Google donates $11.5 million to fight modern slavery

Reuters News

12/14/2011 12:58:56 PM - Reuters News

(Reuters) - Google Inc is making $11.5 million in grants to fight modern slavery and its hold on 27 million people worldwide, the technology company said on Wednesday.

The donation is believed to be one of the largest corporate initiatives ever to fight slavery.

Google said on its charitable website that its grants will "free more than 12,000 people from modern-day slavery" and prevent "millions more from being victimized."

The company lists 10 recipients of its anti-slavery grants. The money will mainly go to intervention and education projects in India, Europe and the United States.

Google said it is funding the groups International Justice Mission, BBC World Service Trust, ActionAid India and Aide et Action to form a new coalition in India that will work with governments to stop slave labor.

The coalition will identify slavery ring masters, document abuse, free individuals and offer them therapy, Google said.

The Google grants will also go to the nonprofits Slavery Footprint and Polaris Project to help track slavery and educate Americans about the problem.

"It's hard for most Americans to believe that slavery and human trafficking are still massive problems in our world," Gary A. Haugen, president and CEO of International Justice Mission, said in a statement.

"But it's not hard to believe for the more than 27 million men, women and children held in slavery today," he said.

International Justice Mission said the $11.5 million in Google grants appear to be the largest direct cash donation from any major corporation or corporate foundation to fund both intervention and advocacy against slavery.

The donation is part of $40 million in grants that Google announced on Wednesday. Other initiatives the company is funding include efforts to expand teaching of science, technology, engineering and math and helping girls in developing countries receive an education.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune)