Policy Making

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"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." - Mahatma Gandhi

Once individuals are aware of the issue of modern-day slavery, the next form of abolition is leveraging that knowledge to influence public policies that assist in ending enslavement. Creating ethical, smart policies is critical to securing justice for the victims of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Policies also enable the available tools and resources necessary for those men, women and children that are later rescued from enslavement.

Creating policies involves a variety of actors. Legislators have significant influence over governmental policy. Individuals and organizations often consult with legislators to provide expert policy analyses and opinions. Activists also take initiative to educate and inform legislators so that through awareness building these power-brokers can begin to comprehend the necessity of policy change and enforcement. Whether sitting with legislators at their offices, providing key background materials or inviting them to various info-sharing events, individuals and organizations take special care to inform legislators.

Individuals play an important role in enacting policy changes too. By pleading for, supporting and recommending policies to government and corporate leaders, we use our influence to alter policies. We call this policy making, and it’s incredibly important to shifting the rules that can eventually be enforced. Advocates work on the international, federal, state and local levels, illustrating key support and criticism to decision makers. By publicly pleading for or against policies, individuals use their voices to advocate for institutional and formal change.

In addition to public policies, corporations play significant roles in producing policy changes. Business leaders can advocate for change within their organizations, influencing supply chains and ethical practices. Corporations can implement major changes without the requirement of governmental regulation, which is crucial since a majority of the world’s slaves are exploited by private businesses. Individuals are also key to this policy change. We can begin asking the companies we shop with to examine their supply chains and to be more transparent with their sourcing. We can also begin making informed decisions about where we spend our money by looking at companies’ labor practices.

Policy-Making Activities

Individuals and organizations take active roles in influencing public and corporate policies. Abolition activities related to policy making often include

  • Expert Testimony– By providing expert witness testimony before legislators, activists influence the direction of public policy. Following policies through the legislative process ensures that knowledgeable experts join the conversation and offer valuable insights.
  • Lobbying for Specific Policies– Many organizations and individuals directly advocate for specific policies and bills at the corporate, international, federal, state and local levels. By officially requesting support from government decision makers, these groups leverage their name and resources to press for key changes.
  • Mobilizing Audiences– Organizations and key influencers mobilize their audiences and ask for mass, public support or criticism of various policies. This collective action demonstrates critical, widespread support to those in power.