Field report: Modern Slavery in UN Sustainable Development Goals


To call on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to prioritize the abolition of slavery in the Sustainable Development Goals, a document which other countries will be encouraged to sign. 


At the start of the Sustainable Development Goals process, ending modern slavery was not a clear priority. This led to numerous organizations, grassroots groups, and activists, including us, taking action to encourage United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to emphasize the ending of modern slavery in the final version. These goals are a transformative action plan which will help shape the policies of governments for years to come.

In support of this goal, 164,603 advocates sent messages to Ban Ki-moon. Many advocates also contributed to the My World 2015 website, a survey commissioned by the United Nations asking the public’s feedback on what issues should be prioritized in the Sustainable Development Goals.


In a last-minute addition, the final draft of the Sustainable Development Goals included wording calling for efforts to end modern slavery in Goal 8.7.  These goals, which all governments can now adopt, were finalized by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.


The curse of modern slavery is a significant barrier to the well being and economic prosperity of the world at large.