Walk Free + Leo Burnett unite to draw attention to the shocking reality that 1 in every 130 women and girls globally are living in modern slavery


Leo Burnett Australia and Walk Free, in partnership with the United Nations Every Woman Every Child movement, has launched a campaign to support the publication of its new report, which reveals that one in every 130 women and girls around the world is currently trapped in modern slavery.


The campaign films premiered at the United Nations Spokesperson’s Noon Briefing on Friday, October 9th, with the larger campaign going live on October 11th, coinciding with the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child.

Walk Free’s groundbreaking report, Stacked Odds, reveals that almost 29 million women and girls are victims of modern slavery. This is more than at any other time in human history. Females account for 99 per cent of all victims of forced sexual exploitation, 84 per cent of all victims of forced marriage, and 58 per cent of all victims of forced labour.

Says Grace Forrest, co-founder, Walk Free: “Our report and this new campaign shine a light on the insidious reality of modern slavery – the greatest feminist issue of our time. 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.”

Directed by Alan Harca and produced by Infinity Squared, the online campaign dramatizes the issue of modern slavery by hijacking and subverting popular YouTube formats that we are all familiar with. The films demonstrate that the exploitation of women and girls is not some distant problem, but a very real and present issue around the world, often directly connected to the things we enjoy and consume in our daily lives. We’re bringing attention to the lives that we don’t see on our social feeds every day, by connecting them to the lives that we do.

Inspired by real case studies, the three films focus on just some of the many examples of modern slavery: child labour, forced marriage and domestic servitude.

Contextual targeting positions the films in environments where the audience might be led into thinking they are viewing content that they might typically see, but instead, we give a voice to the women and girls who are at the heart of this issue.

Says Andrew Fergusson, executive creative director, Leo Burnett: “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.”

Says David Ohana, director of communications and marketing, Walk Free and Minderoo Foundation: “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.

“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.”

Walk Free seeks to initiate policy discussion with global lawmakers to remove the roadblocks facing women and girls around the world. They are also calling for governments and businesses to prioritise supply chain transparency to ensure workers are protected, and to guarantee a living wage including protection mechanisms in crisis situations.

Visit walkfree.org.

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