CIW speaks at White House on FFP’s power to prevent slavery!

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CIW’s Laura Germino speaks on Fair Food Program on plenary panel at “Taking Action to Eradicate Modern-day Slavery”…


Earlier this year, President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships issued its report, “Building Partnerships to Eradicate Modern-day Slavery,” in which the Council was tasked with investigating the landscape of today’s anti-slavery movement and presenting the President with recommendations for strengthening the federal government’s efforts to combat slavery through partnerships with NGOs.  Readers of this site will remember that the CIW was featured prominently in the final report, singled out as “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover — and prevent — modern-day slavery.

This past week, the White House followed up on one of the key recommendations from that report, hosting “more than one hundred leaders to the White House this week for a day-long convening focused on human trafficking.”   Among the civil society leaders invited to the White House — and one of the five leading anti-slavery figures asked to speak on the opening plenary panel — was the CIW’s Laura Germino (pictured below addressing the gathering, from a tweet by the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America).  Laura gave an overview of labor trafficking in the country today, and spoke on the power of the Fair Food Program, through its multi-layered approach of worker education, a 24-hr complaint line, sophisticated monitoring, and market consequences, to not just prosecute slavery but also to prevent it.  

Here’s an excerpt from the White House blog on the day’s events:

white_house3The gathering included heads of religious denominations, rabbis and nuns, CEOs of large non-profits such as the United Way and Girl Scouts, foundation leaders, along with human trafficking survivors and experts, all united in their interest to join forces to eradicate modern-day slavery. Participants discussed ways their organizations can work together to raise awareness and educate the public, identify victims, expand services for survivors and eliminate slavery in the goods and products we consume. We look forward to continuing to work with this group in coming days.

Last year, President Obama also called for the establishment of other public-private partnerships that would improve care for survivors of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. On Monday, the White House announced the launch of the Partnership for Freedom, a three-year public-private partnership led by Humanity United [a key CIW ally, ed.], the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development… 

By partnering with private philanthropic organizations, government officials, religious and community leaders, we can help achieve the President’s vision of supporting and empowering survivors and ultimately ending modern-day slavery.

While it was a great honor to address the White House gathering, even more exciting is the growing partnership among the CIW, the White House, and the many other anti-slavery movement leaders nationwide — including the International Justice Mission, T’ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, Humanity United, ATEST, and the Freedom Network — that are committed, like the President, to the ultimate goal of eradicating slavery once and for all in the 21st century.