Freedom From Slavery Africa Regional Forum 2022

The Freedom From Slavery  Forum is the premier annual anti-slavery and anti-trafficking thought leadership event for Africa.

This year it was held from 21-24 November in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Forum brings together stakeholders from Subsaharan Africa to discuss the most pressing issues of modern slavery and develop effective solutions. Over three days, the Africa Forum will consider the factors that allow modern slavery to flourish in the region, as well as the road to improving survivor engagement and research conditions. Furthermore, participants will explore collaborative solutions to the issues of forced labor and sexual exploitation throughout the region.

21 November Registration and Opening Ceremony

5:00 p.m.Registration

6:00 p.m.Opening Reception

Opening remarks
– Bukeni Waruzi, Free the Slaves, USA
– Gender Monitoring Office, Rwanda
– Andrews Kananga, Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda
– Awah Mbuli, Forum Ambassador, Cameroon

Performances
– Forum Ambassador Grace Kalekye

Announcements
– Giselle Balfour, Free the Slaves, USA

Networking

22 November: Survivor Inclusion and Engagement

8:00 a.m.  – Welcome and Opening Remarks

– Gender Monitoring Office, Rwanda
– Shivan Alungnat, Independent Survivor Consultant, Kenya

8:40 a.m – Keynote Speech: Survivor Engagement

– Awah Mbuli, Survivors’ Network, Cameroon

9:00 a.m.  – Panel: Learning from Survivors: Why Survivor-Centered Solutions and Ethical engagement matter.

– Aicha Traore, CenHTRO, Sierra Leone (Moderator)
– Florence Among, Hope for Justice, Uganda
– Bernadette Agano, Free the Slaves, DRC
– Eunice Foloh, Survivors’ Network, Cameroon
– Annette Kirabira, Rahab Uganda, Uganda

10:00 a.m. – Panel Q&A

10:30 a.m. – COFFEE BREAK

11:00 a.m. – Workshops: – Expanding Survivor Engagement in Different Sectors (Case Studies and Lessons Learned)

A1: Survivor Engagement in Civil Society and Community Mobilization
– Miriam Mango’ka, HAART Kenya, Kenya
– Sister Jackline Mwongela, Religious Against Human Trafficking, Kenya

B1: Survivor Engagment and Policy-Making
– Umaru Fofanah, CENTHRO, Sierra Leone

12:00 p.m. – LUNCH

1:00 p.m.  – Workshop Reports

1:30 p.m.  – Panel: Diversity  and Survivor Engagement: Making Room for the Diverse Identities of Survivors within the Movement

– Paul Adhoch, Trace Kenya, Kenya (Moderator)
– Grace Kalekye, Forum Ambassador, Kenya
– Awah Mbuli, Survivors’ Network, Cameroon
– Patriciah Wanja Kimani, HAART Kenya, Kenya
– Eunice Foloh, Survivors’ Network, Cameroon

2:30 p.m.  – Panel Q&A

3:00 p.m.  – COFFEE BREAK

3:20 p.m.  – Workshops: Intersectionality and Allyship

A2: Intersectional Factors Contributing to Vulnerabilities of Survivors (Gender, Culture, LGBTQI+, etc.)
– Shivan Alungnat, Independent Survivor Consultant, Kenya
– Antonia Musunga, Freedom Fund, Kenya
B2: Emerging best practices for successful allyship with survivors
-Joanna Ewart-James, Freedom United, UK

4:20 p.m.  – Workshop Reporting

4:50 p.m.  – Conclusion and Final Comments by Survivors: Finding and filling gaps in Survivor engagement

– Awah Mbuli, Forum Ambassador, Cameroon
– James Lual Atak, New Life Ministry, South Sudan

5:00 p.m.  – Wrap up and Adjourn

– Networking Time

23 November: Research and Policy Engagement

8:00 a.m.Introduction and Opening Remarks

– David Okech, CenHTRO, USA

8:15 a.m.Panel: Policy Engagement in the Africa Context

– Grace Mukwaya, Platform for Labor Action, Uganda (Moderator)
– Biram Dah Abeid, Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, Mauritania
– Janvier Murairi, Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile Anti-Esclavagistes, DRC
– Bukeni Waruzi, Alliance 8.7, USA

9:15 a.m. – Panel Q&A

9:45 a.m.Presentation: Bridging the Gap between Research and Implementation

– David Okech, CenHTRO, USA
– Aicha Traore, CenHTRO, Sierra Leone
– Umaru Fofanah, CenHTRO, Sierra Leone
– Hope Dockweiler, CenHTRO, USA
– David N. Tshimba, Refugee Law Project, Uganda

