Urge all 52 Commonwealth countries to commit to ending modern slavery

Urge all 53 Commonwealth countries to commit to ending modern slavery

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We have a groundbreaking opportunity to encourage one of the largest intergovernmental associations in the world to take up the cause of modern slaveryand we need you to get involved.

The Commonwealth is a union of 53 countries around the world and is home to 2.2 billion people.1 While a third of the world’s population are Commonwealth citizens, according to the Global Slavery Index a staggering 55% of those currently enslaved reside in Commonwealth countries.2 This means that the Commonwealth is in a unique position to help significantly reduce slavery in the world.

CW Countries 3

Commonwealth countries

So far, the Commonwealth has not made a formal commitment to ending modern slavery. However, if it adopts a position, it will commit to putting time and resources towards tackling this problem. The Commonwealth Secretariat – the governing body coordinating efforts – would provide technical support and expert guidance to help member states develop effective responses and legislation. Therefore, this would be a huge step forward.

So how do we make this happen? In spring 2018, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will take place in the UK. At this conference, the Heads of each country decide on a mandate of issues to work on in union. This moment is our chance to shape the agenda and ensure modern slavery is prioritised.

Decisions on which topics are included in the next CHOGM start long before the conference itself. We’re working with our partner, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), to do this – but we need your help too. By showing the Commonwealth strong public support on ending modern slavery, we can persuade them to take up the cause.

Join our campaign and urge the Secretary-General and the 53 Heads of Government of the Commonwealth to promote the inclusion of modern slavery in CHOGM 2018.

  • 20 April 2018: Success! At the 2018 meeting in London, the Commonwealth Heads of Government announced their commitment to take effective measures to end modern slavery and human trafficking. Thanks to all Freedom United supporters, who have taken over 84,000 actions since the launch of the campaign, to show that there’s widespread global support for action. Click here to read paragraph 39 and the Commonwealth’s Communiqué in full.

  • April 2018: On a day when total actions reached over 80,000 across this campaign we handed in 64,767 petition signatures to the Assistant Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

  • October 2017: Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, is reported to support all 52 Commonwealth countries passing modern slavery legislation in order to effectively tackle modern slavery and human trafficking. Read the full story here.

  • August 2017: Over 11,000 of our supporters wrote to the Malaysian Prime Minister, as the future Chair of the Commonwealth, to support the adoption of an anti-slavery agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

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Suzi Kaplan Olmsted
6 years ago

In no way is it acceptable for slavery in any form to continue. We buy our cheap products, and ignore the suffering that made the prices possible. We worship wealth, new things, and discard what’s still useful, when the new is built on the backs of slaves. We let women and children be considered objects, and ignore the men in our lives who use them like dirt, and the women who enable it. We must learn to live with less, and end the worship of this system that survives on their suffering.

Dr. Pawan Kumar Aryan
Dr. Pawan Kumar Aryan
6 years ago

India is at the top of the list. It is indulging into every type of slavery, shocking, the issue has been thrown into Hindutav-Lab by the present central-Govt. Corporate looters, Govt, middle-man and Media are hands in glow to promote this crime as a virtue under the adage “Purav-janam-ke paap” sins of former birth.

Joan Sherriff
6 years ago

Whenever we can we must add our voices to protest against modern slavery. It is horrifying and shameful that in the 21st century it is on the increase and that unscrupulous people are using slavery to make profits. It is not so long ago that we had brave citizens such as William Wilberforce campaign to abolish slavery. What would they think of today’s situation.

6 years ago

They came for the Jews. I said I was not a Jew. Then they came or the Catholics. I said that I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me. There was no one left. I am a product of enslaved Afrikans.
It is time that we stand up and say NO MORE.

Patricia Adams
6 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

Hi Nancy,
I’m in the same boat in terms of finances and ability to take other action. But, I keep reading, sign petitions and use the intelligence in my day to day shopping for instance. An obvious example is only buy merchandise made in the USA. Petitions help. Your awareness helps. It leads you to do what is right. The Bible says “Those also serve who only stand and wait”. You are concerned and want to help. That’s got to be enough for now.

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