Freedom United’s 2023 For Freedom Awards

Freedom United’s 2023 For Freedom Awards

Human Trafficking Prevention month is the perfect time to highlight and recognize exceptional work within the Freedom United community and activists tackling systemic injustices and demanding change for a world more resilient to modern slavery and human trafficking. 

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For Freedom Campaigner of the Year Award

The Campaigner of the Year Award goes to an individual who has excelled in anti-modern slavery campaigning and activism in 2023.

Jewher Ilham

Freedom United is proud to award the Campaigner of the Year Award to Jewher Ilham for her unceasing activism to end Uyghur forced labor in China.

Jewher’s advocacy began as an effort to contact her father, Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, who is imprisoned for life in China on charges of “separatism”.   Although her goal of reaching her father remains disappointingly elusive, Jewher’s work has helped put pressure on the government of China to end the persecution of communities in the Uyghur Region. Her work, including testifying before U.S. Congress, published op-eds on the complex Uyghur forced labor system and extensive high-level advocacy, has led to stricter legal measures to prevent the importation of tainted goods internationally. Join Jewher in calling for an end to Uyghur forced labor today.

The battle to end Uyghur forced labor doesn’t have to be a long fight, as long as we are in this together! I’m calling on those who have the power to effect change — individuals, business leaders and elected officials — to join me.

Jewher Ilham

For Freedom Digital Activist Award

The Digital Activist Award recognizes the dedication within the Freedom United community to raising awareness and using their voice to power our collective calls. Those who loudly demand change, are consistent in putting modern slavery in the spotlight, making all of our work possible!


This wasn’t an easy call to make but Freedom United is proud to award the Digital Activist Award to Ishaan Shah for being the most active digital campaigner in the Freedom United community in 2023!

Ishaan wears many hats. He’s the UK Youth Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women, a UNESCO Youth Representative, the co-founder of a youth-led anti-slavery collective and a student. Ishaan consistently galvanizes his networks to take action against modern slavery on all his platforms. Join Ishaan in the Freedom United community.

It is an honor be recognized by Freedom United. Leveraging the potential of the digital world can support in raising awareness and mobilizing young people as co-leaders and partners of anti-modern slavery efforts.

Ishaan Shah

For Freedom Impact Award

The For Freedom Impact Award highlights organizations that Freedom United has partnered closely with on modern slavery campaigns in 2023, whose work has secured significant changes for a world more resilient to modern slavery.

Campaign for Uyghurs

Freedom United is proud to award the Impact Award to Campaign for Uyghurs for their unceasing work advocating for an end to Uyghur forced labor.

Together, Freedom United and Campaign for Uyghurs have called on governments and companies to cut ties with the Uyghur forced labor system. Read more about Campaign for Uyghurs’ work here!

For Freedom Spotlight Award

The For Freedom Spotlight Award is in recognition of organizations leading on impactful campaigns that have focused attention and raised awareness of changes needed to end modern slavery.

Footprint to Freedom

Freedom United is proud to award the Spotlight Award to Footprint to Freedom!

Footprint to Freedom is run exclusively by human trafficking survivors and champions survivor leadership and empowerment while addressing vulnerability reduction and recovery for survivors. Read more about Footprint to Freedom’s work here!

Full list of nominees

All of the nominees in the Impact and Spotlight categories are deserving of recognition for their indispensable work in securing change and focusing attention on the realities of modern slavery. We applaud them for their unwavering dedication!

Here’s the full list:

Be Slavery Free

For their work advocating for action against exploitation in cocoa.

Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)

For their work helping trafficking survivors convicted of loitering to clear their names and rebuild their lives.

Labour Behind the Label

For their lobbying for the protection of global garment workers’ rights.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

For their work advocating for human and civil rights for incarcerated persons, including abolishing prison slavery in the U.S.

Uyghur Human Rights Project

For their work raising awareness of and calling for an end to the systematic abuse of the rights of Uyghurs.

World Uyghur Congress

For their work toward justice for human rights violations against the Uyghur people.

After Exploitation

For their work carrying out research and gathering data on the realities of modern slavery in the U.K.

Migrant Defenders

For their work advocating for the rights of migrant workers in the Gulf.

Survivors’ Network, Cameroon

For their work supporting people who have survived modern slavery to recover and move forward, and in empowering more people to become survivor advocates in the anti-trafficking movement.

Survivor Alliance

For their work empowering modern slavery survivors to become leaders in the anti-modern slavery movement.

National Survivor Network

For their work fostering connections between trafficking survivors in the U.S. to build a national anti-trafficking movement in which survivors are at the forefront and recognized as leaders.