10:45 a.m. – COFFEE BREAK

11:10 a.m.Workshops: The intersection of Research and Policy/Legislation

A3: Data Driven Anti-TIP Policies: Challenges and Opportunities
– David Okech, CenHTRO, USA
B3: Rights Lab – Legislative Framework Study12:10 p.m. – Workshop Reports
– Pamela Vargas Gorena, University of Nottingham Rights Lab, UK
– Katarina Schwarz, University of Nottingham Rights Lab, UK

12:30 p.m. – LUNCH

1:30 p.m.Facilitated Discussion: Limitation to Research in Africa (Culture, Lack of Resources, etc. )

– David Okech, CenHTRO, USA
– Katarina Schwarz, University of Nottingham Rights Lab, UK

2:05 p.m.Panel: Ethical Survivor Engagement in Research: Case Studies and Lessons Learned

– Jodom Mwebi, Free the Slaves, Kenya
– Brenda Odhiambo, Survivor Advocate, Kenya
– Patriciah Wanja Kimani, HAART Kenya, Kenya
– Shivan Pavin, Indepdenent Survivor Consultant, Kenya
– Bernadette Agano, Free the Slaves, DRC

3:05 p.m. – Panel Q&A

3:30 p.m.Workshops: Moving Forward and Finding Solutions

A4: Solutions for Addressing Barriers to Effective Research in Africa
– David Okech, CenHTRO, USA
B4: Solution for Addressing Barriers to Survivor Engagement in Research
– Patriciah Wanja Kimani, HAART Kenya, Kenya

4:40 p.m. – Workshop Reports

5:00 p.m. Wrap up and Adjourn
Networking Time

6:30 p.m.Survivor Dinner – Survivor-Only Networking Session

24 November: Partnerships and Collaboration

8:30 a.m. – Welcome and Opening Remarks

– Joha Braimah, Free the Slaves, Ghana

8:35 a.m.Keynote Speech: Collaboration and Partnerships

– Victoria Klimova, International Organization of Migration, Burundi

8:45 a.m. – Panel: Addressing Labor Trafficking in the Supply Chain

– Cromwell Awadey, International Needs Ghana, Ghana (Moderator)
– Grace Mukwaya, Platform for Labor Action, Uganda
– George Achibra, Partners In Community Development Programme, Ghana
– Joha Braimah, Free the Slaves, Ghana

9:45 a.m. – Panel Q&A

10:15 a.m. – Facilitated Discussion: Models of Effective Collaboration and Partnerships (Law Enforcement, INGO’s, NGOs, Government)

– Andrews Kananga, Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda
– Mary Musoni, Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda
– Andati Morris Shapwala, Smart Talk Cafe, Rwanda

10:45 a.m. – COFFEE BREAK

11:10 a.m.Workshops: Building Synergies for Effective Problem Solving

A5: Leveraging Cross-Sector Partnerships at Multiple Levels (Local, Regional, International) to address modern slavery in the region.
– Paul Adhoch, Trace Kenya, Kenya
B5: Ideas for Sustainable Resource Mobilization in the Region
– Janvier Murairi, Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile Anti-Esclavagistes, DRC

12:10 p.m. – Workshop Reporting

12:30 p.m. – LUNCH

1:30 p.m. – Panel: Migration and Sexual Exploitation: Root Causes, Current Trends, and Promising Practices.

– Vani Swaraswathi, Migrant-Rights.org, India
– Victoria Klimova, International Organization for Migration, Burundi
– Rima Kalush, Migrant-Rights.org, Lebanon
– Cromwell Awadey, International Needs Ghana, Ghana

2:30 p.m. – Panel Q&A

2:50 p.m.Workshop: Effective Collaboration and Engagement Against Labor and Sexual Exploitation

A6: Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth
– Annette Mbogoh, Kituo cha Sheria, Kenya
B6: Forced Marriage of Children
– Annette Kirabira, Rahab Uganda, Uganda
C6: Forced Labor in Supply Chains
– Cromwell Awadey, International Needs Ghana, Ghana

3:45 p.m. – COFFEE BREAK

4:00 p.m. – Workshop Reporting

4:20 p.m. Conclusion of Africa Forum and Preparations for Next Year

5:00 p.m. – Wrap up and Adjourn

Networking Time

Visas:

As of 1st January 2018, nationals of all countries receive a visa on arrival at Kigali International Airport and all land borders. The cost of the tourist visa which is valid for 30 days is $50. There are certain exceptions to this:

Citizens of member states of the African Union, Commonwealth, and La Francophonie get visas upon arrival and are waived visa fees for a visit of 30 days.
Citizens of East African Community Member States shall be issued an entry visa free of charge upon arrival to stay for a period of six months.
The following countries are to be granted a 90-day valid visa free of charge upon arrival: Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Mauritius, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore, and the state Qatar.

