17 Jul 2019

32 civil society organisations join forces to demand government progress on modern slavery

32 civil society organisations are calling for defined indicators to assess progress towards SDG 8.7.

Flags Outside United Nations Office At Geneva Against Clear Sky
The United Nations building in Geneva. Photo Credit: Paul Hauf via EyeEm.

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In doing so, member states signalled their commitment to collectively address global challenges in order to achieve peace and prosperity for all by 2030. There are no “easy” SDGs and achieving them requires that, as a global community, we aggressively pursue their implementation and monitor our progress.

“Without evidence of where we stand now, we cannot confidently chart our path forward in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals” — António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The UN measures progress towards the SDGs with a global framework of indicators and Voluntary National Reviews, where governments report on their own activities against these indicators.

For SDG 8.7, this approach is hampered by a lack of indicators on all forms of modern slavery under SDG 8.7. Currently, there is only one indicator for child labour – the proportion and number of children aged 5 to 17 years engaged in child labour by sex and age – and none for all forms of modern slavery. These indicators are reviewed annually- the next review is in March 2020.

Without clear indicators to measure progress toward the 2030 goal, governments cannot report systematically and consistently, nor can they be held to account.

33 civil society organisations are calling for:

All governments to work together with the UN Statistical Commission to develop indicators and adopt these to track progress to eradicate all forms of modern slavery under SDG 8.7

The undersigned civil society organisations

African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect Liberia

Anti-Slavery International

Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART)

Challenging Heights

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (UK)

Cotton Campaign

Devatop Centre for Africa Development

Engage Now Africa

Freedom Collaborative

Freedom Fund

Freedom Now International

Freedom United

Hope for Justice

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

International Justice Mission

Justice Centre Hong Kong

Liberty Shared

Lumos Foundation

Mekong Club

Migrant Care

Minderoo Foundation (Walk Free)

Mission for Community Development Program

National Freedom Network

Rahab Uganda

Rights Lab at University of Nottingham


Survivor Alliance

Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Unseen Uganda

Utthan, a survivors’ collective in India

Voice of the Free

Willow International

The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery also supports the need for indicators under SDG 8.7.