Our Approach

To address human trafficking we need a vibrant movement led by those most proximate to the issue. We are committed to using our resources and voice to create the environment where survivor-leaders and grassroots organizations can thrive.

Our Approach

GFEMS focuses on 3 core workstreams 

Building a survivor-centric environment: We are working with partners to develop survivor-informed practices, narratives, institutions, and approaches. And we will provide funding to grow and strengthen survivor-led organizations.

Funding and building the foundation for a movement: We provide flexible funding & capacity-strengthening to grassroots anti-trafficking organizations and will support development of a sector-wide “Blueprint”.

Supporting advocacy: We will work to elevate the issue of modern slavery on the global agenda, advocate for increased resources (including from intersectional areas), and fund local advocates and activists.

GFEMS work over the years has highlighted the importance of working with local partners…

Check out our early work in the ethical recruitment sector.

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GFEMS original approach generated significant learnings

Within each sector and geography, we worked to build solutions that:

  • Reduced vulnerabilities to modern slavery and trafficking
  • Shifted the demand away from exploitative labor practices
  • Made improvements in the enabling environments that allow slavery to persist 

Reducing Vulnerability


Modern slavery most frequently affects the most vulnerable- those who are searching for work or a way out of desperate circumstances. They are forced, deceived, or coerced into exploitative working conditions, often because they do not know of or have access to any viable alternatives. By building financial and social security among at-risk populations and raising awareness of trafficking risks, vulnerability to exploitation is decreased. Such interventions might include:

  • Providing trauma-informed care and reintegration for survivors to prevent re-trafficking
  • Promoting awareness of rights, trafficker tactics, and alternatives to at-risk communities
  • Building individual capacities and ability to find viable employment through market-driven skilling and employment programs

Shifting Demand


The demand side of slavery is driven by the desire for cheap labor, cheap goods, and sexual exploitation. To create sustainable change in the private sector, a demand for ethical practices must be created, concrete solutions must be identified, and ethical business models need to be implemented. Demand-side interventions include:

  • Developing new tools to detect and mitigate forced labor risks in deep and opaque supply chains
  • Building and incentivizing uptake of ethical contracting and ethical production models
  • Testing demand reduction approaches for sex trafficking

Reforming Environment


The enabling environment for slavery is represented by inadequate justice systems and corruption that allow perpetrators to act with impunity, and corporate and cultural norms that ignore harm done to the most vulnerable. Interventions to address this environment include:

  • Building the capacity of criminal justice and regulatory systems to identify, protect and secure justice for victims, and punish traffickers
  • Investing in new technologies and tools to detect and disrupt trafficker operations
  • Securing corporate and community buy-in by illuminating the ultimate costs of modern slavery to economies and societies and the gains from eliminating it

Modern slavery is a complex global issue, but progress is possible if we work together.

Modern slavery intersects with and is exacerbated by a number of other global issues, including gender, class and racial inequalities. If we have not had the opportunity to meet you yet, reach out to see how we can work together.

Get Involved

Private sector engagement continues to be critical to addressing modern slavery

Today, 16 million people currently in conditions of modern slavery are employed in the private sector. They work in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and apparel, domestic work and many more industries.

Modern slavery is bad for business

Modern slavery-based pricing makes slave-free products less competitive, can affect brand perception internationally, and negatively impacts the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. It is a known investment risk for businesses, and yet there is relatively minimal private sector action to date. This is partially due to a lack of adequate tools for businesses to see deep into their supply chains, where modern slavery is most likely to exist. 

To end modern slavery sustainably, GFEMS works with private sector leaders on improving their business practices and developing the tools that will help them identify modern slavery risks and expand the possibilities for progress.

Our inaugural portfolio