His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced his plans to convene a Third International Forum on Modern Slavery, with the theme “Awareness, Action and Impact.” Recognizing that modern slavery is a global scourge that traps millions of people to lives of suffering, injustice and humiliation, His All-Holiness established a Task Force on Modern Slavery as a commitment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to learn, to act and to witness towards the elimination of the interconnected forms of visible and invisible enslavement affecting over 46 million people worldwide. This Forum convenes experts, practitioners and policymakers from international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, in consultation with representatives from Orthodox Christian ministries of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It will concentrate on capacity building, programmatic cooperation and religious literacy improvements by which Orthodox Christian engagement and solidarity can help to eliminate the complex, intersectional causes, contours and consequences of modern slavery. The first Forum, “Sins Before Our Eyes,” was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in February 2017. The second Forum, “Old Problems in the New World,” was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in May 2018.

The third Forum is scheduled for early January 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey.