Specialist areas of work and services:
the Thomson Reuters Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, the world’s biggest news and information provider.
Experience, Background and Services:
The Foundation’s anti-slavery work builds on its ambitious mission to mobilise people, governments and businesses to work together to tackle social injustice, promote socio-economic progress, and uphold the rule of law. Our uniquely holistic approach has identified the gaps in modern slavery agenda often neglected by traditional actors to develop practical, innovative solutions. The approach builds on our influence in the private sector, academia and civil society, unparalleled global reach, and proven experience of mobilising different industries to collaborate. This is executed through 3 key programmes:
1: Anti-slavery journalism - dedicated coverage of the issues to raise awareness and spark a public discussion.
Through our principles of independent, objective and impartial journalism, our newsroom focuses on social issues overlooked by mainstream media coupled with unparalleled potential reach (our stories reach up to 1 billion readers) globally. We are the only newsroom worldwide with a team dedicated to covering human trafficking and forced labour.
Having editorial independence allows us to produce trusted news stories that are picked up by leading publications globally, and are routinely (re)published by news outlets from the New York Times and Daily Mail Online to Oman Times and Bangkok Post. Our stories feature in newspapers and magazines from countries extremely diverse in terms of culture, customs and audiences.
Roughly a quarter of our reach is in South Asia, where we are the largest provider of trafficking news in the region. India, where we have two dedicated correspondents, remains the focus of our regional coverage. All our stories from India are translated into Hindi and Tamil and made available to local news outlets free to ensure they reach readers in the furthest parts of the region. Newsletters disseminate stories to more than 100 local NGOs and other interested parties.
2: Trust Conference - the world’s most authoritative annual anti-slavery forum and support to the private sector’s fight against slavery.
Aware of a lack of global forum for these specific discussions, the Foundation founded an event in 2012 to bring together corporations, legal firms, government representatives, thought leaders, philanthropists and activists to discuss and implement solutions to fight modern slavery. It has grown to host over 600 global leaders from some 60 countries representing more than 500 organisations.
Nobel Peace Prize winners Kalish Satyarti, and nominee and UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking Nadia Murad Basee Taha have all spoken at the conference. In 2013, the current British Prime Minister, Theresa May, launched the UK Modern Slavery Act – Europe’s first legislation to combat slavery in the private sector. Speakers from the private sector have included adidas, and Tesco.
Unique to Trust Conference is the calibre of participants and the diversity of attendees, and its focus on identifying specific actions that can be implemented by participants independently of our support. In 2015, 43% of participants were civil rights activists or representatives of NGOs (local and international), 41% were from the private sector (corporate, legal, media, social enterprises, etc.), 10% were from the government, law enforcement or intergovernmental agencies, and the rest were from academia. Each year, participants discuss how to support 7-8 ‘actions’ presented at the conference, from creating a consumer movement to push fashion brands to be more transparent about their supply chain, to bringing together leading hoteliers to create a ‘stop slavery standard’ across the sector, to creating a ‘career academy’ giving survivors of human trafficking comprehensive training, support, mentoring and professional development opportunities.
3: We support groundbreaking legal research to empower NGOs to advocate effectively for policy and legal changes as part of the fight against slavery
Our legal research programme offers powerful advocacy tools that support NGOs to achieve legal and policy reforms and strengthen the rule of law. This support is offered through our TrustLaw programme, the largest global pro bono network in the world with over 4,000 members across more than 175 countries, who generously provide free legal support to NGOs and social enterprises to map how existing laws are being used to counter modern slavery, and recommend what more needs to be done to combat this crime. The network connects anti-slavery organisations with the world’s leading lawyers. The lawyers produce powerful and authoritative research, giving those on the frontlines effective tools to demand policy change and ensure the rule of law is used to drive the fight against slavery. We have supported dozens of NGOs, including Humanity United, World Vision, Institute for Human Rights and Business, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the Freedom Fund.