Legatum is committed to fighting this scourge which often feeds on the dreams of the poor who are seeking a better life. The victims are mostly women and children who have hopes of learning a new skill, working as a domestic servant or in a factory. Instead, they find servitude, forced labour and sometimes prostitution.

Slavery is a global, criminal industry generating $150bn a year. An estimated 35.8 million people live in a state of modern slavery today. It takes many forms, and is known by many names. Today’s slaves are trapped in fishing fleets and sweatshops, mines and brothels, and in the fields and plantations of countries across the world. It can be called human trafficking, forced labour, slavery, or it can refer to the slavery-like practices that include debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, and the sale or exploitation of children.

On the 26th September 2013 at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, Legatum Foundation announced that it has partnered with two leading anti-slavery activists and donors, Humanity United and Walk Free to create the Freedom Fund, an ambitious seven-year effort to raise and deploy $100 million or more to combat modern-day slavery.

The Freedom Fund is the world's first private donor fund designed to end modern-day slavery. It is based on the investment approach of its founders and aims to leverage donor funds to significantly increase the impact of existing and new anti-slavery initiatives and enable the scaling up of successful programmes globally.

The Fund targets specific areas of high prevalence using a ‘Hotspot’ funding model. A “hotspot” refers to a geographic area known to have a high incidence of modern slavery. Within these hotspots the Fund supports a range of community-based organisations to help them protect those at risk of slavery, liberate and rehabilitate those enslaved and prosecute those responsible. The Fund also aims to disrupt the systems, at a national and international level, that perpetuate slavery and reinforce those that foster freedom, including through policy advocacy, private sector engagement, and working with the media.

Legatum is committed to fighting this scourge which often feeds on the dreams of the poor who are seeking a better life. The victims are mostly women and children who have hopes of learning a new skill, working as a domestic servant or in a factory. Instead, they find servitude, forced labour and sometimes prostitution.

Over the past decade, Legatum has funded over 125 projects aimed at empowering, educating and rescuing victims of trafficking and slavery. Click here to explore some of our activities in this area.

Child Labour in Ghana

Ghanaian law sets the minimum employment age at 15 and bans anyone younger than 18 from hazardous works such as fishing. However, according to World Bank figures, 29 percent of Ghanaian children ages seven to 14 work full time and 36 percent of those working do not attend school.

In the Lake Volta region of Ghana, children as young as four years old are often sent to live with better-off extended relatives in the hopes of learning a trade or attending school while “helping” the relative. This cultural tradition has become distorted by many Ghanaian fishermen who pay parents US$ 50 per child, ostensibly to teach those children their trade.

Few parents realise their children rarely ever see the inside of a classroom and that instead their daily routine consists of jumping into frigid, parasite-infested waters at dawn, seven days a week, to catch fish and untangle nets for long 10-12 hour stretches in Lake Volta.

Legatum's comprehensive grant addresses the child labour problem around Lake Volta from several directions. The most effective way to counter human trafficking including child labour is to stop it before it can start. This three year initiative fueled prevention efforts among parents, children, traffickers and law enforcement officials to keep other children from being trapped in the fishing industry. The programme also looked at other income-generating activities using micro-loans that improved fishing enterprises while minimising the need for child labour. In addition the programme rescued and rehabilitated children involved in slavery by providing shelter and education for them and returning them to their families.

To learn more about our work in Ghana please click here.


Read More

  1. Strategic Initiative

    Ghana Child Labour

    LEARN MORE

  2. News Article

    Putting slavery out of business

    LEARN MORE

  3. News Article

    Financing the fight against modern slavery

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