Please refrain from bringing plastic bags to Rwanda. Banned by law since 2008, any plastic bags in your luggage will be confiscated at the airport or at a nother point of entry.

The hotel’s address is

M Hotel
KN 1 Ave Off KN 3 Rd
Kigali City, Rwanda.

+250 799300888 | +250 790907777

Meals at the Conference

Breakfast is included in the room price.
The opening reception on the evening of November 21 will include appetizers and drinks.
Lunch and two coffee/tea and snack breaks each day are included in the conference package for everyone, sponsored and not.
Dinner is not included. It can be taken in the hotel or in Kigali City. The organizers have reserved some space at the Repub Lounge Kigali for participants to take their dinner on November 22nd. Furthermore, a survivors-only network dinner is planned to be held on November 23rd. Sponsored participants will receive a stipend covering their expenses, as previously discussed.

Overview Rwanda:

Capital: Kigali
Population: 13 million
Time Zone Kigali: GMT+2
Calling code: +250
Official languages: Kinyarwanda, French, English
Currency: Rwandan Franc (Rwf) 1,000 Rwf = $0.94
Electrical plug(s): Type C, Type J

Survivor Engagement and Inclusion

  • Increased understanding of how stakeholders can ethically engage with survivors in all sectors of the modern slavery movement.
  • Increased commitment to amplify survivor voices in the development of policies and practices.
  • Increased understanding of good allyship

Research and Policy Engagement

  • Identify key areas for improvement of anti-trafficking policies in the region.
  • Identify steps needed to close the gap between research and implementation.
  • Identify needs to increase research in Africa

Partnerships and Collaboration

  • Establish and strengthen regional and local partnerships
  • Improve collaborative problem-solving relationships among stakeholders to prevent sexual exploitation, forced marriages, and forced labor in the region.
  • Explore effective partnerships to increase resource mobilization

Event Speakers

Aicha Traore, Program Manager - CenHTRO

Aicha Traore is currently the Program Manager for Sierra Leone at the Center on Human Trafficking Research and Outreach (CENHTRO) housed at the University of Georgia in the US where she supports anti-TIP projects related to child trafficking/child labor, sexual exploitation, and domestic servitude in the country.

Prior to CENHTRO, Aicha served as Program Coordinator for the Francophone portfolio at Pathfinder International, where she provided administrative and technical support to three country programs (Burkina-Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo) in implementing projects on Sexual
Reproductive health and rights and access to informed family planning resources.

She also acquired experience in community and social capital development during her time as Program Associate at Heifer International overseeing the West-Africa Portfolio (Ghana, Senegal,
Ivory Coast) in the implementation of nutrition, women empowerment, and market systems development projects.

Andati Morris Shapwala - Sustainable development consultant

Andati Morris Shapwala is a Sustainable Development consultant whose focus has been working with young people and making sure they get the proper skills in order to sustain themselves and create community solutions. He serves as Executive Director and Founder of Smart Talk Café in Rwanda where he is the Programs and Project Coordinator.

Andati is deeply passionate about young people, art and culture, human rights, especially gender equality, justice, climate action, development, and rule of law. He has gained his experience through human rights engagements in the past 5 years in SDGs, event organization, gender and youth affairs, training, and economic empowerment.

Previously he worked with Strimid Consulting as the Capacity-Building Program Coordinator. Andati is a trained Sustainable Development expert accredited by Springdale College Foundation. He is also a bamboo consultant with 1-year of experience in training under its various value chains. He has worked under Moonlight Initiative and consulted for International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation and Kenya Forest Research Institute. He seeks to create safe spaces that promote healthy colloquy, discourse, and social change among the youth.

Andrews Kananga, Executive Director - Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda
Me. Andrews Kananga is currently the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Forum – Rwanda, a position he has held since 2008. From 2004 – 2008, he was a Senior Legal adviser to National Semi-traditional Courts (Gacaca) that were charged with trials of people suspected of having committed Genocide in Rwanda. In 2012, Andrews was among the three Legal experts nominated by the Ministry of Justice in Rwanda to oversee the development of a legal aid policy in Rwanda. He has contributed enormously to legal reforms in Rwanda which ushered in the legal aid policy, legal aid bill, reform of the penal code and criminal procedure code, and many more pieces of legislation that favor access to justice for the poor and vulnerable in Rwanda. Andrews is a founding member of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ) and head of research in the same center.
Annette Twahirwa Kirabira, Executive Director - Rahab Uganda

Annette Twahirwa Kirabira is a Counseling Psychologist by profession and holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. She is a founder member and Executive Director of Rahab Uganda; an NGO that works to contribute to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and human trafficking (HT). Currently, Annette is the Interim Chairperson of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons-Uganda (CATIP-U); a coalition of NGOs in Uganda working to address various aspects of Human Trafficking both in Uganda and across its borders. After 16 years of working with victims and survivors of sexual exploitation, she has a wealth of experience in trauma-informed responses and client-centered approaches to assisting victims and survivors. She also has experience in lobbying and working with various government and non-government agencies and stakeholders in enforcing the various laws and ensuring the protection of victims and survivors of Trafficking in Persons. She is a seasoned trainer and facilitator in various areas related to anti-trafficking, leadership, and counseling.

