outlining our responsibilities
Our Guiding Principles
As a collective designed for promoting the full, effective and meaningful participation of youth in anti-slavery efforts, we are responsible for providing reliable, high-quality, and appropriate information, resources, tools, and opportunities. The mainstream anti-modern slavery movement needs to be challenged and questioned to facilitate concrete action. As a collective, we are asking ‘Who are anti-slavery efforts working for?’. Our Collective is built on an inclusive narrative – one that has been guided by leaders in the field. Below are our ‘Guiding Principles’, including our core views, outlooks and stances.
- We believe that all anti-modern slavery efforts should be developed and delivered with or by survivors (people with lived experiences). We commit to centring survivor voices at all relevant stages of existing and future projects.
- We commit to promoting the full, effective, meaningful and substantive inclusion, participation and leadership of youth. This means youth being valued as equal partners in decision making spaces and centred as co-creators, co-leaders and co-owners of anti-modern slavery efforts.
- We recognise that exploitation has been embedded and rooted in the socio-economic and political fabrics of our societies and systems. Chronic structural/systemic inequalities and problems, including the lack of viable economic opportunities (choices) and gender inequalities, as well as historic factors, fuel exploitation.
- We acknowledge that we have a lot to learn from history and historic abolitionism. We are proactively using learnings from history to inform our projects, views and thought processes.
- We commit to pushing for the political will to act against modern slavery. We recognise that government must include accountability measures, address the root causes enabling exploitation and must not ignore the ways that ethnicity, gender and sexuality shape vulnerability.
- We commit to upholding our duty of internal and external accountability. Internally, we will hold each other as youth to account. Externally, we commit to holding all perpetrators of modern slavery to account. We commit to holding people, organisations, companies, governments and institutions to account when necessary.
- We recognise that international definitions of modern slavery and human trafficking are vague and that there is a need for them to be negotiated and clarified.
- We commit to recognising and including intersectionalities with other global issues wherever necessary.
- We take the appropriate stance on prosecutions and adopt the view that the non-punishment principle (human-rights based approach) must be adopted. This will ensure that survivors are not wrongfully prosecuted, are provided with substantial support and that traffickers are appropriately prosecuted.
- We commit to support the resolution of conflicts and controversies within the movement. We commit to bring differences of opinion within the movement out into the open, understand them, and support any navigation through them. We commit to having a sensitivity and awareness to these controversies, and the histories that underpin them, to work to find ways to move forward together.