Making Modern Slavery History: Joanna Ewart-James, Co-founder & Executive Director of Freedom United

It’s a crisis many of us never imagined could exist in our lifetimes: modern slavery. But the unconscionable issue of forced labor is something that everyone can help tackle head-on. Joanna Ewert-James is executive director and co-founder for Freedom United, the world’s largest community dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery. In this episode she shines a light on the unseen facets of modern slavery in business, what we can do to address it, and how together we can make progress to expose and end modern slavery through the company and industry-wide collaboration.

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Joanna Ewart-James:

Joanna is co-founder and Executive Director of Freedom United, a global community against modern slavery powering action for change. Joanna is also a trustee at Labour Behind the Label Trust– campaigning for workers’ rights in the clothing industry. At the end of 2021 she completed her term as Chair of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative UK, during which she received an innovation award for the newly created Commonwealth 8.7 Network on modern slavery. Joanna was previously with Walk Free and Anti-Slavery International, where she developed and directed their work on business engagement, including coordinating the Cotton Campaign in Europe. Joanna is a contributing author to books including Vulnerability, exploitation and migrants: Insecure work in a globalized economy (Palgrave, 2015), and The SAGE Handbook of Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery (SAGE, 2018). Her international human rights experience spans the UK diplomatic service, academia, and philanthropy, managing multi-million dollar budgets. Joanna holds a graduate Masters degree in Human Rights from the University of London.


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