For the first time in history the global Christian and Islamic leadership are working actively together, coordinated by the Walk Free Foundation, to end modern slavery for ever.
The new Global Freedom Network is an operating, well-funded, well-planned initiative committed to ending modern slavery.
Walk Free Foundation’s founder, Australian philanthropist and business leader Andrew Forrest, has been instrumental in bringing together the:
- Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the world Anglican Communion,
- The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the most senior Islamic authority and the Center of Islamic learning, and
- His Holiness the Pope.
With a global reach of almost 3 billion people and growing, the Global Freedom Network warmly invites the leaders from all major faiths to join the Leadership Council of the Global Freedom Network. We welcome their integral role and input into bringing together people of faith globally, to advance the end of modern slavery once and for all.
Speaking at the launch of the Global Freedom Network in the Vatican, Andrew Forrest, representing Walk Free Foundation, made the following statement and call to action:
“The Global Freedom Network harnesses the combined power of faiths to deliver on a bold ambition of wiping out the blight of modern slavery across the world.
There is no precedent to the depth and operational strength of this multi-faith working agreement: it is the first time members of the Muslim and Christian faiths have come together in such an active way, with the support of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
It is also the first time Anglican and Catholic representatives have come together in such a comprehensive agreement since the Reformation.
Modern slavery is a crime against humanity. Today, the economic exploitation of our fellow human beings causes almost 30 million people to be enslaved, more than at any other time in human history. Every day we let this situation continue is an assault on our common humanity.
The Global Freedom Network brings together faith communities of almost 3 billion people – nearly half of the world’s population – and will invite all faiths to join its leadership. In the warmth of our friendship to all faiths, we welcome all to join the overwhelming majority of people in the world, pledging that modern slavery never climbs out of the dustbin of history again.
Together, we can end the tragedy of modern slavery.
Instead of addressing the symptoms of modern slavery, we want to tackle the root causes that allow it to thrive. This agreement is about action. If we can bring the world’s faiths together in a truly focused initiative we can eliminate this abhorrent crime once and for all.
We are also engaging businesses to clean up supply chains and governments to enforce the laws that make modern slavery illegal.
For the Walk Free Foundation, this is a hugely important milestone in our own efforts to eradicate modern slavery, and builds on the inaugural launch of the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 and the Global Slavery Index in 2013.
I appeal to all faiths and denominations of the world, to all governments and people of goodwill everywhere: Please join the Global Freedom Network!
Together we can ensure that effort, vision and power are devoted to bringing an end to modern slavery, once and for all.”