For the Sake of Argument catches up with Ms.Kamini Rana, Lead Indian Campaigner for the Anti Modern Slavery Organization, Walk Free.
Sourya (S): Tell us something regarding the history and origin of Walk Free.
Kamini (K): Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to bring an end to one of the world’s greatest evils: modern slavery.

We believe the pathway to ending modern slavery involves building public awareness and channeling this into the kind of mobilisation and campaigning required to encourage decision-makers to respond to consumer and constituent demand.

The Walk Free movement launched in May 2012.

Since launch date, we have built a movement of 7 million followers around the world, who have successfully campaigned to make change as follows:
  • July 2012 – After pressure from thousands of Walk Free activists, the Philippines passes ILO Convention 189 to protect domestic workers from modern slavery.
  • October 2012 – Walk Free activists take to the streets of New York to ask shoppers to support the campaign to get Zara to boycott slave cotton.
  • December 2012 – Walk Free activists send messages of support to people in Myanmar, showing that the world joins them in standing up against modern slavery.
  • December 2012 – The Myanmar government signs the Walk Free pledge to end modern slavery.
  • January 2013 – Legislation passes in the U.S. to protect workers under military contractors from the nightmare of modern slavery.
  • February 2013 – Walk Free activists are successful in calling on the U.S. Senate to reauthorise the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
  • February 2013 – The Australian Senate passes legislation to criminalise modern slavery, and announces a new anti-slavery initiative after pressure from Walk Free activists.
  • June 2013 – Thousands of Walk Free activists dress up as video game characters to deliver petitions asking Nintendo to ensure no slave-mined conflict minerals are in its supply chain.
  • August 2013 – Walk Free activists deliver over 1 million signatures to the Indian Parliament, calling on them to pass the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill.
  • November 2013 – FIFA answers the call of 170,000 Walk Free activists and pledges to help keep modern slavery out of the construction of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 
  • March 2014 – After 55,000 messages from the Walk Free Community, the Scottish Government announced the introduction of world-leading anti-slavery legislation.

S) When did Walk Free India first take birth?
(K) India has been a focus country for Walk Free since its inception in 2012. In 2013, Walk Free entered into an exciting partnership with Shakti Vahini to better create campaigns around issues of modern slavery that are of specific concern in India.  

S) India is a diverse land with a history of slavery and trafficking from the time of ancient kings. What are the major modern evils that Walk Free India has set its eyes on?
(K): Some of our current campaigns in India are against child slavery, and human trafficking for domestic slavery, and we plan to focus on many such pertinent issues related to modern slavery in the country.
S) What’s Walk Free’s approach towards Government and Non-Government organizations in India?
(K): Walk Free’s mission is to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilizing a global activist movement, and we believe in working together with both government and non-government organisations to achieve this goal.
S) Have any Government or Non-Government organizations extended their support to Walk Free India?
(K): Yes, we have support from a number of anti-slavery organisations in India.

S) What are the major problems, apart from the fact that the majority of the population is ignorant of the suffering of a section of the society, which you have come across till date?
(K): One of the most important problems is that of social attitudes and deep-rooted inequalities. India has seen great leaders like Gandhiji and Ambedkar, who stressed on the importance of equality and freedom for everyone — there’s a need for people to embrace the idea that all human beings are born equal and free in dignity and rights.
S) How can college students and young professionals contribute and help the Walk Free India campaign?
(K): Students and young professionals can play a vital role in building any movement. They can support our online campaigns and offline actions by signing petitions and delivering them, writing blogs, letters to the editor, attending meetings and making calls to decision makers, using social media platforms to spread awareness about the issue and about campaigns, organizing meetings and groups in their place of study/work, and events to support campaigns.
They also join our Leader’s programme and donate their time to end modern slavery:

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