"The issue with slavery is that it is everywhere...You cannot afford a world with slavery, which literally takes someone and turns them into a machine."
- Andrew Forrest, Fortescue Metals Group
Just this morning we posted "A Global Look at Human Trafficking," a graphic from UNICEF which provides staggering figures and statistics surrounding human trafficking across the world, and last week shared the recently-released Global Slavery Index which reports on the estimated number of enslaved people by country. In examining both resources, you will notice a high prevalence of modern day slavery in the Middle East, particularly Pakistan which has an estimated number of 2,000,000-2,200,000 enslaved people. Although the situation is mind-blowing and tragic, a news report earlier this week brought a glimpse of hope.
Andrew Forrest, founder and chair of Australian mining company Fortescue Metals Group, announced an agreement to make coal conversion technology available to the Punjab province of Pakistani, in exchange for the government's introduction of legislation to end modern day slavery. A philanthropist and founder of the Walk Free Foundation (which created the Global Slavery Index), Forrest has convinced the government to introduce laws which will "combat the practice of slavery as a result of indenture, debt, or inheritance." The energy technology that his company will develop to make use of Pakistan's deposits of lignite coal will be provided pro-bono and will help the country work towards "energy independence for the Punjab and the eradication of slavery in all of the Punjab."
For more information about Forrest's announcement and his goal of ending debt slavery and forced labor in Pakistan, read Philanthropy News Digest's "Australian Mining Magnate Announces Deal to End Slavery, Forced Labor in Pakistan."
We're sharing this resource as part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Learn more about the month HERE and check back on this blog for more resources and ways you can take action.