Slavery is often an issue that many people think has already been solved, or at least it isn’t one of the major global concerns. The reason these issues often fall off the radar is partly because the anti-slavery sector is scattered. There are dozens of organizations working to end human trafficking, but the problem is that it is difficult for them to collaborate and work together to solve the biggest problems. Money is often an issue for smaller organizations, and many are most concerned with making sure their own group stays afloat before worrying about working with other groups, but a group effort may be necessary to end modern-day slavery.

Collaboration provides many benefits for charitable organizations. All of them have similar goals and plans, and working together can help pool together knowledge and resources. It allows leaders to partner to network and form new connections within the anti-slavery sector of the world. It also allows for the formation of new, big ideas that can blossom with the wider availability of money and resources.

One of the most prominent and successful collaborations is the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, or ATEST. The super group is compiled of 12 United States human rights organizations with a focus on anti-slavery. The individual organizations are diverse in size, location, and funding, yet they find ways to work together and accomplish goals that would be difficult for any individual group to do alone. They work with the government in the U.S. and other countries around the world to create laws and programs that prevent human trafficking, and a major victory for the group was the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which was signed into law in March.

Social media and other forms of technology make it easier for groups like ATEST to form and communicate with each other, and it’s also beneficial because it raises awareness about modern-day slavery and gives others the chance to get involved and support the organizations.

– Katie Brockman
Source: The Guardian, ATEST
Source: StandingUpSpeakingOut


Human trafficking is, unfortunately, big business. According to a 2011 report titled “Transnational Crime in the Developing World” by James Haken, it is a $32 billion annual business. The FBI states human sex trafficking alone is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world. Thus, combating such an industry is a serious challenge. There are many anti-slavery advocacy groups, fundraising campaigns, and sectors of law enforcement around the world.

However, Tim Waldron, UK anti-slavery organization Love146’s chief executive, reports that lack of collaboration among such groups makes implementing change extremely challenging. He says, “The problem is that modern-day slavery is a labor issue, it’s a human rights issue, a migration issue, a criminal issue, and work on this extends from front-line rescue operations through to high-level political lobbying, campaigning and coordinating with partners working in often incredibly dangerous and tense environments around the world.”

Unsurprisingly, different agencies and organizations have a hard time agreeing on who can do what best. Roger Plant, the head of the International Labour Organisation, says that jealousy and infighting often cause agencies to “trip over each other” and needlessly duplicate efforts.

However, recently there have been gains in collaboration. Groups like The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST), The Child Labour Coalition, and the Cotton Campaign have all been lauded for their inter-organizational coordination. ATEST is actually a group of 12 United States organizations that worked together to push the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 through the Senate.

Thankfully, organizations dedicated to fighting modern slavery are starting to take note of their deficiencies in this area. With the welfare of millions of men, women, and children at stake, fighting slavery has never been more important.

– Samantha Mauney

Source: The Guardian
Photo: Release