Polaris believes that an effective strategy to combat human trafficking and modern slavery requires a coordinated global response. The foundation to building this response is a comprehensive directory; one that identifies and describes each NGO, multilateral institution, government stakeholder, and law enforcement agency in the world working on human trafficking, modern slavery, and forced labor. The Global Modern Slavery Directory will be a collaborative effort to build this map, serving as a resource for any organization or individual that wants to identify and connect with the full range of actors tackling human trafficking across the globe.
Starting with a basic database of over 1,300 contacts in 148 countries, Polaris will expand the Global Modern Slavery Directory to provide 100% geographic coverage. Pooling resources with a range of partners, Polaris will identify and reach out to new organizations, expanding the Directory to include a minimum of 3,000 contacts. By the end of this three-year commitment, Polaris will have verified the operational status, current contact information, range of services provided, populations served, and types of trafficking encountered by each of these contacts, among other data.
Achieving a directory of this scope will mean that the vast majority of actors impacting this field across the globe have been identified and recorded in one place. While many of these actors may have been working in isolation, inclusion in such a directory will make them easier to find and ensure that those in need of trafficking-related information or resources have access to a complete range of options. It will also make collaboration in the anti-trafficking movement more efficient, facilitating new connections by providing all the information actors may need to purposefully reach out to one another.
Polaris is especially well-equipped for this cross-national, collaborative approach to mapping, as it has a team of specialists and associates with regional expertise, personal contacts, and strong foreign language skills. Where possible, contact with organizations will be made directly in one of the languages spoken in a particular country, and where this is not possible, Polaris has access to interpretation service, which enables communication in more than 180 languages.
Polaris and its partners will build and expand the Global Modern Slavery Directory over a three-year period, and will continue to maintain and update it thereafter.
September 2014 - September 2017
Polaris will identify and verify at least 3,000 contacts for the Global Modern Slavery Directory over the three-year commitment period. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2014, 250 verified contacts will be added each quarter to the database for a total of 1,000 per year.
Although Polaris has taken the lead on project management and the majority of the verification work, its partners will continue to make significant contributions. The Freedom Fund will provide funding and significant thought partnership and design input, and Walk Free will share its internal database and interns to assist with outreach. Other partners will update and share their own lists of contacts or reach out directly to their field-based partners to gather additional lists of relevant organizations in a range of countries. Polaris will actively seek additional partners and collate shared knowledge throughout the three-year commitment.
Organizations and institutions included in the Global Modern Slavery Directory will work with Polaris to ensure that their information is kept up-to-date and their activities are accurately represented over time.
Polaris will actively monitor traffic to the Global Modern Slavery Directory website. Analytics and focus groups will be used to identify trends in who uses the Directory and for what purposes. This information will allow Polaris to make the Directory more functional for a broader range of audiences.
Human trafficking is a global issue, with numerous NGOs, multilateral institutions, government stakeholders, and law enforcement agencies working to combat it. However, it remains difficult for these actors to identify and connect with each other across borders, thereby limiting opportunities for learning, sharing best practices, and collecting critical data. What is missing is a comprehensive, centralized, easily accessible directory that maps out the full range of actors tackling human trafficking across the world.
Without such a map, it is difficult to know the real contours of the anti-trafficking movement as it exists within and between countries. Where are resources readily available and where are they scarce? Where are there services dedicated specifically to victims of trafficking, and where are other kinds of service providers stepping in to fill the gaps? Lacking this 'big picture,' funders cannot strategically invest so as to have the greatest impact; service providers may not know who to turn to when working with trafficking victims from outside their own locales; and law enforcement agencies and government institutions may miss important evidence showing the full scope of trafficking in their jurisdictions. A centralized, accessible, online directory would eliminate many of these obstacles to coordinated communication in the service of fighting human trafficking.
Facilitating such communication is an ambitious task that is larger than any one organization alone. In this effort, Polaris sees a rare opportunity for collaboration and coordination in the field. A directory of this kind should be seen as a public good, accessible and beneficial to a wide variety of audiences, and therefore, it should be the product of a group effort supported by multiple partners. Polaris seeks to launch a unified effort with a number of its NGO partners and to show that each NGO can place the broader value of the project above their individual interests or desire to promote their own 'brand'.
As part of its initiative to combat human trafficking on an international level, Polaris is looking for partners and resources to continue to expand its Global Modern Slavery Directory and enable a more coordinated response to human trafficking, modern slavery, and forced labor. Without such a map, it is difficult to understand the depth and breadth of the anti-trafficking movement. Actors in the field lack the means to identify and connect with each other across borders, thereby limiting opportunities for learning, sharing best practices, collecting critical data, and providing essential services to survivors. Achieving a directory of this scope will make collaboration in the anti-trafficking movement more efficient.