Grant programme for investigative journalists: Modern Slavery Unveiled launches Modern Slavery Unveiled: a project to provide critical resources and know-how to journalists to investigate the exploitation of Asian victims of human trafficking and forced labour in Europe.

The project comprises of a grant programme for investigative journalists, a mentor programme for grantees, and a training programme for journalists and civil society organisations.

Grant programme
Cross-border teams of professional journalists can apply for a grant to cover working time and/or expenses to document and expose aspects and cases of forced labour, human trafficking and other issues related to the exploitation of Asian victims in Europe.

Mentor programme
Next to a grant, teams can also apply for a experienced mentor to provide assistance with either the focus of the investigation or the need for competences in a specific skill.

Training programme
In a next stage will also deploy a training programme for journalists and civil society organisations. Training topics will include security, knowledge on human trafficking, project management, cross-border investigations, and dissemination and impact maximisation.

Unveiling modern slavery
40 million people are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery worldwide. Modern slavery can take various forms of exploitation, including human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, debt bondage, etc.

Although it is widespread, modern slavery is often hidden. “The human trafficking story is one of the most challenging, complex and ethically testing assignments for journalists and editors“, Aidan White writes in Hidden from view: Reporting on human trafficking and modern slavery, which was published by the Thomson Foundation.

With this programme therefore wants to stimulate collaborations to document this phenomenon and disseminate the investigation results to the general public. 
In that manner it contributes to the enabling of a well-informed debate by citizens and policy makers, which is a precondition for a healthy democracy.

For the deployment of the Modern Slavery Unveiled project will collaborate with several partners, in particular with the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). The project is supported by Porticus. has run and is still operating similar targeted programmes, about e.g. tax avoidance and illicit financial flows, science journalism and cross-border local journalism. These programmes are complementary to’s general European Cross-border Grants programme.

First grant application deadline: 18 March
The first deadline for project applications is Thursday 18 March 2021, 12 pm CET.
In the first round there is €80,000 available to allocate to the most interesting project proposals. 
The Modern Slavery Unveiled project will have four application rounds in total. The average interval between project calls will be six months.