For the first time, Trinidad and Tobago will host the Caribbean Regional Freedom from Slavery Forum, bringing together anti-modern slavery stakeholders from all over the region to discuss the most pressing issues of modern slavery and develop effective solutions. Anti-modern slavery leaders – including survivors, government representatives, Civil Society, researchers, judges, and representatives of International Organizations – will meet in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, from February 6-8, 2023. This Forum’s theme is “Enabling Local Engagement and Global Synergies to Address Modern Slavery in the Caribbean.”
Since 2013, the Freedom from Slavery Forum has served as a space to convene leaders of the anti-slavery movement. It was designed to create a collegial space to coalesce, create partnerships, collaboration, and coordination, discuss promising practices, and develop a shared agenda for potential action as part of the anti-slavery movement. As a grassroots space, the Forum has been evolving and becoming an undeniable force in bringing together stakeholders in the fight against modern slavery. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Freedom From Slavery Forum, and we will continue to expand upon this strong legacy.
The Caribbean Regional Forum being held in Port of Spain is the last of six in total, the others having concerned the regions of Latin America, North America and Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia. The Regional Forums explore and define key strategies for local engagements, identify the best approaches to revitalize the movement and increase resilience and resistance, and determine the ways in which these engagements may inform the global synergies for addressing modern slavery. A Global Forum will be convened in the Dominican Republic in May 2023 to conclude the series of 2022/23 and celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Forum.
It is estimated that in the last four years, the number of people trapped in modern forms of slavery increased by 10 million to 50 million today. Many of them are forced to work against their will or in a marriage they were forced into. Temporary crises such as COVID-19, climate change, armed conflicts, and general instability of the global system have exacerbated all forms of modern slavery. Furthermore, it was observed that people in every region of the world experience modern slavery, so the Caribbean is not exempt.
Over three days, the Caribbean Forum will focus on including survivors, persons with disabilities, and indigenous people in the anti-modern slavery movement, as well as accessibility for all persons in programs and policies targeting the factors that allow modern slavery to flourish in the region. Participants will also discuss how to increase the number of prosecuted perpetrators, best practices for protecting survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking, and ensuring trauma-informed
survivor engagement practices are used to create meaningful opportunities for survivors to contribute their expertise to the anti-modern slavery movement.
For those not in attendance, the event will be live-streamed via zoom. Registrations are open and can be consulted here.