Dr. Annette Mbogoh, Advocate of the High Court - Kenya

Dr. Annette Mbogoh is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya with fourteen (14) years of standing. She undertook her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree at the University of Nairobi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law at the Kenya School of Law in Nairobi. She later pursued a Master in Women’s Law (MWL) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Law (DPhilLaw) from the Southern and Eastern Africa Regional Centre for Women’s Law at the University of Zimbabwe. She has conducted empirical research work on trafficking and sex tourism involving the youth in the Coast county of Mombasa, gender and public participation of women in land governance and transitional justice processes, disability rights, and human rights in general. She is the Executive Director of Kituo cha Sheria-Legal Advice Centre. She has ten (10) years of teaching experience garnered from the University of Nairobi’s School of Law.

Antonia Musunga, Co-Founder - Azadi Kenya

Antonia Musunga is an intersectional feminist who is passionate about protecting human rights, gender equality, social justice, inclusion, governance, and development.t. She is the Co-Founder of Azadi Kenya, a collective of survivors of human trafficking, and currently advises on strategy and programs.

When not at work, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. She is also passionate about African Literature and is part of vibrant feminist collectives in Kenya and the East African region. Currently, she is the Programme Manager Movement Building Portfolio at the Freedom Fund.

Awah Francisca Mbuli, Founder - Survivors Network, Cameroon

Awah Francisca Mbuli is a survivor of sex and labor trafficking. She is the founder of Survivors’ Network (SN), a Cameroonian-based, female survivors-led NGO that fights against all forms of human trafficking. SN rescues and provides temporary housing, psychosocial services, vocational training, and economic empowerment programs to victims of human trafficking and internally displaced women. She advocates both with governments and the general population.

For her efforts, Awah has been awarded numerous distinctions, including, but not limited to being one of the 50 Most Influential Cameroonians and an Obama Africa Leader and having received the African Dream Achievers Award, the US Trafficking in Persons Hero award, and the World of Difference Award 2022 for Economic Empowerment of Women.

Furthermore, Awah is one of the Freedom From Slavery Forum Ambassadors.

Bernadette Agano, DRC Country Cordinator - Free the Slaves

Bernadette Agano, better known as Dety Darba, is a human rights activist, entrepreneur, and singer located in the DRC. Bernadette is committed to using her music and notoriety in the DRC to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery. Bernadette is serving Free the Slaves as the DRC County Coordinator.

Biram Dah Abeid, Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA)

Born in the mid-sixties near Rosso, into a poor family, Biram Dah Abeid is the only one of many siblings to attend modern school. His main concerns are the protection of human dignity (Fight against slavery, protection of women and children) and strategies for the defense of human rights. To defend this commitment, he was kidnapped, demonized, tortured, and stayed in prison in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018. For his efforts, he has been awarded several distinctions, including the prestigious United Nations Human Rights Prize in 2013 and the Front Line Defenders Human Rights Award.

Today, Biram Dah Abeid, whose organization, Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) gained official recognition after more than ten years of denial, maintains peaceful and collaborative relations with the current President of the Republic, Mohamed Cheikh Ghazouani, and its Governmental high-level officials.

Brenda Odhiambo, Survivor Advocate - HAART Kenya

Brenda Odhiambo is a Survivor Advocate at HAART Kenya where she has been working with fellow survivors of Human Trafficking for the past year. She has a diploma in Community Development. She is passionate about helping people to get out of Human Trafficking and offering advice to survivors of Human Trafficking. Brenda also works as a consultant on the matter.

Bukeni Waruzi, Executive Director - Free the Slaves

Bukeni Waruzi is the Executive Director of Free the Slaves. He works closely with the board, the global team, and headquarters to provide strategic leadership and set a vision for one of the world’s most widely-known and respected anti-modern slavery organizations.

Waruzi has documented human rights abuses, designed and implemented advocacy campaigns, made public presentations around the world, and trained hundreds of human rights advocates and activists in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas.

