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Omicron Variant Postpones Annual Freedom from Slavery Forum

Health concerns and Morocco's international flight ban make annual meeting impossible

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, November 30, 2021 / -- Due to the sharp rise in cases and uncertainty associated with the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, Free the Slaves is announcing the postponement of the global Freedom from Slavery Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco. The Forum, scheduled for December 5-8, would have gathered anti-modern slavery leaders from around the world to develop key solutions to end modern slavery in local communities and to coordinate global solutions.

This marks the second year running that the vital forum has been disrupted because of the coronavirus, with last year’s event happening virtually via Zoom.

“Given these unfortunate developments and the uncertainty that they cause, we felt this was the best decision to make to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our participants and staff,” Free the Slaves Executive Director Bukeni Waruzi said.

Morocco, where the Freedom from Slavery Forum was meant to take place, has suspended all incoming international flights for a two-week period beginning today out of an abundance of caution. The impact of the Omicron variant is being felt all over the world, and the Forum was no different.

“As we continue monitoring the situation, we will hold the Forum in the coming months,” Waruzi said.

New dates will be announced to participants soon in hopes of reconvening. With support from donors and friends, Free the Slaves anticipates closely evaluating the evolution of the Omicron variant to consider next steps.

Wad Khalafalla
Free the Slaves
+1 804-247-3322

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