Walk Free and Leo Burnett draw awareness to millions of women in modern slavery

Leo Burnett Australia has announced its latest campaign for the Walk Free foundation, drawing attention to a report finding that one in every 130 women and girls around the world is currently trapped in modern slavery.

The campaign has been launched in partnership with United Nations Every Woman Every Child, and its trio of films premiered at the United Nations Spokesperson’s Noon Briefing on Friday, October 9th, with the larger campaign going live on October 11th.

The statistic comes from Walk Free’s groundbreaking new report, Stacked Odds, which found there are almost 20 million women and girls are victims of modern slavery, more than at any other time in human history.

Walk Free co-founder Grace Forrest said the campaign highlights the “greatest feminist issue of our time”.

“Our report and this new campaign shine a light on the insidious reality of modern slavery… Eradicating modern slavery and empowering women and girls must go hand in hand. We need to ensure the pervasive cultural and legal inequalities hindering the progress of women and girls are eliminated.”

The online campaign was directed by Alan Harca and produced by Infinity Squared, and dramatizes the issue of modern slavery by hijacking and subverting popular YouTube formats.

It is split into three films, inspired by real case studies, which focus on three examples of modern slavery: child labour, forced marriage and domestic servitude.

Leo Burnett executive creative director, Andrew Fergusson, said; “This is an issue that’s invisible to most of us. People see modern slavery as a distant problem, not something that’s close to home.

“We hope that this campaign will help bring awareness to the horrors of modern slavery. We want to encourage people to use their voices and share the campaign, to shine a light on the risks women and girls face every day around the world.”

Walk Free and Minderoo Foundation director of communications & marketing, David Ohana, said the statistics need to be more well-known.

“The 1/130 stat is as powerful as it is shocking, and deserves to be significantly more famous than it currently is. We’ve tried something a little different to break through the noise barrier, as it’s not an easy environment to get a message heard,” he said.

“We’ve enlisted some of the best and brightest in the creative community, many lending their time and talents pro-bono – and we’re extremely grateful to Leo Burnett Australia, Infinity Squared, Rumble Studios and Starcom for their support. The films are a chilling take on the current reality.

“They’re also a powerful rally cry that modern slavery can be ended in our lifetime, if we show the courage, perseverance and political will to solve this man-made crisis.”


Client: Walk Free / Minderoo Foundation
Director of Communication and Marketing: David Ohana
Director of External Affairs: Anthony Flannery
Social Media Manager: Madeline Arnold
Media Manager: Eliza Rogers
Web Manager: Matt Bolt
Brand Manager: Tina Mash
Communications Coordinator: Honny Palayukan
Campaign Coordinator: Sheryl Burnell
Founding Director: Grace Forrest
Head of Research: Jacqueline Joudo-Larsen
Research Analyst: Bernadette Joudo

Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Australia

Executive Creative Director: Andrew Fergusson
Creative Director: Nigel Clark
Creative Director: Adrian Ely
Copywriter: Megan Smith
Art Director: Daniel Stewart
Chief Client Partner: Belinda Drew
Senior Business Director: Gemma Cox
Senior Strategist: Abbie Dubin-Rhodin
Head of Production: Adrian Jung
Producer: Lucy Appleyard

Production: Infinity Squared
Director: Alan Harca
Producer: Mel Reardon
DoP: Josh Flavell
Sound Recordist: Rob Harley
Art Director: Rachel Mackay
Art Assistant: Tessa Leal
Costume Stylist: Lucia Arias-Martinez
HMU Artist: Trang Nguyen

Sound House: Rumble Studios
Executive Producer: Michael Gie
Composer: Adam Moses
Sound Design: Cam Milne

Offline Editor: Alan Harca & Kris Rowe
Grader: Marcus Timpson
Online Editor: Matt Brunner, Prodigious
Casting: Toni Higginbotham
Media: Starcom


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