03 May 2024

Global Freedom Network’s app launches in WA to empower faith leaders against modern slavery

The Global Freedom Network has launched the Western Australian version of its Faith for Freedom smartphone app.

Walk Free’s Head of the Global Freedom Network Franca Pellegrini, Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy AO Anglican Diocese of Perth and Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. Photo Credit: Emma Dolzadelli via Minderoo.

The app is an educational tool for faith leaders, clergy and their staff to help identify modern
slavery and safeguard their communities.

The role of faith leaders

Since its launch in 2021, the app has been rolled out in a number of jurisdictions, including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.

“Today marks the long-awaited launch of the Faith for Freedom app in Western Australia, where
Walk Free has its origins,” said Walk Free’s Head of the Global Freedom Network Franca Pellegrini.

“The WA profile of the app offers an array of resources for faith leaders and other stakeholders,
including case studies, definitions, prayers, support hotlines and the latest statistics from our pioneering research on modern slavery.

“We see faith leaders as playing a vital role in fighting modern slavery because faith leaders are in a unique position to see into the hearts of their communities.”

Working together to end modern slavery

The WA collaboration began in 2023, spearheaded by Her Grace Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy AO (Anglican Archdiocese of Perth) and His Grace Archbishop Timothy Costelloe (Catholic Archdiocese of Perth). The faith leaders have also released a video urging faith leaders to take a stand against modern slavery.


Bellamore Ndayikeze and Maddison Renee Pearce from Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services Inc.

“I welcome this initiative by Walk Free and encourage all to take the opportunity to better understand why we should pay more attention to the plight of modern slavery, Archbishop Costelloe said.

“In this post-COVID era of high interest rates and high cost of living, we are called to do our best in staying attentive to those around us and to what they could be experiencing,” he said.

“Anyone who believes in the real meaning of mercy, and that we are indeed all God’s beloved children, must be compelled to do all they can to end modern slavery,” Archbishop Goldsworthy said.

“As leaders and people of faith, we have an obligation to raise awareness and take practical action – seek justice and show the mercy of God in action, and this new app is an important tool to achieve that,” she said.


Developing the Faith for Freedom app

The initiative has been guided by an advisory panel comprising representatives from major faith denominations in Western Australia.

The advisory panel members have contributed their expertise to support other religious leaders in understanding, identifying, and responding to modern slavery.

The urgent need for action

Our 2023 Global Slavery Index identifies nearly 50 million people worldwide are estimated to be living in situations of modern slavery, including approximately 41,000 individuals in Australia.

Alarming trends such as the 13% increase in reports of forced marriage in the 2022-23 financial year, as highlighted by the Australian Federal Police, underscore the urgency of action.

Risks faced by migrant workers

Migrant workers in Australia face a much higher risk of labour exploitation than other workers,
often being charged significant fees for visas that leave them in debt to their employer and unable to leave for another job.

Cultural and language barriers, along with limited knowledge of workplace laws and standards, expose migrant workers to greater risks of modern slavery and exploitation.

3 minute read
Share this post
Faith For Freedom app

Faith For Freedom is a free app for faith leaders to help identify and address modern slavery and keep their congregations and communities safe.

Related News