National Freedom Network

 Diane Wilkinson


Personal Profile

A decade ago Diane learned about Human Trafficking. Having just returned to South Africa, she felt compelled to get involved in fighting this gross violation of human rights, in her home nation. The fact that other people were experiencing loss of dignity, freedom and life for others’ profit, greed and gain did simply not sit right with her.

Counter-Trafficking was a relatively new field in the country, and after spending a year on the ground, she and two friends joined together to start the National Freedom Network (NFN). They had noticed how disconnected this multi-disciplinary field was, and realized that through strategic and intentional networking, tangible change was indeed possible. Today the NFN is over 100 members strong and consists of organisations, individual activists and small businesses across South Africa that partner closely with Government to tackle Human Trafficking.

Project Profile

Due to its unique structure and focus, the NFN is able to map who and what is already in place, but can also spot where the major gap and challenge areas lie, which then allows for the collective to address strategic imperatives.  

The small team engages regularly with their members as well as new entities entering the field, in effort to educate, empower and connect role players across the various sectors so that role players are working from the same levels of knowledge and understanding, and with good support structures for their respective roles.

Aside from seeing all sectors of society united in fighting Human Trafficking, the NFN’s greatest long term goals include empowering survivor advocates so that the Network can ultimately become a survivor-led initiative; and formation of a program area that will focus on and help develop pure prevention efforts to address core vulnerabilities and essentially prevent people from being trafficked in the first place.

Immediate Needs

Operations Manager monthly wages R13 965

Survivor support: Intern program monthly stipend (for one intern) R4655

Sector Specific Training of frontline officials (per 4-day in-person session for 35 – 40 people) R 33 000

Sector Specific Training of frontline officials (per 4-day virtual session for 35 – 40 people) R 11305


In addition to networking, the NFN Team also offer services around Care and Support (for members, survivors and safe houses); Case Consultation; Advocacy; Research initiatives; Capacity Building for Civil Society; and Training for frontline Government Officials.

They also represent their members on the National Intersectoral Committee for Trafficking in Persons (NICTIP) and the National Rapid Response Task Team, effectively being a channel of communication between Government and those working at grassroots level.