Waruzi has spoken to high-level audiences including the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Court, and the Children’s Caucus of the U.S. Congress. He currently represents anti-slavery groups as a civil society member of the Global Coordinating Group of Alliance 8.7, the global initiative to attain Sustainable Development target 8.7, the end of child and forced labor worldwide.

Cromwell Awadey, Executive Director - International Needs Ghana.

Cromwell Awadey is a Development Worker by profession and works on child rights and child protection as well as gender and empowerment issues. He is the Executive Director of International Needs Ghana.

Cromwell leads the team in Ghana in delivering interventions in Child Rights, Education, Gender and Empowerment, and Health. He has been involved in working to end sex and labor trafficking in Ghana. Cromwell and his team implemented several projects in this space. In partnership with Free The Slave, International Needs Ghana is implementing the community model of the Cooperation agreement under the USA and the Government of Ghana Child Protection Compact, with funding from the USA State Department through Free The Slaves. The team has collaborated with the Ghana Police Service and other partners to rescue children from trafficking, prosecute the slaveholders and provide aftercare support to the children rescued and their families.

Dr. David Okech, Director - Center on Human Trafficking Research & Outreach

Dr. David Okech is a Professor at the University of Georgia and Director of the Center on Human Trafficking Research & Outreach, the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery, and the Prevalence Reduction Innovation Forum. He is a board or working group member of numerous global anti-trafficking agencies. He focuses on building research and evidence for building responsive programs and policies in the human trafficking field with a special focus on Africa.

David Ngendo Tshimba, Senior Research Fellow at the Refugee Law Project (RLP) - Makerere University.

David Ngendo Tshimba is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Refugee Law Project (RLP), School of Law at Makerere University. He earned his Ph.D. (History and Political Studies) from the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme at the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR). Prior to joining the RLP, David benefited from a host of research fellowships, including with the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) on a book project on peace and security in Africa’s Great Lakes region; the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) on its African Great Lakes Project; the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS) for his doctoral study on historicizing political violence in the Rwenzori region astride the Congo-Uganda border; and Action for Development (ACFODE) research project on violated bodies in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, western Uganda. David’s research interests pertain to thematic issues of (political) violence, (forced) migration, and (social) justice.

Florence Soyekwo, Uganda Country Director - Hope for Justice.

Florence Soyekwo serves as Country Director at Hope for Justice in Uganda. She is a passionate advocate for child protection and in particular for their right to live in safe family based care. She steers a team of dedicated professionals at Hope for Justice Uganda to provide trauma informed care to child survivors of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation as well as drive forward the prevention of human trafficking.

Florence has been instrumental in shaping multi-agency coordination, working in partnership with government and non-government agencies as well as the academia in preventing human trafficking and standardizing care for survivors in Uganda. She represents Hope for Justice in national policy forums including the National Task Force Committee on Prevention of TIP. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons in Uganda (CATIPU).

George Achibra Senior, Executive Director - Partners in Community Development Programme (PACODEP)

George Achibra Senior is the Executive Director of Partners in Community Development Programme (PACODEP). He is a passionate human rights activist who has championed the fight against human trafficking and most especially Child Trafficking on the Volta in Ghana. Through his organization, over 700 victims of human trafficking have been rescued and reintegrated with their families and guardians. As Executive Director, he is responsible for providing advice on policies and programs that are being implemented by the organization, effectively engaging board members of the organization on strategic plans for the growth of the organization.

Giselle Balfour, Ph.D, Head of Programs - Free the Slaves

Giselle Balfour, Ph.D. is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She has garnered over ten years of experience working with children and families impacted by various forms of child maltreatment, specifically child sexual exploitation. Prior to coming on board at Free the Slaves, Giselle served as the Project Director of the Envision Project at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, providing specialized reintegrative services to survivors of child sex trafficking survivors in Georgia, USA. Giselle recognizes that Modern slavery is an egregious abuse of one of life’s most basic human rights and believes it is our obligation to continue this work until everyone is free.

Grace Mukwaya, Executive Director - Platform for Labour Action (PLA)- Makerere University.

Grace Mukwaya is currently the Executive Director of Platform for Labour Action (PLA) where she is responsible for Managing the organization and change management. Platform for Labour Action is a National Civil society organization founded in 2000 to advocate for the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable and marginalized workers in Uganda. PLA is an accredited legal aid service provider by the Law Council in Uganda.

Grace Kalekye, Advisory Board Member - Free the Slaves Kenya

Grace Kalekye is a survivor of human trafficking and a member of the Free the Slaves advisory board in Kenya. She is an upcoming musician and a professional dancer.

