Thomson Reuters Foundation

Trust Forum Asia: Fighting domestic slavery and slavery in the fishing industry

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The inaugural Trust Forum Asia, held on June 17 in Hong Kong, brought together more than 200 influential business and thought leaders to discuss real solutions to fight modern-day slavery and forced labour across Asia, a region with 60% of the world’s modern day slaves. Watch the wrap video of the event.

Aligned with the spirit and mission of the Foundation’s annual Trust Women conference, Trust Forum Asia touched upon a range of pressing issues, including protecting migrant workers and domestic “helpers” trapped in servitude, to achieving justice for exploited slaves in the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. The Forum also featured stories of survival and looked at the role of corporations in cleaning up supply chains.

It was truly remarkable day. Mrs. Anson Chan, the first woman and the first Chinese to hold the second-highest governmental position in Hong Kong, argued that the welfare of migrant workers must be a joint responsibility between home and host country government authorities. She stressed that both countries must monitor agencies fees and empower workers to know and defend their rights. (more…)

How law firms are helping tomorrow’s businesses in emerging economies

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Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are finding leaner, more cost-effective platforms to raise their essential finance, and a fascinating report issued this week shows law firms around the world are offering their skills voluntarily to helping social enterprises develop sustainable and successful businesses.

Economic development and microfinance projects are supported by some 40 percent of law firms which contributed to the second TrustLaw Index of ProBono. TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program, and its index charts the amount of work law firms across the world are providing on a free, voluntary basis to charities, non-profits, social enterprises and individuals.

The report analyzed data provided by 141 firms from 77 different countries, representing over 49,000 lawyers. It found that over the last 12 months, these lawyers donated 2.08 million hours of free legal support, on average investing about one week (43 hours) of their time assisting clients on a pro bono basis.

According to the report, the unprecedented rates of economic development across Asia and the Pacific have attracted international law firms to these rapidly emerging economies, bringing with them the culture of pro bono activity. (more…)

Camera exposure: Q&A with Prabir Talukdar

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India-based photojournalist Prabir Talukdar was the winner of the 2015 Trust Women Photo Award, a joint initiative by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Microsoft. Prabir’s work was selected from nearly 500 submissions received from 90 countries. Photographers across the world were challenged to submit images capturing the lives and stories of remarkable women in their communities. #WomenMakeItHappen reached six million people on social media.

In March, 10 finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of experts, including: Finbarr O’Reilly, Yale World Fellow and former Reuters photographer; Carla Eid, Global Head of Social Engagement at Microsoft Mobile; Belinda Goldsmith, Editor-in-Chief of the Thomson Reuters Foundation; Roger Anis, 2014 Trust Women Photo Award winner; and Laura Bates;Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.

“Prabir’s photos beautifully illustrate the strength and resourcefulness of women battling poverty, illness and discrimination in India, a country where women are constantly challenging deep-rooted views about traditional gender roles and the lower status of women,” added Belinda Goldsmith, Editor-in-Chief of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In addition to the award, Prabir will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend a week-long professional training course on Mobile Journalism organised and run by Thomson Reuters Foundation, and a Microsoft Lumia 930 phone. Prabir’s work will also be showcased at the upcoming Trust Women Conference 17-18 November in London.

We spoke to Prabir about his career and the challenges facing women in India. Read more below. (more…)

Q&A with Timothy Large, Director of Media Development and Training

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At the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we stand for free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment, and the rule of law. We expose corruption, the human impact of climate change, and play a leading role in the global fight against human trafficking and slavery. We use the skills, values, and expertise of Thomson Reuters to run programs that trigger real change and empower people around the world. We tackle global issues. We achieve lasting impact. Explore our 2014 Thomson Reuters Foundation Annual Report

We sat down with Timothy Large, head of Media Development and Training, to take a look back at 2014, and forward at what’s in store for 2015.

You became the head of Media Development in 2014. What are you most excited about going forward?

I’m most excited about programs that have tangible impact on the ground. The evidence shows that training on its own is often not enough to guarantee that great journalism is widely consumed, so we’ve taken a more holistic approach that addresses every link in the media development chain from the incubation of professional skills right through to editorial support to get actual stories published and distributed. Sometimes that even means setting up independent news agencies, as we’ve done in Iraq, Egypt and Zimbabwe. (more…)

Thomson Reuters Foundation spotlight: Media development and training

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At the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we stand for free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment, and the rule of law. We expose corruption, the human impact of climate change, and play a leading role in the global fight against human trafficking and slavery. We use the skills, values, and expertise of Thomson Reuters to run programs that trigger real change and empower people around the world. We tackle global issues. We achieve lasting impact. Explore our 2014 Thomson Reuters Foundation Annual Report

For over 30 years, we have been fostering the highest standards of journalism, drawing on the expertise and global footprint of Reuters. We believe accurate and independent media lead to better informed societies. They hold power to account and contribute to economic and social development.

We have gone beyond the traditional concept of journalism training and run initiatives ranging from the creation of sustainable, independent news platforms to a wide selection of skills and mentoring program. This unique mix allows us to provide world-class solutions to pressing needs, helping excellent journalism reach the largest possible audience.

