Arise Foundation

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Arise Foundation
  • John J. Studzinski
  • Luke de Pulford
  • London
  • New York

Arise Foundation is a non-governmental organisation and registered charity headquartered in London and New York, working to prevent slavery and human trafficking in some of the worst affected areas in the world. Founded in 2015 by John J. Studzinski CBE and Luke de Pulford, Arise identifies frontline groups and their networks as a hugely powerful, but marginalised and underdeveloped, resource in the fight against slavery.

Arise works to prevent human trafficking and modern slavery, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, child labour, forced marriage and organ trafficking. It works internationally, focusing on high-risk areas in India, Albania, the Philippines, Brazil and Nigeria.


Arise was established in 2015 by John J. Studzinski and Luke de Pulford to address the disconnect between frontline, locally-led organisations and the wider human rights and funding communities in the anti-slavery movement.

It gained charitable status in the United Kingdom in 2015, during the period of the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and in the United States in 2016. Founding trustees include John J. Studzinski (Chair), House of Lords life peer David Alton and Porticus Foundation UK’s Country Manager Jane Leek.

In the years that followed, Arise went from giving grants to providing strategic accompaniment and capacity building to frontline groups and their networks. In 2018, it formalised its function of bringing frontline voices into conversations about slavery in supply chains. Arise’s research and advocacy priorities are defined by the needs of its frontline network.

Greg Burke, former Fox News and Time Magazine correspondent and former head of communications for the Vatican, joined Arise in 2019 as Head of Global Communications.

Slavery today

According to the most widely used current estimates, over 40 million people are enslaved today.[1]

A slave can be defined as someone who is under the power of another who exercises the rights of ownership over them. The enslaver's power can be manifested physically or psychologically, and can be expressed through many different forms of exploitation, from sexual exploitation to forced labour, child labour, forced marriage and organ trafficking.

Modern slavery can affect someone of any gender, race or age. However, it most commonly affects those made more vulnerable by insufficient access to opportunities, education, healthcare or sanitation.

Human trafficking is often included when people use the term 'modern slavery', but it would be wrong to conflate the two. Human trafficking has its own legal definition of the coercive 'recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons' for the purpose of exploitation.[2]


Arise’s focus is long-term prevention work in source communities. To this end, it develops and supports frontline anti-slavery groups and their networks.

Prevention is one of the “Ps” in the four-pillar paradigm of anti-slavery work (prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership)[3]. Prevention requires addressing the root causes of slavery, and includes

  • awareness raising and rights empowerment,
  • provision of education, training and materials,
  • provision of viable alternative opportunities to those at risk,
  • advocacy (the whole spectrum from mass media to political lobbying), and
  • protection work aimed at ending re-trafficking.

No organisation has the reach, scope, global footprint or resources to defeat slavery alone. Alliances and anti-slavery networks are integral to slavery prevention, addressing the inevitable displacement of need from one area to another.

Arise works to prevent slavery in high-risk communities by supporting frontline anti-slavery groups and their networks. Its approach combines strategic grant giving, direct partnership, training and capacity building. It works with frontline groups, thought leaders and universities to conduct research into the effectiveness of their models, and amplifies frontline voices within the human rights and policy communities.


  • Talk the Walk - Capacity building for anti-slavery frontline: Capacity building, training and mentorship for frontline network leaders in their work against modern slavery and human trafficking (2018 - present; UK, Europe, the Philippines and India)
  • North India Migrant Project: Supporting 5 centres across 3 states in Northern India that serve internal migrants, with the aim to increase community resilience against trafficking and exploitation (2018 - present; India)
  • Nurture and empower tea garden women and children for transformation: Reducing child trafficking and other forms of child abuse in tea gardens in Assam through awareness raising, skills training, empowerment and sensitisation (2019 - 2021; India)
  • COVID transition response to bridge lockdown and economic recovery for high-risk communities: Supporting 6 - 8 month transitional programs to build resilience in high-risk communities, while extending emergency support where needed. Programs include education, skills training, income diversification and community-empowerment work (2020; India and Albania)
  • COVID emergency response to combat trafficking and exploitation: Responding to COVID-19 and the devastating effects of lockdown in high-risk communities through basic need provision (2020; India, Albania and the Philippines)
  • Youth prevention work in three municipalities in Albania: Youth empowerment work through the formation of local school groups and education within high-risk communities (2018-2019; Albania)
  • Godda District Prevention Project: Working with the local community to raise their resilience to trafficking and exploitation through creating informal village credit unions, income diversification activities and local empowerment work (2019 - 2022; India)


  1. "Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage". International Labour Organization (ILO). International Labour Organization (ILO). Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  2. "Slavery Convention 1926". OHCHR. OHCHR. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  3. "UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime - Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000". OHCHR. OHCHR. Retrieved 11 November 2020.

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