Hope Dockweiler, Master of Social Work Student at the University of Georgia

Hope Dockweiler is a second-year Master of Social Work Student at the University of Georgia who has worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and Programming Assistant for the Center on Human Trafficking Research and Outreach (CenHTRO) on the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES) project throughout the duration of her study. She also works as an intern within the Survey Research and Evaluation Support unit at the university’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, with an emphasis on qualitative data evaluation. This work follows the completion of her undergraduate degree in Journalism with minors in African Studies and Religion from the University of Georgia in December 2020. Upon completion of her master’s degree in May of 2023, Dockweiler intends to continue, through work and education, within the realm of international human rights research and policy efforts. Her interests lie at the intersections of gender equity, economic inclusion, environmental justice, and human trafficking.

Sr. Jackline Mwikali Mwongela, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sr. Jackline Mwikali Mwongela, from the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary commonly known as the Loreto Sisters. The Project Coordinator for Religious against human trafficking(RAHT Kenya).A highly motivated Change Agent with over 10 years of experience in the administrative and socio-economic industry. Offering expertise in Social Transformation, Human rights-based approach to development, community-based development, planning, implementation, and monitoring in different fields. Well-versed in handling people of different ages and social strata, mobilizing and facilitating them to achieve their desired goals. She has previously managed a number of projects to a successful outcome. Currently, Jackline coordinates a project within the 25 catholic dioceses in Kenya fighting against human trafficking at the grassroots level.

James Lual Atak, Founder and Director - New Life Ministry

James Lual Atak is the Founder and Director of New Life Ministry,
a ministry partner in Lift Up the Vulnerable (LUV)’s indigenously
directed anti-human trafficking network.

Being part of the South Sudanese Lost Boys, James watched
other children die during a raid on his village and months long trek
from South Sudan to Ethiopia. Later, he would be conscripted as
a child soldier. Eventually, James made it to Nairobi, Kenya where
he received an education. Despite being offered a new life and a
visa in the United States, he decided to return home with the plan
to help alleviate suffering and prevent trafficking in South Sudan.
He began teaching severely malnourished children and orphans
under the trees. In 2005, New Life Ministry became the founding
member of Lift Up the Vulnerable’s anti-trafficking network that
today spans Sudan and South Sudan. James played a pivotal role
in the expansion of LUV’s network by identifying other regions
and tribes where children and women were the most vulnerable to
exploitation and introducing and supporting new indigenous
partners from those areas. In 2018, James was awarded the
Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action award for his years of
dedication to transforming lives in warzones.  In 2019, his journey
as a child soldier to child educator was recorded for the West
Point Center for Oral History Archives. USA

Today, New Life Ministry (NLM) provides protection, education,
and economic development opportunities for over 750 students
annually who were once vulnerable to human trafficking and
employs female survivors from the community.  NLM and James
have played an essential role in Lift Up the Vulnerable’s efforts
and he has been pivotal in impacting thousands of lives with
hope, healing, and practical care throughout Sudan and South
Sudan.

Joanna Ewart-James, Co-Founder and Executive Director - Freedom United

Joanna Ewart-James 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. J Her international human rights experience spans the UK diplomatic service, academia, and philanthropy, managing multi-million dollar budgets.

Jodom Mwebi, East Africa Consultant - Free the Slaves

Jodom Mwebi has over eight years of work and experience in Access to Justice, Human Rights, and Governance. He has worked for Forced Migration, Transitional Justice, Education, Land, Labor, Housing, and leadership at non-governmental organizations.

Mr. Mwebi has ensured refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, and internally displaced persons have access to and enjoy their rights in accordance with international humanitarian law, human rights law, and national laws. He has offered legal aid and advice on labor, land, and housing and facilitated out-of-court settlements. He has also advocated and lobbied for policies and legislations favorable to vulnerable persons, including on basic education, and empowered communities and persons to be monitors and champions of their human rights and legal entitlements.

Joha Braimah, West Africa Regional Director - Free the Slaves

Joha Braimah is the West Africa Regional Director at Free the Slaves. Joha has over eighteen years of practical experience in human rights and community development. He has helped to design and implement programs in migration governance at the national level and anti-slavery in sectors such as fishing, cocoa, mining, and sex trafficking as well as coalition building and fundraising. Joha also serves on the board of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), Geneva, where he is also an Executive Committee member. He is a member of the Ghana National
Steering Committee on Child Labour and the Technical Working Committee of the Ghana Anti-Human Trafficking Management Board. He is an active participant in the development and formulation of national policies such as the Ghana National Action Plan on Child Labour, Ghana National Action Plan on Human Trafficking, Standard Operating Procedure on Human Trafficking, and Child and Family Welfare Policy among others.

Dr. Katarina Schwarz, Associate Director of the Rights Lab - University of Nottingham

Dr. Katarina Schwarz is an Associate Professor in Antislavery Law and Policy at the School of Law and Associate Director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham. Her research explores the intersections between slavery and the law, from the historical to the contemporary.

