On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at Hemingways Hotel, the international Religious Council of Kenya(IRCK) signed a declaration to end modern slavery.
IRCK is a coalition of all major faith communities in Kenya that works together to deepen inter-faith dialogue and collaboration among members for a common endeavor to mobilize the unique moral and social resources of religious people and address shared concerns.
“As faith leaders, the society holds us to account given the unique position that has been bestowed on us. We will use our connections and resources to address the root causes of this vice and ensure that it is completely eradicated from our society and perpetrators brought to book”, said Abdirahman Ismael, the IRCK Executive Director.
Global Freedom Network, the faith arm of the international human rights group walk free, which is dedicated to accelerating the end of modern slavery, which is dedicated to accelerating the end of modern slavery, hosted the declaration signing. It is the ninth signing since 2014 when Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Taqi alModarrei joined other faith leaders from many of the World’s great religions in declaring that modern slavery must be eradicated.
Modern slavery is an umbrella term that includes human trafficking, domestic servitude, the worst forms of child labor, and forced child marriage.
“Faith leaders occupy a prominent position and are well placed to lead the fight against modern slavery in their communities. The philosophy of Global Freedom Network is built on interfaith collaboration. We are honored to work in Kenya with the International Religious Council of Kenya(IRCK). The Global Freedom Network believes passionately that in the interconnected, divisive, and unequal world we live in, faith leaders can play a crucial role in supporting governments and societies navigates the most complex problems that the 21st century throws at us”, said Franca Pellegrini, director of the Global Freedom Network.
Kenya becomes the second signing venue in Africa after faith leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire joined Ghanaian leaders to sign the commitment in a ceremony held in Accra in August 2021.
“Our philosophy is that we have to learn from each other and listen to community and faith leaders from as many parts of the world as possible if we are to stand a chance of addressing the root causes of modern slavery, including poverty and inequality. We are living at a particularly fragile time when the need to listen to solve the world’s most complex problems could not be more important. We thank the Kenyan faith leaders for signing this declaration today, joining the community of faith leaders across the world who have endorsed this pledge”, Ms. Franca said.
The signing event coincided with the launch of the Faith for Freedom smartphone app, which was developed in collaboration with faith leaders to help guide them to tackle modern slavery in their communities and congregations.
“This is a practical tool designed for and developed by faith leaders to assist with their important work addressing modern slavery in their congregations and communities,” Ms. Pellegrini said.”We are using modern technology to address an age-old problem.”
The Faith For Freedom app is free to download from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Visit faithforfreedom.org to learn more.