Training without borders

No subject or territory is off limits. In 2014, we trained nearly 1,000 journalists in countries as diverse as Mauritania, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Fiji, Jordan and Bolivia. In Mauritania, we tackled taboo subjects such as rape and sexual harassment. In November, we hosted the very first journalism course assessing best practices to report human trafficking and slavery. (more…)

Q&A with Belinda Goldsmith, Editor-in-chief of the Thomson Reuters Foundation

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At the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we stand for free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment, and the rule of law. We expose corruption, the human impact of climate change, and play a leading role in the global fight against human trafficking and slavery. We use the skills, values, and expertise of Thomson Reuters to run programs that trigger real change and empower people around the world. We tackle global issues. We achieve lasting impact. Explore our 2014 Thomson Reuters Foundation Annual Report

We sat down with Belinda Goldsmith, Editor-in-chief of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, to take a look back at some of the major stories covered and impact the coverage achieved.

Your team covers stories that are often overlooked by the mainstream media. What is the ultimate goal?

We cover stories at the heart of aid, development, women’s rights, human trafficking, climate change, and corruption. These are some of the world’s most pressing issues, but often those affected by them have no voice. We want to ensure that these people are not forgotten, and raise awareness about these often underreported issues. We don’t campaign, and we are not involved in advocacy; all of our stories are fair, accurate and impartial, leaving readers to form their own opinion.

2014 was a year full of major news events. What was the most unexpected story your team had to cover?

As we cover humanitarian disasters that are often overlooked by other media, when a big crisis strikes we are often already there. Take Ebola, for example. Our West Africa correspondent was the first international journalist to reach the remote village of Gueckedou, Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak began. It was only two months later that the international community started to pay attention to the virus. Recently we returned to Guinea to visit the village where it all started and interviewed the father of the first victim of Ebola, the two-year-old boy the world knows as Patient Zero. (more…)

Q&A with Alisha Miranda, TrustLaw Director

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At the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we stand for free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment, and the rule of law. We expose corruption, the human impact of climate change, and play a leading role in the global fight against human trafficking and slavery. We use the skills, values, and expertise of Thomson Reuters to run programs that trigger real change and empower people around the world. We tackle global issues. We achieve lasting impact. Explore our 2014 Thomson Reuters Foundation Annual Report

TrustLaw is a story of continuous growth. Tell us about your expansion in 2014.

2014 was a tremendous year for us: we more than doubled the number of connections made in 2013, recruited new firms, and facilitated the first connections in places as diverse as Myanmar, Taiwan, South Korea, and New Zealand. We also grew in places where we were already present, expanding our reach and building deeper relationships, from India to Africa to Europe.

The TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono has quickly become the benchmark for monitoring trends across the pro bono industry. What were the overall findings?

This was really the first poll of its kind, and quite an ambitious project. The goal was to provide a global assessment of trends and benchmarks across the pro bono legal industry on a country-by-country basis. We were thrilled with the response: 103 law firms provided data on their work across 69 different countries. The data highlighted a lot of interesting facts and trends. We were happy to see that the average value of pro bono per lawyer was actually $11,000, and that they had done over 1.5 million hours of pro bono in 2013. (more…)

Let’s confine slavery to the history books

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Let’s start with the good news. Since my last trip to the Davos mountains, in the past year there has been substantial increase in awareness around one of the world’s most horrible crimes: slavery. More investigative reports have been published, more money has been committed to the fight against human trafficking, world leaders such as Pope Francis have publicly taken a strong stand, and heroes such as Kailash Satyarthi have received the Nobel Peace Prize. The issue is certainly in the public domain.

The bad news is that slavery is still very much a silent crime, and a flourishing business worth US$150 billion a year, more than the GDP of most African countries, and three times Apple’s earnings.

The scale of the problem is huge. According to Walk Free, there are 35 million people enslaved around the world, the highest number in history, and roughly equivalent to the population of Australia and Greece combined.

Slavery takes different forms, from forced prostitution and labour to debt bondage. The common denominator is poverty. Victims are needy and vulnerable; they don’t know their rights. In some countries, people are still born into slavery.

Clearly something needs to be done. But where to start? (more…)

Women-friendly cities: It’s not about money, it’s about ideas

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Trust Women, which took place November 18-19, is more than just a conference. It’s a fast-growing movement to put the rule of law behind women’s rights through concrete action. Delegates from 55 countries, representing 260 international organizations are here to take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women. Weren’t able to attend? No worries. Check out the session recordingsconference news,  photos, and join the conversation using #twc2014.

“We are now an urban species. How humanity moves forward will involve urban challenges.”

One of the first panel discussions at the Trust Women conference focused on this: when it comes to making mega-cities women friendly, it is not about money – it is about ideas.

Following the release of our Foundation’s global poll ranking the most dangerous transport systems for women in major cities, the two-day event kicked off with an intense examination of the ideas around how women might be safer and freer to move around their cities.

“We are now an urban species. How humanity moves forward will involve urban challenges.” Panelist and MIT researcher at Senseable City Lab Ricardo Alvarez told Trust Women. (more…)

News with impact

Journalism is one of the pillars of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. They cover the world’s underreported stories, the issues that mainstream media often forget. Their editorial team includes 26 correspondents across five continents and a powerful network of more than 100 contributors, enabling them to cover stories at the heart of aid, development, human rights, climate change, corruption, and social innovation. Every day, trust.org brings you features, analysis, info-graphics, blogs and exclusive videos. Their content is syndicated for free to prestigious news outlets and is accessible to all Reuters clients around the world. See how our Foundation informs, connects and empowers.