In her role leading the Rights Lab’s Law and Policy Programme, Schwarz works at the interface of research and policy to deliver evidence-based guidance for contemporary antislavery action. Her Rights Lab research interrogates the law and policy frameworks operating at the global, regional, and domestic levels to determine the elements of effective antislavery governance and map trends, successes, and failures.

Schwarz is the lead author of the Antislavery in Domestic Legislation Database, the world’s first comprehensive database of international obligations and domestic legislation on slavery and related practices. This project, initiated in 2015, maps the current state of domestic legislation prohibiting slavery, servitude, forced labor, institutions and practices similar to slavery, and human trafficking in all 193 UN Member States, providing new insights for the global antislavery movement.

Mary Musoni, Senior Legal Empowerment officer - Legal Aid forum

Mary Musoni is the Senior Legal Empowerment officer at the Legal Aid forum in charge of assessing and managing client files and needs as well as the coordination and supervision of legal empowerment activities at LAF. She holds an LLB from the National University of Rwanda, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development of Rwanda, and is a registered member of the Rwanda Bar association as well as the East African Law Society.

She formerly worked for Lamèsè, a global public health start-up, with footprints in the UK and Africa, and Forzley & Associates, an international public health law company with headquarters in Washington, DC, before joining the Legal Aid Forum in 2016. Her work with both companies included using the law to protect and restore accountability by tackling injustices in health systems in developing countries.

Miriam Muthio Mang’oka, Head of Prevention - HAART Kenya

Miss. Miriam Muthio Mang’oka is a Social Development Practitioner. She has an educational background in Community Resource Management, Leadership, and Community Engagement. Her working background has been in the Criminal Justice System and Community Development sector. She has contributed to the review and development of the Kenya Through Care Guidelines Second Edition, National Youth Strategy, and the Children’s Act 2022.

She currently works at Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART) as the Head of Prevention. HAART is a Kenyan NGO founded in 2010 exclusively dedicated to ending human trafficking. HAART is guided by the United Nation’s 4 P Strategy against Human Trafficking (Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, Partnerships). As Head of Prevention Miriam is in charge of various community engagements and will be bringing this perspective to the forum.

Murairi Bakihanaye Janvier, Secretary General- Coalition of Anti-Slavery Civil Society Organizations (Coscae)
Murairi Bakihanaye Janvier is a frontline anti-slavery activist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the secretary general of the Coalition of Anti-Slavery Civil Society Organizations (Coscae), the first platform in the country to specialize in slavery issues. Janvier was awarded the Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty by Human Rights First in 2016 for his work in the fight against slavery in the mines of the DRC.
Ngwepekem Eunice Foloh, Human Resource Officer, Gender Based Violence and Case Manager - Survivors' Network

Ngwepekem Eunice Foloh is a Human Trafficking and Gender Based Violence advocate, a survivor of Labor Trafficking, countless harassment, and almost a victim of rape. She has been working in the humanitarian field for more than four years with Survivors’ Network, a female-led not for profit making organization that advocates against Human Trafficking, Gender Based Violence, and associated abuses perpetrated on women and girls. She serves as the Human Resource Officer, Gender Based Violence and Case Manager of the organization where she manages staff and intervenes in all Gender Base Violence and Human Trafficking issues when it comes to helping survivors become reintegrated and self-relent in their societies.

Pamela Vargas Gorena, Rights Lab's Law and Policy Programme

Pamela Vargas Gorena works as part of the Rights Lab’s Law and Policy Programme, conducting contextual research and engagement focused on antislavery law and policy frameworks to deliver bespoke legislative toolkits. She contributes to the expansion of a database of domestic legislation and international obligations of all UN Member States, maps global legislation to understand trends, successes, and failures, and identifies factors contributing to positive legislative change. Her research background includes comparative law and jurisprudence as well as the assessment of government law, policies and capacities. As a qualified Bolivian lawyer, she previously held management positions in government contributing to the development of law and public policy at central and local levels. She also has been part of UN-Habitat, working on the Urban National Policy, and has frontline experience working with vulnerable youth in the non-profit sector.

Patriciah Wanja Kimani, Survivor Advocate - HAART Kenya

Patriciah Wanja Kimani is a survivor advocate at HAART Kenya and a research consultant for Free The Slaves. As the reigning Mrs. Congeniality Kenya, she fights human trafficking, especially from a gender-based violence perspective.

She is a teacher by profession and a survivor of labor trafficking in the Middle East. Part of her campaign includes creating awareness through mainstream media and performance arts events.

