Commonwealth anti-slavery network launches

30 July 2019


The Commonwealth 8.7 launches on World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The network launches with over 60 local, grassroots civil society organisations working to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery across the Commonwealth. The network will facilitate knowledge-sharing and best practice across all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. It will also provide a mechanism for network members to prepare collective and effective advocacy strategies, particularly with a view to the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, in June 2020.

Francisca Awah Mbuli of the Survivors’ Network of Cameroon, a member of the network’s Management Committee commented:

"Partnerships are a vital important tool to counter trafficking in persons and all its associated ills across our Commonwealth"

The Commonwealth 8.7 will draw on ground-breaking Commonwealth research to mobilise robust evidence-based advocacy strategies. Since 2016, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has been pushing for greater Commonwealth action towards achieving SDG 8.7 to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery. Following the release of its two ground-breaking research reports last year - Creating an Effective Coalition to Achieve SDG 8.7 at the 2018 CHOGM in the UK and The Commonwealth Roadmap to SDG 8.7 in December - CHRI has contributed to the most recent update of the Global Slavery Index (GSI) and has also developed its own Indicator Framework to supplement and reinforce the GSI. Upcoming research will feed into a public-facing Commonwealth Portal of Indicators and a further report to be launched at the next CHOGM in Rwanda.

The Commonwealth has the opportunity to take a leadership role achieving SDG8.7. Anne Pakoa of the Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition, a member of the network’s Management Committee stated.

"End the violence, stop human slavery now. Humans are not objects to be trafficked they are valuable beings"

Last month, CHRI was awarded the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Award 2019 for its work on SDG 8.7, including its ambitious and innovative approach of establishing a civil society network fighting to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery across the Commonwealth.

Today also marks the launch of the network’s website

Joanna Ewart-James, Chairperson of CHRI’s UK Executive Committee said:

“We're delighted to be launching this network for civil society to benefit from shared experience and international connections as a step towards helping realise the Commonwealth's stated commitment to end modern slavery, a crime that disproportionately affects Commonwealth nations”

Media Contact:

David White

Head of CHRI London Office