By Maria Caspani
NEW YORK Oct 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A global database of organisations fighting modern slavery and human trafficking will help connect victims with the help they need, a group of charities said on Thursday.
Launched by Polaris, the Freedom Fund and the Walk Free Foundation - three major players in the anti-slavery and human trafficking movement - the Global Modern Slavery Directory is the first publicly searchable database of over 770 organisations and hotlines working on human trafficking and forced labour.
The directory will also enable service providers, law enforcement, policy makers and rights groups to share information and better coordinate efforts, as well as highlight areas where services are lacking or non-existent.
"The Global Modern Slavery Directory is an important new tool in the movement as we strengthen the global safety net for victims and combat this $150 billion criminal industry head-on," Polaris CEO Bradley Myles said in a statement.
Almost 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labor, victims of debt bondage or born into servitude, according to the Walk Free Foundation that produces the Global Slavery Index.
Individuals will be able to use the directory to look up specific organisations,the countries in which they operate, contact information and a list of services provided, among other things.
"This Directory will ensure slavery victims can locate the support they need, anti-slavery organizations can work together more effectively and funders can identify potential partners" said Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund, in a statement.
The database, which was one of the commitments to action of this year's Clinton Global Initiative, will be updated with new organisations as they are verified.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Lisa Anderson)
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