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The fight against modern slavery: new grant scheme for civil society

‘Civil society has a vital role to play in achieving our goal of ending modern slavery. As part of the development programme, we are therefore allocating NOK 190 million over a period of four years to support the work being done by civil society organisations in this area at country level,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has issued a call for proposals for projects run by civil society organisations to combat modern slavery. The call primarily targets projects in countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are partner countries in Norway’s development cooperation and are also pathfinder countries in Alliance 8.7. The aim of Alliance 8.7 is to end forced labour, modern slavery and trafficking, to ensure that the worst forms of child labour are banned and abolished, and abolish all forms of child labour by 2025.

‘Civil society plays an important role in monitoring human rights and holding the authorities and the business sector accountable for protecting and respecting human rights. Civil society challenges power structures, influences policy and legislative reform, increases awareness and knowledge and can prevent unethical recruitment,’ Mr Ulstein said.

The aim of the new development programme will be to combat modern slavery. Under the programme, funding will be available for UN organisations, research institutions and international and Norwegian civil society organisations. The programme will support projects that promote efforts by governments and the private sector to prevent, identify and address modern slavery, and projects to increase the resilience of vulnerable groups and individuals against modern slavery.

‘More than 40 million people worldwide are being subjected to some form of modern slavery today. The risk of becoming a victim of modern slavery is thought to have increased considerably during the coronavirus pandemic. People who are already vulnerable will be hardest hit by the pandemic and the repercussions of infection control measures. I am therefore pleased that we are establishing a development programme to end modern slavery,’ Mr Ulstein said.

More information about the call for proposals and the programme is available on Norad’s website.