Field report: The UN acts to address slavery in conflict


To secure justice for victims of modern slavery in conflict zones through the establishment of a mechanism to improve information gathering to secure prosecutions. We sought to acheive this by asking the UN Security Council to pursue the prosecution of ISIS and create a leadership appointment focused on coordinating efforts with the UN in post-conflict environments.


We launched our first campaign back in August 2014. We could not ignore the horrors experienced by the minority Yazidi population following the fall of Mosul in Iraq. Our campaign called for ISIS to be held accountable for modern slavery, including forced marriage and sexual slavery, in Iraq. Seeing the dire lack of protection for those in conflict zones, in December 2015, we launched a second campaign calling for the creation of a UN special representative to tackle slavery in conflict, collecting 185,010 signatures. Freedom United partnered with Yazda on a campaign calling on the UN Security Council to pursue the prosecution of ISIS for crimes against humanity including genocide and slavery of Yazidi women and children in north-eastern Iraq collecting 102,441 signatures. Freedom United also launched a campaign calling for the creation of a leadership appointment focused on ending slavery in conflict, gathering 185,010 signatures.


We climbed lots of steps to reach our goal: 

  • Pushed for the first ever UN debate on slavery in conflict at the Security Council 
  • We handed in 89,254 signatures to the President of the UN Security Council and advised on the draft resolution. 
  • We brought together 2,837 people on social media, reaching 1,374,341 to raise awareness and build support for the UN Security Council debate 
  • Over 20 supporters joined us in New York and watched the UN Security Council unanimously pass resolution 2331 calling for member states to take action 
  • Nadia Murad and our partner Yazda addressed the UN Security Council  

Resolution 2379, tabled by the UK, was passed unanimously on 21 September 2017. It calls on the UN Secretary-General to establish an Investigative Team, headed by a Special Adviser, to support efforts to hold ISIS to account in Iraq.

Our partner in this campaign:


Yazda was established to support the Yazidi ethno-religious minority group in the United States and the Yazidi homeland in northern Iraq and northeastern Syria. Yazda’s mission is to support the Yazidi community in the aftermath of the August 2014 genocide.