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Australian woman selected for Roosevelt freedom award

An Australian human rights advocate is poised to join luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the recipient of a prestigious international award for her work eradicating modern slavery.

Grace Forrest, founder of Walk Free, is the first Australian woman to be selected for a Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award, with former Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans the only other Australian to receive it.

Ms Forrest, the daughter of billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest and Nicola Forrest, is set to receive the Freedom from Fear medal for 2024 for her work identifying modern slavery in global supply chains.

She has campaigned against human rights abuse for over a decade, developing policy based on extensive field research, which has informed new laws across the globe.

Walk Free also produces the Global Slavery Index, the world's most comprehensive dataset on modern slavery.

"It is an honour to be nominated for an award with such a rich history of human rights and international law behind it and I am deeply humbled," Ms Forrest said on Wednesday.

Four Freedoms Awards are a significant international accolade that has previously been presented to former US presidents Harry S. Truman and Jimmy Carter, former secretary-general of the United Nations Kofi Annan and former German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mandela was acknowledged in 2002 and US Supreme Court justice Bader Ginsburg in 2015.

The medals have been awarded each year for over four decades to individuals and organisations committed to promoting the four freedoms proclaimed by former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.

In his historic Four Freedoms speech, President Roosevelt proclaimed that everyone, everywhere in the world, is entitled to four basic human rights: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

The other award announced on Wednesday was the Freedom of Speech medal, which will go to Netherlands-based investigative journalism group Bellingcat for its work separating fake news from fact in international conflicts.

The awards ceremony will take place in the Netherlands on April 11 along with those for the other three awards - Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship and Freedom from Want.

Ms Forrest recently joined former UK prime minister Theresa May's Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, alongside UN Under-Secretary General Adama Dieng.

They and others will work towards putting modern slavery on the global political agenda, especially urging action from G20 countries.