International Women’s Day 2019: Fundraising for Freedom

5 Mar, 2019 | Latest, Slavery and Trafficking, Stop the hostile environment, Women's Rights

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As we mark International Women’s Day, René Cassin is asking Youth Movements and local communities to organise fundraising events to raise money for female victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

As well as celebrating the female trail-blazers and high achievers, it is also important to think of the marginalised women whose daily realities of violence, subordination or exploitation, largely go unnoticed.

Described by Prime Minister Theresa May as the “great human rights issue of our time” there are an estimated 136,000 victims of modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. The vast majority of all modern slavery victims – 71 per cent – are women and girls (UNODC).

Long term support for survivors is limited and many end up never fully recovering from their traumatic experiences, with an alarming percentage finding themselves back in slavery conditions again. For women, who face additional risks and vulnerabilities, this is particularly vital.

Slavery and trafficking are unavoidably connected to Jewish experience

During the festival of Pesach, the Jewish community remembers the pain of slavery. The foundational narrative of the Jewish people is one of a people led from slavery to freedom. We also remember the leadership and bravery shown by Miriam, Moses’ sister, which inspires us to help empower other women as they rebuild their lives.

The Jewish experience presents us with a need to examine contemporary human rights violations, which take place in ‘small places, close to home’, and ensure others can enjoy the freedom that we celebrate.

As stated by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis: “The foundations of Jewish belief stand on the principle that all people are created in the image of God and every single person, deserves to be treated with respect. If we act now, we can begin to end the scourge of modern-day slavery.”

Take Action

To mark International Women’s Day, and in the lead up to Pesach, we are asking members of the Jewish community, be it youth movements, synagogues, or informal groups, to organise a fundraising event or collection for Unseen’s safe house for female victims of modern slavery.

  • £3 could pay for a survivor’s meal at Unseen’s safe house. 
  • £10 could pay for a ‘Welcome Pack’ of toiletries to a survivor arriving at Unseen’s safe house.   
  • £40 could pay for one counselling session for a survivor, providing support after they have escaped slavery. 
  • £200 could pay for eight survivors to go on a special outing to help create positive memories.
  • £2,000 could pay for a survivor’s entire stay at Unseen’s safe house, including accommodation, food, welcome pack and clothes to rest and recover after they have been exploited.


Unseen is a Bristol-based charity which works directly with survivors, front line agencies and government to end modern slavery for good.  Unseen provides specialist support services for survivors of slavery, including a 24-hour safe house for women with high-level needs. 

If you are interested in organising a fundraiser event to raise money for female victims of modern slavery, please email René Cassin at


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