Our work aims to address the issues causing trafficking and slavery at a grassroots level. This involves working in prevention, rescue and restoration in several project countries, but it also involves prevention through raising awareness and education in Australia and the wider global community. We currently have projects in a few places across Southeast Asia, including India, the Philippines and Myanmar. Each area and community has specific needs and concerns but our approach is simple: Prevention (including education), Rescue & Restoration. Some of the activities we run include safe houses, rescue teams, schools, preschools, community classes, sports and mentoring programs, vocational training and livelihood support.
We focus on prevention as we believe there are many who are vulnerable to trafficking and are not properly equipped to protect themselves. We do this largely through schooling and community education for those in at-risk areas. The Freedom Project provides safe learning environments for children who would otherwise miss out on education, as well as providing access to education for adults and pre-school aged children. Providing education is essential to help people and their families understand the risks associated with trafficking, forced labour, and other slavery traps. We do this through a number of programs, including informal classes, mentoring sessions and after-school sports programs.
We are also working in prevention by being a community voice on raising awareness on the issues of trafficking and slavery, particularly in Australia. We are seeking to raise a movement of passionate and equipped justice advocates who are ready to make change in their own lives, as well as put pressure on governments and businesses to improve their practices and reduce their involvement and complicity in human trafficking and modern slavery.
We have local teams on the ground around the world involved with research, investigation, collaboration and negotiation to rescue those we believe have been trafficked or enslaved. It is a complex task that requires much planning and care. In the case of child soldiers, there are lengthy negotiations between militants and the on-the-ground team. For sex trafficking victims, there is usually an investigative team working with local law enforcements before they can do a raid, to ensure each rescue is successful.
We have a team of experienced investigators working globally, but particularly in Southeast Asia, India and Africa. Their extensive knowledge and field expertise equips them for their role in addressing human trafficking and other human rights violations. This team will use their skills to partner with local law enforcement agencies, run operations, rescues, training, and follow up for victims.
We believe that restoration is extremely important to care for victims as well as ensure they do not fall back into situations of slavery. Our teams seek to provide the support and assistance that each person needs. This includes things such as food, safe housing, compassion, trauma care, and livelihood assistance. It may also include education, skills training and being reunited with family and friends. For many, this process is just as long and painful as their time in captivity, as they are carrying so much pain and sadness. Our team is committed to bringing love, hope, healing and new life to each person they work with.
The work does not end there. We continue to grow the movement against injustice, work with new communities, and focus on prevention and education in new areas. To find out about our work in each region, read more below.