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Learn About the Issue
40.3 million people are trapped in a world of forced labor, sex trafficking, child marriage, and debt bondage that crosses international borders, cultures, and industries.
What is Unchain?
The Unchain media campaign has been developed to generate awareness of an issue that is often hidden in plain sight and to galvanize funding to disrupt and eradicate this crime.
A Call for Systemic Change
by Ambassador Luis C.deBaca, former United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
There are more than 2,000 non-governmental organizations fighting human trafficking on the front lines around the world. These organizations are essential to the communities that they serve, but are often overwhelmed by the daily exigencies of working with clients, keeping the power on, fixing the roof, and all the while hustling for grants or donations. As a result, they often work in isolation – from each other and from society. They are so busy doing important work that they are unable to force the systemic changes necessary to end trafficking.
Maximizing social impact requires a global movement, where people realize the imperative of freedom and insist (to their governments, to companies, and to institutions) that ending human trafficking is a priority. Unchain seeks to support front-line NGOs by generating mass awareness of the issue to help lift and connect the entire sector. The RED and ONE campaigns have harnessed similar movements, successfully engaging both the private sector and general public in raising awareness and funds to help fight HIV/AIDS.
As President Obama’s Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, I gave out approximately $25 million in grants each year to fight a $150 billion criminal industry. Not only were my efforts dwarfed by the traffickers’ profits, but I always had to wrestle with one key question, “Should the money be allocated to cleaning up the wreckage of this tragedy and funding critical after-care projects, or should it be spent on prevention, prosecution, and systemic change?” It felt like a zero-sum game due to the paucity of resources, even at the governmental level.
To truly end slavery, we need to move beyond just picking up the pieces of lives broken by exploitation. Service provision alone doesn’t prevent the pimp from recruiting another victim. It doesn’t prevent the kiln operator from getting new bonded laborers or the rich lady from exploiting another vulnerable domestic helper. I strongly believe that Unchain will put pressure on governments and businesses to prevent trafficking and foster more funding in the sector for direct services. In a world with over 40 million enslaved, the 60,000 or so victims rescued by NGOs are just a drop in the bucket. Through Unchain, we have an opportunity to disrupt the business models that make trafficking profitable, help the victims of this crime, and break the chains of slavery once and for all.
Learn more at the following links:
The Unchain Campaign
The idea for a global campaign to help eradicate human trafficking was initiated at Grace Farms last summer, during a workshop hosted in collaboration with United Nations University. The event encouraged action by private organizations and individuals, after which Grace Farms Foundation and WPP agencies Geometry Global and J. Walter Thompson joined forces to leverage their expertise to create Unchain.
For the past year, we have been working on a first of its kind international awareness campaign to help eradicate modern slavery. Unchain, expected to launch by 2019, will challenge the public to see modern slavery around them and free its victims and society from its chains.
Why is Grace Farms Foundation launching the Unchain campaign?
The Unchain campaign is the activation of the Foundation’s Justice Initiative and vision to develop comprehensive strategies and partnerships to disrupt and combat human trafficking and gender-based violence. It represents the generative potential of Grace Farms as a platform for bringing communities together to advance good in the world and create awareness through its publicly available 80-acre site.