Collaboration Throughout The Nations (Plus, How Business Professionals Can Play A Part In The Front Lines Fight Against Human Trafficking)

F14: Hi, Freedom Collaborative! Welcome to the first ever Freedom Fortnight. We're so glad you're here!

FC: It's a pleasure to be a part of your launch!

F14: Thanks! It's pretty exciting! (... and a lot of work ; )

We know you just celebrated a launch milestone for your growing community: your one-year anniversary. Happy Anniversary!

What kinds of things are people saying about Freedom Collaborative at this point?

FC: One year after our launch, we went to visit some of our partners and asked them to share their thoughts about collaboration in anti-trafficking. Here's what they said: (3 mins)

F14: "People coming together from all around the world." That's awesome! We love that "everyone from U.N. agencies to grassroots NGOs, government agencies to activists and academics," really from all around the world are connecting and working together. So cool!

You also just crossed another community milestone: 2,000 community members! Congrats!

FC: Thanks! Yes, as of this week, Freedom Collaborative is a community of 459 organisations and 2093 individuals from 43 countries.

F14: So cool. And we've noticed you putting your value of collaboration into practice this year, too, as you've recently teamed up with Polaris Project's Global Modern Slavery Directory.

PROGRESS TO CELEBRATE

F14: Wow, that's already a lot for us all to celebrate!

Do you have anything else specific that you have made progress on in the past year (however large or small!) that you would like to highlight to people who care about anti-trafficking, so we can celebrate together?

FC: In March 2016, we hosted a discussion on Freedom Collaborative about the usage of victims’ faces in awareness and promotional material. The question sparked an active conversation between users worldwide, and within the 44 comments the suggestion was made to develop a document that can be used to inform and train organizations.

Community Members then worked together with the legal team at BNP Paribas Hong Kong and Singapore to create the Guidance Note on Use of Victims’ Images. We were very happy to be able to share this Guidance Note with all community members, which was truly a collaborative effort.

F14: Gotcha. We've read Love 146's article "Anti-Trafficking Fail," which gives their perspective on the use of imagery in raising awareness of human trafficking in general. It's written at a popular level and short, blog length. (Which we don't intend as a criticism of it, just an observation.) I can imagine that your Guidance Note is a more in depth, formal document.

So, who would benefit from the Guidance Note?

FC: The guideline is intended to provide best practice and principles for the anti-trafficking sector to create awareness and teach about how and when images can be used. It is an effort to offer advice on how to ensure that the dignity and rights of victims and of those we are working to protect are respected. The document is a practical toolkit for everyone in the anti-trafficking sector and includes in its annex a Proposed Form of Consent Letter, a Checklist of Key Guidelines, and an overview of the legal background.

F14: That sounds really helpful. Use of victims' images and stories is a bit of a hot topic right now. In fact, Freedom United is working on a campaign called "My Story My Dignity," which calls on "media organizations to review their style guides as a first step of improving the way that modern slavery and survivor stories are presented in the media."

F14: That video speaks for itself.... Actually, now that we think about it, the survivors in that video literally speak for themselves.

You can find out more and track the progress of the #MyStoryMyDignity campaign here.

HOW CAN SOMEONE HELP WITH WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON NOW/NEXT?

F14: Freedom Collaborative, do you have an initiative/or project you’re working on this year that people could get involved with/help with/support?

FC: Freedom Collaborative, in partnership with Walk Free and Social Action Resource Network, have developed a Mentorship Program for anti-trafficking practitioners to provide them with access to free advice and support given by experienced professionals, who are volunteering for this program.
 
The goal of the program is to provide relevant and supportive technical assistance to participants that will enhance their professional development, their organizations, and the communities they work with.

F14: Can you tell us a bit more. For example, what do you mean by mentoring?
 
FC: Mentoring describes a face-to-face, long-term relationship between two individuals based towards career goals and objectives. In a mentoring relationship, the two individuals are referred to as the ”mentor” (the person facilitating learning) and the “mentee” (the individual being mentored). Mentoring relationships can provide meaningful assistance in areas such as career development, leadership and management, strategic planning, communication, program quality and improved services for at risk populations, monitoring, fundraising, and more.
 
Freedom Collaborative are excited to accept applications for both mentees and mentors.

Around this program, we also hosted two webinars and discussion groups having both anti-trafficking leaders and new to the field participants discuss ways in which mentorship can assist leaders, staff and others. We discussed what motivates to mentor someone younger, how learning can happen through engagement and within a professional community, as well as different styles and mentoring across cultures.
 
We are currently working on a collaborative publication summarising the experiences shared and lessons learned from the webinar and discussion group participants.

F14: We'll look forward to the summary of your community's discussion of mentorship!

So, just to make sure we have this right, Freedom Collaborative's mentorship program is for two kinds of people:

  • the mentors - business professionals (who don't have to have anti-trafficking expertise), who have expertise and experience in various specific aspects of professional life (and life in general) who can help...
  • the mentees - anti-trafficking practitioners, who can grow their capacities and effectiveness and glean knowledge and wisdom from business professionals

All with the goal of enhancing the mentee's professional development, their organizations, and the communities they work with.

It's a specific way a professional can get involved and make a difference to the front lines of anti-trafficking. Very cool.

How can someone let you know they're interested in being a mentor or mentee?

FC: If you want to get involved, please message us so that we can send you the info material and link to participate.

F14: Freedom Collaborative, it's been an amazing year for you! We're so glad we could we could celebrate with you, and we're excited about the potential impact of your Anti-Trafficking Professional Mentorship Program. Maybe we'll get to hear about that during Freedom Fortnight 2018!

TAKE ACTION:

Connect with Others & Learn

Join the Freedom Collaborative community & benefit from the upcoming U.N. webinars. Click here.

Are you in the media industry, do you use social media or know someone who is/does?

Send a Message to the Media! Advocate for Suvivors' Dignity - Watch the video. Share on social & use the hashtag #MyStoryMyDignity. Get involved with and follow the campaign here. (Sign the petition! Currently at 5,003 of 10k goal.)

Business Professional or Anti-Trafficking Practitioner?

Grow Anti-Trafficking Front Lines Capacity: join in the Anti-Trafficking Professional Mentorship Program. Email Julia (pictured below : ) at julia [at] freedomcollaborative [dot]org OR Click here to send her a message via FC.

(Enter "F14/Mentorship" in the subject line.)

We can do it together!
— Suwat, A21 Campaign, in Freedom Collaborative's One-Year Anniversary Video