Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Google donates $11.5 million to combat slavery

At the end of each year Google makes a series of donations to organizations and causes. This year they are giving one of their largest gifts ever in the tune of $11.5 million to fight modern-slavery. This is also the largest ever corporate grant given towards anti-trafficking efforts.

"Many people are surprised to learn there are more people trapped in slavery today than any time in history," said Jacquelline Fuller, director of charitable giving and advocacy for Google. "The good news is that there are solutions."

The International Justice Mission was chosen by Google to lead the efforts with this grant. Personally, I think they made a great choice. Earlier this year I had the chance to attend an IJM dinner in Dallas and meet Gary Haugen, President of the International Justice Mission.  They are an effective, caring and diligent organization that will use the funds properly. Google did their homework.

The International Justice Mission will partner with the Polaris Project, Slavery Footprint and a handful of other NGO's in a multi-year effort to rescue those enslaved.

Here is how IJM President Gary Haugen said the money will be used.

  • $3.5 million intervention project to fight forced labor in India.
  • $4.5 million advocacy campaign in India to educate and protect the vulnerable.
  • $1.8 million plan to mobilize Americans in behalf of slavery in the United States and around the world.
  • Remaining $1.7 million to be distributed to several smaller organizations combating slavery.
"It's hard for most Americans to believe that slavery and human trafficking are still massive problems in our world," said Haugen. "Google's support now makes it possible for IJM to join forces with two other leading organizations so we can bring to bear our unique strengths in a united front."

The organizations leading these efforts will meet Wednesday in Washington D.C. to begin the new initiative. Focuses within the U.S. will aim at helping Americans understand where and how modern-slavery occurs and things that everyday Americans can do to prevent it, such as knowing where their clothing and goods come from, understanding signs of human trafficking and reporting to the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-3737-888, which is part of the Polaris Project. 

"Whether it's by calling the national human trafficking hotline, sending a letter to their senator, or using online advocacy tools, millions of Americans will be able to use their voices to ensure that ending this problem becomes a top priority," said Bradley Myles, executive director of Polaris Project.

"Having a company like Google recognize the value of our work marks a major turning point for the anti-slavery movement," said Justin Dillon, founder of Slavery Footprint. His organization provides consumers tools to determine whether slavery is found in the supply chain of products and makes efforts to help companies and consumers remove slavery from supply chains.