About Slave Free Seas

Slave Free Seas is a team of the world’s foremost experts on modern slavery, including international lawyers specialising in human rights and maritime law, world-leading academics, and advocates from the private sector. Slave Free Seas has the expertise and global legal resources to implement jurisdiction-specific strategies to identify tainted supply chains; promote accountability and ensure that victims are provided remedies for the harms committed against them. Slave Free Seas began with the ongoing transformation of the New Zealand fishing industry. Our involvement has included legal advocacy and prosecution, looking after crew welfare, advocacy for legislative change, awareness raising, and research. Our current focus is the development, in partnership with LexisNexis and other groups, of a global legal toolbox that can be used by groups in any jurisdiction to achieve justice for victims of human trafficking for forced labour at sea.   Our purposes are to end the impunity of those who are exploiting seafarers and secure justice for victims of slavery and forced labour at sea.

What We Do

Our networks are global, and although we are still involved with the legislative changes in the New Zealand fishing industry, our focus is on the development of a global legal toolbox to effectively end labour exploitation and abuse wherever it occurs in the fishing industry, anywhere in the world. We are currently able to advise and assist on any aspect of advocacy and legal solutions around labour exploitation and recruitment in the global fishing labour supply chain.


"Throughout the world there are many fishing fleets that have highly exploitative, slave-like conditions. Up until now, very little has been done to address these conditions anywhere."
- Matthew Friedman, UNIAP