Every country in the world is not on track to achieve SDG Target 8.7 by 2030. Each must do more to end modern slavery. It is vital governments adopt appropriate modern slavery legislation and policies to tackle this heinous crime.

Photo Credit: Doug Armand. Getty Images.

Why governments should act

All governments need to act on modern slavery 

Governments play a critical role in developing and implementing the laws, policies, and programs that are needed to prevent and respond to modern slavery. They are the key duty-bearers in protecting and upholding the rights of those who reside within their borders.  

All governments made a commitment in 2015 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In line with Target 8.7, governments agreed to:  

Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

However, our assessments of government responses have found that governments are making incredibly slow progress towards the achievement of SDG 8.7 by 2030. At the current rate of progress, the eradication of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking will be impossible. 

To achieve this target, it is imperative that governments:  

  1. Support survivors of modern slavery to exit and remain out of slavery. 
  1. Establish effective criminal justice mechanisms to prevent modern slavery. 
  1. Develop coordination mechanisms at the national and regional level. 
  1. Address risk factors such as attitudes, social systems, and institutions that enable modern slavery. 
  1. Stop sourcing goods and services produced by forced labour. 

Our approach

Walk Free engages directly with governments around the world to raise awareness of the issue and to advocate for legislative and policy change. Through our assessment of government responses, we highlight gaps in policy responses and encourage governments to take stronger action.

We also advocate for the strengthening of legislative frameworks, including the development of Modern Slavery Acts. Central to all our work is the role of survivors – we actively partner with survivor organisations to provide meaningful avenues for survivors to input into our work.

Featured project

Strengthening supply chain transparency

Advocating for and strengthening modern slavery legislation and reporting.

We advocate for Modern Slavery Acts around the world by engaging with governments and partnering with business and civil society champions.

Photo Credit: Lucas Schifres. Getty Images.
Photo Credit: Lucas Schifres. Getty Images.

Government resources