.
Professor Alyson Warhurst, CEO and Founder, Maplecroft Maplecroft
Contemporary slavery and human trafficking affects millions of people of all ages, gender and race – especially children. The Global Slavery Index (GSI) provides a critical measurement tool, underpinned by rigorous research, to understand, quantify and gauge the magnitude of this global atrocity. Through its partnership with Walk Free, Maplecroft is committed to working collaboratively to build on and complement the important work of Walk Free and others to raise awareness and eradicate contemporary slavery throughout the world. Slavery is comprised of many elements or types of exploitation – including forced and bonded labour, human trafficking, child labour, denial of women and girls’ rights, and discrimination. Maplecroft has, for the past six years, meticulously compiled unique and comprehensive indices across 197 countries that measure the prevalence and severity of these drivers of contemporary slavery.
David Richardson Professor of Economic History in the Department of History, University of Hull
Moral outrage typically motivates Anti-Slavery sentiment, but only evidence based analysis can ensure effective political intervention against slavery. The Global Index of Slavery is thus a vital tool for all those seeking to eradicate slavery in the 21st Century
Emma Christopher University of Sydney, Australian Research Fellow, 2010-2014, Senior Lecturer
This is a fantastic initiative. It is essential to be able to find hard data about enslavement in every country of the world and this enables policy makers, activists, scholars and journalists to quickly find the relevant facts. It is just the kind of initiative needed if we are to eradicate this global menace.
Bridgette Carr University of Michigan Law School, Clinical Assistant Professor, Director Human Trafficking Clinic
Until accurate, rigorous, and comprehensive data on the prevalence of global slavery is available we will be unable to serve victims of these horrendous practices. In the absence of such data victim advocates are often unable to secure funding for victim services. I applaud Walk Free’s new Global Slavery Index and its efforts to provide missing and essential information in the effort to combat slavery.
Jean Allain Professor of Public International Law, Queen’s University Belfast
Measured in its approach, the Index demonstrates the global magnitude of slavery by quantifying what had previously been anecdotal. The manner in which it approaches the numbers and the responses it proposes is the true start of a process which places the end of slavery in clearly our sights.
Bert Lockwood Distinguished Service Professor, Director, Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, University of Cincinnati College of Law, Editor-in-Chief, Human Rights Quarterly, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Series Editor, Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights, University of Pennsylvania Press
The launch of ‘The Global Slavery Index 2013′ marks a significant advancement in the global effort to combat modern slavery. It reflects an extraordinary effort to provide concrete numbers worldwide–country by country- to those enslaved, with the promise of an annual update that will measure progress, or the lack of it, as well as a commitment to refine the methodology of measurement based upon feedback and the availability of new information. The campaign to end modern slavery remains daunting but The Global Slavery Index provides an invaluable tool to advance that campaign.
Jenny Martinez Professor of Law and Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy, Stanford Law School, Stanford University; Board of Directors, Open Society Justice Initiative; Member, U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Law; Member, American Society of International Law; Member, Program Committee for American Society of International Law Centennial Conference
The Global Slavery Index is one of the most comprehensive sources of information on the problem of human trafficking and contemporary slavery. It will prove invaluable to researchers, and to governments and advocates seeking to better address these problems.
Seymour Drescher University Chair in History, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh
After more than two centuries of agitation, what had once been accepted as an inevitable fixture of human existence came to be branded a crime against humanity. Essential to the pursuit of its elimination throughout the world has been a quest for ever-more comprehensive and accurate exchanges of information and interaction. The Global Slavery Index promises to become one of our most effective tools for attacking the scourge of slavery across the entire spectrum of its contemporary forms.
The Global Slavery Index is an important piece of research that will contribute to the eradication of modern slavery by driving improved efforts to measure the prevalence and risks of modern slavery in each country, and encouraging policy action to address these crimes. Our goal is a world in which no person is enslaved and all may live in dignity. For these reasons we endorse the Global Slavery Index.
- Lord Patten – Chair of BBC Trust and Chancellor of Oxford University
- Par Stenback – Former Foreign Minister of Finland
- Louise Arbour – President and CEO of International Crisis Group
- Dan Viederman – Executive Director, Verite
- Kiran Kamal – Founder, Jeevika (India)
- Free the Slaves
- International Justice Mission
- Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect
- Not for Sale