Africa update: World Day Against Trafficking Initiatives

We a proud to share the latest Africa Newsletter from our global anti-human trafficking platform Freedom Collaborative, as we continue to build partnerships in Africa and to strengthen information sharing of the community in the region.

The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was commemorated on the 30th July globally, and many activities and events took place across the region. In Kenya, counter-trafficking stakeholders participated in a gala at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi to mark the occasion. In Malawi, the Ministry of Homeland Security in collaborating with the Malawi Anti Trafficking Network (MNAT) with technical and financial support from UNODC, hosted an event to commemorate the World Day Against Anti Trafficking in Persons.

On 5 and 6th August, under the Better Migration Management EU funded project, we held a workshop titled ‘Improved Case Management, Data Collection and Collaboration’ for regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya, in Nairobi. The participants included Case Workers that are currently using our Victim Case Management System, and the purpose of this workshop was to discuss how the CSOs can enhance their case management practices and collect quality data that can inform their respective programming. During the workshop, CSOs also explored Freedom Collaborative to support their collaborative efforts by connecting them to a national, regional and global counter-trafficking community to share information, gain access to various resources, and identify potential key partners for collaboration within their local contexts, as well as internationally.

To find out more, read the full Africa update here.

Nuestro primer boletín en español!

We are pleased to share our first newsletter focused on activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. In July, we built a Spanish version of Freedom Collaborative for stakeholders in the region, and met with NGOs, government actors and agencies, and academics in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile to learn about their work and understand how to support each other.

To read a more detailed update on who we met with and what we learned, you can access our first newsletter in Spanish here.

We also published a summary of activities in the region in the global newsletter in English.

Our first update from Africa!

We are excited to announce our first updates from our expansion into the East and South-Eastern Africa regions this year, with the appointment of Ms. Shukri Hussein as Africa Regional General Manager. In the past months, we continued to build relationships with the Anti Trafficking Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi, introducing our programs to CSOs/NGOs and other stakeholders, with a focus on Freedom Collaborative and the Victim Case Management System (VCMS).

We are pleased to announce ongoing partnerships on Freedom Collaborative with some Kenyan, Ugandan and Malawian CSOs and Anti Trafficking Networks. We look forward to forming new partnerships in the various countries, as well as collectively engaging in discussions on how Freedom Collaborative can support in facilitating more national and regional collaboration and cooperation among anti-trafficking CSOs and stakeholders, which can lead to personalized interactions that can help build trust.

We are also eager to continue discussions on how data capture can aid in developing a common understanding of human trafficking in this region that can help frontline CSOs in designing evidence-based interventions.

To read more on this update, please see our first Africa Newsletter

Estamos muy felices anunciar nuestra colaboración con la campaña Alas Libre!

We are very happy to announce our partnership with the campaign Alas Libre, as part of our greater efforts to support the anti-trafficking NGO community in Latin America. Freedom Collaborative, as part of Liberty Shared, supports Alas Libre's efforts to promote actions for the prevention of human trafficking and the development of greater coordination across diverse sectors.

Estamos muy felices anunciar nuestra colaboración con la campaña Alas Libre como parte de nuestro apoyo para la comunidad de ONGs en Latinoamérica que trabajan con materia de trata de personas. Freedom Collaborative apoya a los esfuerzos de Alas Libre para promover acciones para la prevención de la trata de personas y la articulación de actores de diversos sectores que trabajan con esta temática.

Liberty Shared partners with HSI Global Trade Investigations Division to combat labor trafficking

We are very pleased to announce a new relationship with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Global Trade Investigations Division, Forced Labor Programs. HSI’s Forced Labor Programs coordinates and initiates criminal investigations into U.S.-bound supply chains whose goods are made wholly or in part by means of forced labor.  The importation of goods produced using forced labor into the United States is prohibited by the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307) and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (22 U.S.C. 9241a).  

The overarching goal of the Government of the United States in this area is the elimination of forced labor worldwide, and it is by using existing enforcement mechanisms such as those provided in these laws, and potential criminal prosecutions of U.S.-based firms benefitting from, or having knowledge of, forced labor in their supply chains, are a singular deterrent and unique enforcement opportunity in the world.  By using these authorities, and by partnering with organizations with information about corporate supply chains and financial flows, HSI hopes to gather information that will lead to successful prosecutions and significant steps being made in eliminating forced labor. By eliminating the financial draw of using forced labor, and any profit to be made by the exploitation of human beings to produce goods for the market, HSI seeks to have a positive impact on reducing forced labor.

