Our Approach

GFEMS and its partners will work together toward sustainably ending modern slavery by making it economically unprofitable.


Our Focus

The Global Fund views modern slavery as a crime of economic opportunity and a violation of human dignity.

Consistent with the Palermo Protocol, we are focused on combating the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Our strategy targets the estimated 25 million people affected by forced labor globally, especially through the private sector and sexual exploitation.

How GFEMS Works

The fund will execute six major workstreams:  

  • Increasing resources: Scaling funding and global commitment commensurate with the size of the challenge

  • Engaging governments: Facilitating government ownership of anti-slavery strategies and developing co-funded budgeted action plans

  • Engaging the private sector: Creating market-based solutions to end modern slavery through business engagement

  • Engaging civil society: Ensure effective design and implementation of interventions to end modern slavery

  • Funding transformative programs and technologies: Prioritizing efforts that demonstrate clear impact on prevalence

  • Ensuring robust assessment of impact: Developing and deploying cost-effective measurement of community and industry prevalence reduction and return on investment

Funding Themes

GFEMS’ grantmaking will catalyze reductions in slavery prevalence in communities and industries through three interconnected themes:

  • Effective rule of law will raise the cost of slavery by ending impunity for all forms of trafficking

  • Business engagement will create value by eliminating forced labor from supply chains at local, national, and international levels, as well as provide alternatives for vulnerable individuals

  • Sustained freedom for survivors through recovery, reintegration, and economic opportunity

GFEMS’ grant partners will execute programs within and across these intervention areas.

Evidence for Action

GFEMS is data driven and committed to building the evidence base on modern slavery and making investment decisions that are evidence informed.

Data is central to the Fund’s work. It helps us understand the scale and scope of modern slavery and what works to eliminate it. Using a portfolio approach, GFEMS invests in a collection of complementary research and evaluation methods to comprehensively understand modern slavery in select sectors and geographies.


Prevalence Estimation

As a hidden crime, evidence on modern slavery has been challenging to obtain, especially prevalence estimates necessary to identify the scale and scope of the problem. Such data can help interventions target the most vulnerable populations and make the case for private sector action against specific supply chain risks. Targeted prevalence estimates also help us understand trends over time in the areas where GFEMS is operating. Drawing insights from public health and other disciplines, GFEMS is undertaking prevalence estimation studies in each geography and sector of investment.


Evidence generated through short-term innovation testing and longer-term intervention effectiveness studies feed back into the refinement of the Fund’s Theories of Change, improving the targeting of investments with each funding round. For grantees, learning activities facilitate real-time testing for program adaptation and course-correction.


GFEMS is investing in rigorous evaluation designs allowing for a robust assessment of intervention effectiveness and understanding of investment impact. The Fund’s evaluation objectives are to (a) examine project level contribution towards prevalence reduction across target sectors and (b) assess the overall effect of interventions and innovations in reducing key beneficiary vulnerabilities in target geographies and sectors.

Knowledge Sharing

GFEMS is committed to transparency, collaboration, and building the evidence base in the field. We routinely share our methods and research findings to support the work of policymakers, civil society, and the private sector to better equip and mobilize them on effective solutions to end modern slavery.