Friday, March 26, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When was Free the Slaves founded? Free the Slaves was founded in 2000 by Kevin Bales, Peggy Callahan, and Jolene Smith following publication of President Kevin Bales’ 1999 Pulitzer nominated Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. FTS has grown into a respected and thriving organization, perceived as a thought-leader and catalyst within the anti-slavery movement. It has programs in seven countries, supported by staff on four continents, with well-established systems of coordination and accountability.

2. What is Free The Slaves' approach in ending slavery?
We work by providing accurate research and reporting on slavery, raising public and political awareness about the continuing existence of slavery, eliminating slave-made products from the supply chains of industries, and building partnerships with grassroots organizations who fight slavery.

3. What is Free The Slaves' annual budget? For 2010, around 3.5 million dollars.

4. What percentage of our funding comes from foundations versus private donors? Right now we rely heavily on foundation and institutional grants (roughly 70%), however in the future we want to rely more on individual donors and unrestricted gifts.

5. What is the percent/total of budget spent on staff?
Personnel costs are about one-third of the annual expenses for a staff of 25, here and abroad. Of these, 4 staff members do not receive any salary, but donate their time.

6. Do we receive government funding? Free The Slaves receives government funding to support a portion of the work of our international partners.

7. Do we work with other anti-trafficking organizations? Free the Slaves is a member of the US based ATEST (Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking) coalition with a number of prominent anti-trafficking organizations including Polaris Project, IJM, Vital Voices, Ricky Martin Foundation, and CAST. We also have close ties with the World Bank, UNICEF, IOM, UNIAP, and other major players in international work.

8. Do our international partners free slaves and offer direct services?
Yes, some of our partners directly remove and rescue victims from their situation, with the cooperation of local governments. There is a great need for more rehabilitation shelters for those newly freed workers ready to start a new life.

9. Where are our grassroots partners?
India, Nepal, Ghana, Uganda, Haiti, Brazil, and in process, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

10. Do we provide any direct services to victims in US?
No, but Free the Slaves does refer cases to Polaris Project and other organizations focusing on the domestic problem.

11. What are the Freedom Awards and why are they important?
Begun in 2008 by a grant from the Templeton foundation, the Freedom Awards are given to celebrate heroes of the anti-slavery movement from around the world. Individuals and organizations chosen from a large pool of nominees by an international selection committee come to Los Angeles for a dazzling ceremony honoring their work. The cash prizes and media attention help them to leverage more support for their programs and scale up their work. The inspiring award ceremony is open to the public.