Paul Adhoch, Executive Director - Trace Kenya

Paul Adhoch is the Executive Director of Trace Kenya, a counter-trafficking in persons organization based in the coastal region of Kenya. With over seventeen years of experience in working to combat human trafficking and slavery, Paul has vast knowledge and skills on issues related to child protection, child labor, commercial sexual exploitation of children, sex slavery, forced street begging, domestic servitude, and migrant labor both at community and policy level.

After graduating from university, Paul worked briefly in the private sector and government before joining the civil society. He has supported research in child protection, social development, and youth development. Paul has contributed to various social studies publications over the last eight years; and participated in think tank meetings in Africa, Europe, and North America on diverse topics such as Migration and Sexual Exploitation – Women victims of human trafficking in the context of migration; Mental Health for Children Victims of Human Trafficking; Justice and Peace; Security Training for Human Rights Defenders; Services Delivery for Education for Children and Leadership Initiative for Good Governance in Africa

Rima Kalush, Deputy Director - Majal.org

Rima Kalush is the Deputy Director of Majal.org, and editor of Migrant-Rights.org. She joined Migrant-Rights.org in its infancy and has overseen its financial and programmatic growth. Her work has been published and referenced by institutions including Al Jazeera, the International Labor Organization, Jadaliyya, Gender Across Borders, and the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. She holds a Master of Philosophy in Middle Eastern Area Studies from the University of Oxford.

Shivan Pavin Alungnat, musician, artist, queer activist, feminist, and survivor leader

Shivan Pavin Alungnat is a musician, artist, queer activist, feminist, and survivor leader whose presence, energy, and personality light up any room. Her music has been heard around the world, including Africa Nalia that addresses modern slavery. Her lived experience and her impeccable ability to rise above the cards that she is dealt makes her a leader and a beacon of hope for our community. She has been a voice for the voiceless and an incredible force in the counter-trafficking movement with her unique voice and perspective, bringing focus to the queer intersection with trafficking and the way art can be used for storytelling. Her lived experience and her role in the movement mean that she has incontestable knowledge and perspective.

Umaru Fofanah, Country Coordinator - Sierra Leone - APRIES

Umaru Fofanah serves as the Country Coordinator – Sierra Leone for APRIES. He comes to APRIES from the Parliament of Sierra Leone as Head of Programs. Umaru has served on the board of two parliamentary projects in an officer capacity and has facilitated the review of the parliamentary Standing Orders in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – DISP project. Umaru is the Founder and Executive Director of Next Generation Leaders, Sierra Leone. A non-profit organization registered in Sierra Leone.

Umaru has also served as Project Delivery Coordinator at the British Council. He also coordinated the Commonwealth Scholarship Program through Scholar and Alumni engagement programs on behalf of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom. He has successfully implemented a Governance and Security grant awarded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), where one thousand Police Officers in Sierra Leone were trained in the use of English for Effective Policing (EEP) and United Nations Peace Keeping Mission. Umaru has also coordinated a Higher Education grant awarded by the Department for International Development (DFID); he worked closely with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education and Universities to implement the program.

Vani Saraswathi, Editor-at-Large and Director of Projects - Migrant-Rights.org

Vani Saraswathi is the Editor-at-Large and Director of Projects at Migrant-Rights.org and the author of Stories of Origin: The Invisible Lives of Migrants in the Gulf. The book is an anthology of reporting from seven origin countries over a period of three years.

Since 2014, in her role with Migrant-Rights.org she reports from the Gulf states and countries of origin. She also organizes advocacy projects and human rights training targeting individual employers, embassies, recruitment agents, and businesses in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, working with nationals and long-term residents in these countries. A special emphasis is on female migrants, including domestic workers. Much of her advocacy effort is geared towards mainstreaming issues facing female migrant workers.

She is also a member of the Migration Advisory Group (previous Policy Advisory Committee) of ILO ROAS, the Policy Advisory Group of Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia hotspot, Humanity United’s Advisory Group on Forced Labour and Human Trafficking, and Steering Committee member for GAATW’s cross-regional (Asia-GCC)work.

Victoria Klimova, MPA Programme Coordinator at the International Organization of Migration (IOM) - Burundi

Victoria Klimova is the MPA Programme Coordinator at the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Burundi. She was born in Belarus and has 18 years of experience with IOM in the prevention of trafficking in persons and the protection of victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants.

She has been involved in giving direct assistance, as well as the return and reintegration of survivors of trafficking in persons and gender-based violence whereby the recipients of her services were both children and adults, as well as male and female. Furthermore, Victoria has worked within shelter operations, institutional and operational capacity strengthening of partners, and development and institutionalization of NRM/SOPs and other protocols in Belarus, Ghana, Iraq, and Burundi.