WALK FREE FOUNDATIONPERTH, MONDAY 17 MARCH 2014

 

Business24

For the first time in history the global Christian and Islamic leadership are working actively together, coordinated by the Walk Free Foundation, to end modern slavery for ever.

 

The?new Global Freedom Network?is an operating, well-funded, well-planned initiative committed to ending modern slavery.

 

Walk Free Foundation?s founder, Australian philanthropist?and business leader Andrew Forrest, has been instrumental in bringing together?the:

 

  • Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the world Anglican Communion,

 

  • The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the most senior Islamic authority and the Center of Islamic learning, and

 

  • His Holiness?the Pope.

 

With a global reach of almost 3 billion people and growing, the Global Freedom Network warmly invites the leaders from all major faiths to join the Leadership Council of the Global Freedom Network. We welcome their integral role and input into bringing together people of faith globally, to advance the end of modern slavery once and for all.
Speaking at the?launch of the Global Freedom Network in the Vatican,?Andrew Forrest, representing?Walk Free Foundation,?made the following?statement and call to action:
?The Global Freedom Network harnesses the combined power of faiths to deliver on a bold ambition of wiping out?the blight of modern?slavery across the world.


There is no precedent to the depth and operational strength of this multi-faith working agreement: it is the first time members of the?Muslim and Christian faiths have?come?together in such an active way, with the support of?the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Grand Imam of Al?Azhar?and the Archbishop of Canterbury.


It is also?the first time?Anglican and Catholic representatives?have come?together in?such a comprehensive agreement?since the Reformation.

Modern slavery is a crime against humanity. Today, the economic exploitation of?our fellow human beings causes?almost?30 million people to be enslaved, more than at any other time in human history. Every day we let this situation continue is an assault on our common humanity.


The Global Freedom Network brings together faith communities of?almost?3?billion people???nearly half of the world?s population ? and will invite all faiths to join its leadership.?In the warmth of our friendship to all faiths, we welcome all to join the overwhelming majority of people in the world, pledging that modern slavery never climbs out of the dustbin of history again.


Together, we can end the tragedy of modern slavery.


Instead of addressing the symptoms of modern slavery, we want to tackle the root causes that allow it to thrive. This agreement is about action. If we can bring the world?s faiths together in a truly focused initiative we can eliminate this abhorrent crime once and for all.?


We are?also?engaging?businesses?to clean up supply chains?and?governments to enforce the laws that make modern slavery illegal.


For the Walk Free Foundation, this is a hugely important milestone in our own efforts to eradicate modern slavery, and builds?on the?inaugural?launch of the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 and the Global Slavery Index in 2013.?


I?appeal?to all faiths and denominations of the world, to all governments and people of goodwill everywhere:?Please?join the Global Freedom Network!

?

Together?we can ensure?that effort, vision and power are devoted to bringing an end to modern slavery, once and for all.?

As part of the establishment of the Global Freedom Network, Walk Free Foundation is honoured to distribute, on behalf of Al Azhar El Sharef, its declaration on the outlawing and condemning of modern slavery throughout the world.

 

This is issued by al-Azhar El Sharef, the most recognized Islamic authority and Centre of Islamic learning.

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Under the agreement, all parties commit to pursuing unprecedented steps to galvanize global action to eradicate modern slavery. Some of the key initial actions for the first year will be to develop action plans that will engage:

  • All global faiths to modern slavery- proof their own supply chains and investments and take remedial action where needed and mobilise their youth sections to support plans to eradicate modern slavery;
  • 162 governments to publicly endorse the establishment of the Global Fund, with 30 heads of state publicly endorsing it by the end of 2014;
  • The G20 to condemn modern slavery and human trafficking and adopt an anti-slavery and human trafficking initiative and support the aforementioned Global Fund;
  • Political leaders to modern slavery-proof government supply chains;
  • 50 major multi-national businesses whose CEOs are people of faith or goodwill to commit to modern slavery-proof their supply chains;
  • Families, schools, universities, congregations and institutions to educate on what modern slavery is, how to report it and the destructiveness of harmful social attitudes, prejudices and social systems in relation to modern slavery.

 

The Agreement establishing the Global Freedom Network was signed by:

  • Mr Andrew Forrest, on behalf of Walk Free Foundation
  • Dr Mahmoud Azab, Advisor for Global Dialogue to the Grand Imam of Al Azhar;
  • The Most Reverend Sir David John Moxon KNZM, the Archbishop of Canterbury?s representative to the Holy See, and
  • His Excellency Monsignor Marcelo S?nchez Sorondo, Chancellor of?the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, on behalf of Pope Francis.

 

See the official Global Freedom Network launch press release for further information.

 

ABOUT THE WALK FREE FOUNDATION

The Walk Free Foundation is a global organisation with a mission to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for modern slavery today.

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