GFEMS Welcomes Assefa Bequele to Board of Directors

The Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) is pleased to announce that, effective March 15, 2021, Dr. Assefa Bequele has joined the Fund’s Board of Directors. He is an internationally recognized authority on child rights and child wellbeing. He has had a long and distinguished career in university teaching (Ethiopia and the US), international advocacy work and institution building, as well as many years of service in the United Nations. 

Assefa Bequele

He is the author of numerous global reports, books and articles on child wellbeing and child labour. His path-breaking work at the international level included the development of the now nearly-universally ratified international Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and the design and development of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), the world’s premier technical cooperation programme on child labour.His work in recent years has focussed mainly on policy and advocacy work to promote accountability among African governments, ensure justice for children, and end exploitation and violence against children.

Assefa is the founder and first Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), a leading independent Pan-African policy research and advocacy centre. He has served or continues to serve as Board member, expert or adviser in various international and continental organisations. 

“Assefa brings tremendous anti-trafficking experience and a robust international network. The GFEMS Board looks forward to his insights and advice as we continue to build partnerships and work together towards our collective mission of ending modern slavery,” said Jean Baderschneider, GFEMS Board Chair.

Assefa said, “I am thrilled and deeply honoured to be a part of a worldwide movement to expose and combat child serfdom and slavery in whatever form it exists and wherever it occurs and to bring about a world where children, especially in the Global South, can achieve their full capacity and grow in total freedom.”

The Fund’s mission is to end modern slavery by making it economically unprofitable. As the governing body of GFEMS, the Board of Directors provides financial and management oversight to help fulfil this mission and to grow GFEMS into its vision of a truly international fund. GFEMS welcomes Assefa’s leadership on the Board and looks forward to his guidance and insights as we continue to build a global coalition to end modern slavery.

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