The Justice Initiative emerges from a core belief that each individual has an inalienable right to liberty. Using Grace Farms as a nexus between the private and public sector, the Justice Initiative fosters the development of comprehensive strategies and partnerships that are designed to disrupt and combat all forms of contemporary slavery and gender-based violence.
The Justice Initiative believes that disrupting criminal networks is a critical first line of defense against human trafficking. In 2017, the Foundation partnered with the United Nations University and the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations to co-host a convening focused on disrupting the ties between the financial sector and human trafficking. The convening led to the proposal of 25 specific recommendations, which were published in a UNU workshop report. The Foundation also launched, with support from Quinnipiac Law School, a new educational course to train Connecticut lodging employees to detect and report human trafficking. This course was the result of Public Act No.16-71, a new Connecticut state law enacted in 2016 as a result of contributions from Grace Farms Foundation’s Justice Initiative Director, state legislators, law enforcement, and international experts in the field of human trafficking.
A primary goal of the Justice Initiative is to increase the identification of those victimized and vulnerable to human trafficking and to improve the response of the law enforcement community. To accomplish this, the Foundation leverages the expertise of former federal law enforcement agents to facilitate national and international training engagements that improve intelligence-led investigations, victim identification, and the prosecution of criminal perpetrators. In 2017, the Foundation led a comprehensive training for police, prosecutors, lawyers, and victim service providers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The training session attracted 223 attendees and focused on the enforcement of U.S. laws pertaining to child sex tourism in foreign countries. On a state level, the Foundation provided training for the Fairfield County Detective School for 30 attendees on human trafficking investigations. Learn more.
Slavery is the greatest problem of the modern day, yet far too few people know about it. The idea for a global campaign to help raise awareness and inspire change was incubated at Grace Farms in 2016, during a workshop hosted in collaboration with United Nations University. The workshop encouraged action by private organizations and individuals, motivating Grace Farms Foundation to create an international awareness and activism campaign capable of affecting systemic change. The idea resonated with WPP agencies Geometry Global and J. Walter Thompson and Shazam, who partnered with the Foundation to bring the campaign to life and soft launch it during Grace Farms Foundation’s annual benefit in October 2017.
Modern slavery is a $150 billion criminal industry with only $150 million in funding to combat it.
Approximately 40.3 million people are currently trapped in a world of forced labor, sex trafficking, child marriage, and debt bondage that crosses international borders, cultures, and industries.
Almost 19 million victims are exploited by private individuals or enterprises and over 2 million by the state or rebel groups.
Join the Fight Against Human Trafficking
Support Grace Farms Foundation in asking the State of Connecticut to lead the fight against Backpage.
Representatives from Grace Farms Foundation traveled to the Republic of Congo to conduct training for police, customs, prosecutions, and wildlife officials officials on combatting and prosecuting transnational organized crime groups.
2017 Benefit to Combat Modern Day Slavery
Grace Farms Foundation hosted its second anniversary celebration benefiting a first-of-its kind global campaign to help eradicate modern day slavery.
In 2018, the Foundation focused its advocacy efforts on holding Backpage.com accountable for its role as one of the largest online platforms for sex trafficking. In February, Grace Farms Foundation joined six other prominent organizations – YWCA Greenwich, Global Partnership to End Human Trafficking, The Underground, Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, Center for Youth Leadership and Center for Human Trafficking Court Solutions –to draft a co-signed letter to Connecticut State Attorney General, George Jepsen, asking his office to investigate and file suit against Backpage.com for its knowing participation in the trafficking of Connecticut’s children.
This type of continued commitment to raise attention to the harm caused by Backpage was a crucial contribution to the enforcement action that shut down Backpage’s website on April 5th. The victory represents another step forward in the Foundation’s efforts to demonstrate that the eradication of this heinous crime can, and must, happen and represents critical progress in our fight to end modern-day slavery.
“We plan to disrupt and eradicate; first in Connecticut, and then across the nation.”
Krishna Patel, General Counsel & Justice Initiative Director, Grace Farms Foundation
"We need revolutionary solutions."
Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation President
"You rescue a body; you transition a mind."
Tina Frundt, Founder, Courtney's House; Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
"You're only as happy as your least happy child."
Joette Katz, Commissioner, Department of Children & Families and foster parent to hundreds of trafficking victims
"There are more human slaves today than there have been ever before in our history."
Hon. Jim Himes, U.S. Congressman
Made in a Free World
Department of Children and Family Services
The International Institute of Connecticut
Domestic Violence Crisis Center
Grace Farms Foundation is a member of Made in a Free World, and has been certified as an organization with a clean supply chain, free from connections to slave labor, and is advocating awareness of the presence of slave labor in global supply chains. Find out how to become a member of Made in a Free World and reduce your slavery footprint here.
Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systematically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Donate here.
The International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN) is a statewide not-for-profit human services agency that provides services to new immigrants and refugees in Connecticut to help them become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community. IICONN also provides special services to victims of serious crimes such as human trafficking, torture, and domestic violence. For more information about donations, contact Luke Sharples. For volunteer opportunities, contact Mentor Coordinator Helen DeKorne.
Love146 is an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care, prevention education, professional training and empowering movement. Donate here. You can also join a Love146 Volunteer Team near you, or register a new Volunteer Team.
Family ReEntry’s mission is to develop, implement, and share innovative, sustainable, cost-effective solutions to the unprecedented numbers of people involved in the criminal justice system. For volunteer opportunities, email Jeffrey Earls, Director of Development, or call 203-290-0865.