Liberty Shared has always firmly believed that businesses and individuals profiting from forced labor should be held accountable and liable. These are matters of criminal and civil law, not just questions of ethical conduct. At present, those benefiting directly and indirectly from engagement in forced labor activities may do so with seeming impunity and those providing the labor are often without access to justice. U.S. laws do provide a number of far-reaching mechanisms to hold accountable those engaging in and benefiting from forced labor and we, with the collaboration of relevant partners, very much want to support the application of these legal mechanisms. 

We also believe that it is important that companies with good practices are identified and their efforts to ensure they operate lawfully and provide safe and fair working conditions are well recognized and understood.

As many know, during the last seven years, we have been committed to building a global infrastructure to support the protection of vulnerable people with many partners in civil society, banking/finance, the legal industry, information service and technology providers. Most important are our partners in civil society who hear and record the voices and experiences of the many victims and provide them with vital care. We are very pleased to create a relationship with HSI to support their work in global trade enforcement against the use of forced labor in U.S.-bound supply chains, and hope that we will be able to contribute to the increased accountability of perpetrators and access to justice for their victims.

It is intended that through a relationship with HSI, we will provide civil society with a wider range of opportunities to assist trade law enforcement approaches and strategies against forced labor and modern slavery and to share data, knowledge and research that will improve transparency and access to justice for victims. 

To find out more, please find HSI’s statement about the partnership.

-Duncan Jepson, Managing Director

Liberty Shared applies information and data to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection trade enforcement to combat forced labour

We are very pleased to announce a new relationship with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Office of Trade), a law enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (CBP). The CBP works with partner government agencies and the trade community to facilitate legitimate trade that supports economic growth and shield the American public and businesses from unsafe products, intellectual property theft, and unfair trade practices. The CBP is committed to protecting U.S. national economic security by enforcing U.S. trade laws through its trade enforcement efforts.

Most recently on February 4, 2019, CBP issued a withhold release order against seafood products from the vessel Tunago No. 61 based on information obtained by CBP indicating tuna is harvested with the use of forced labour. The order was effective immediately as of the date of issuance and requires detention at all U.S. ports of entry of tuna and any such merchandise manufactured wholly or in part by the Tunago No. 61. Importers of detained shipments are provided an opportunity to export their shipments or demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labour.

As work with our partners in civil society, banking/finance, the legal industry, information service and technology providers has developed, we have sought ways to support increased accountability of those in business who continue to profit from forced labour. CBP’s Office of Trade has a focus on identifying the import of products into the U.S. produced using forced labour and this is very much aligned to the pursuit by civil society to use its knowledge and data to increase transparency and apply its practice to increasing accountability and liability. We are very pleased to create a relationship with CBP to support their work in identifying products using forced labour.

It is hoped that this relationship will provide opportunities to explore different law enforcement approaches and strategies and to share data, knowledge and research to improve the fight against exploitation such as human trafficking and forced labour.


Best wishes,

Duncan Jepson
Managing Director

FREEDOM VOICES ~ 2018 Anti-Slavery Gala, October 6th

To celebrate the 5th year of our Anti-Slavery Day Charity Gala, Liberty Asia will share the powerful impact of the voices of freedom today – from survivors to society! In the last five years, Liberty Asia has heard the voices of survivors and systematically captured the information from their plight and experiences and fed them back into data-driven, evidence-based approaches. With legal, financial, and human rights expertise underpinning these approaches to identify and address slavery risks, Liberty Asia triggers voices in every sector to better protect and uphold the rights of vulnerable workers, disrupt the gains of exploitation and hold exploiters accountable, and reform systems to create a safer and more productive society. Join us at 2018 FREEDOM VOICES Hong Kong and be a voice for freedom!

To RSVP, please email contact@libertyasia.org.

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FREEDOM FORWARD ~ Anti-Slavery Gala, October 14th

For the fourth year running, Liberty Asia joins together with partners and supporters in Hong Kong to mark Anti-Slavery Day by hosting our Annual Anti-Slavery Charity Gala, 2017 FREEDOM FORWARD Hong Kong! The only way forward to disrupt and end slavery is through the concerted, collaborative anti-trafficking efforts of individuals, NGOs, financial institutions, governments and private sector driven by a local commitment to global change. Be at the heart of this change by being part of 2017 FREEDOM FORWARD Hong Kong, a moving evening to remember those in slavery today and to drive forward local, regional, and global efforts to bring freedom to all!

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BE BOLD ~ INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY EVENT, MARCH 6, 2017

On March 6th, join us on this evening to hear inspirational stories of courage, to see the daily struggle of many to survive, and to BE BOLD together with men and women of Hong Kong to drive change FOR FREEDOM!

To RSVP, email us at contact@libertyasia.org by March 3, 2017.

100% of ticket proceeds go towards supporting Liberty Asia's anti-slavery projects.