Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights

Lead Research Organisation: Brit Inst of International and Comp Law
Department Name: Head Office

Abstract

Modern slavery traps 40 million people worldwide, costs the UK economy between £3.3-£4.3bn a year and is described by the Prime Minister as "the great human rights issue of our time" . Despite the UK's world leading Modern Slavery Act, there are still between 10,000-13,000 people enslaved in the UK, often hidden in plain sight.

A Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) will provide independent, impartial and authoritative insight and analysis of practical utility to Government, Parliament, business, NGOs, and international organisations. It will undertake policy-focussed research, respond to strategic challenges, advance understanding and stimulate innovative and effective solutions.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC) is designed to provide independent, impartial and authoritative insight and analysis on modern slavery based upon the high quality research it commissions and co-creates, aiming to have a transformational impact on the understanding of modern slavery and the responses to it. The Centre brings together academics, policymakers, businesses, civil society, survivors and the public on a scale not seen before in the UK to collaborate on solving this global challenge.

Some of the Centre's Core Values concentrate around the themes of cooperation, collaboration and stakeholder engagement, which includes engagement with people with lived experience of modern slavery. As part of this commitment to our Core Values, the Modern Slavery PEC ran a consultation into research priorities on modern slavery which was carried out between July and October 2020. Over 120 stakeholders were surveyed and 8 round tables (with 75 participants in total) were held. Six people with lived experience of modern slavery were also involved in the consultation.

Understanding survivor needs and enhancing victim support is a central and ongoing objective of the Modern Slavery PEC and we are putting in place mechanisms to ensure that this is woven throughout our work. Engaging with people with lived experience for the consultation was one of our earlier survivor engagement activities and, though this was a small group, our engagement highlighted their complex and diverse needs. The group were asked "What research would you like to pursue that addresses issues of sustainable freedom and wellbeing for survivors of slavery?" and their views were grouped into 5 categories: 1. Coping with trauma and recovery; 2. Skills and capacity building; 3. National Referral Mechanism (NRM) experiences (during and after); 4. Experiences outside the NRM; 5. Gaps in policy implementation. The full list of questions can be found in the full consultation report available on our website.

A number of priority areas were identified through the survey and roundtables, that can be summarised as follows:

• A demand for more evidence on effectiveness, impacts - about 'what works' - this includes comparative approaches involving analysis of what works in other countries
• Research on supply chains that explores the power of worker voice and investigates business models
• Research on effectiveness of legal measures that is critical, robust, and focuses on impacts on people with lived experience of modern slavery and their families
• Research on prevention that draws on the potential of data-sharing and data science
• Research into the interconnectedness of different policy areas (e.g. immigration policies, drugs policies) and the importance of structural factors
• Research that is more inclusive - putting into practice the warm words around equality and diversity to enable critical work that expands methodologies and the pool of recipients of funding, ensuring survivor involvement - in all stages of the research process.

The key findings from the consultation - from the survey, roundtables and responses from people with lived experience - have been built into our Strategic Delivery Plan and are actively informing our ways of working at the Modern Slavery PEC.
Exploitation Route The findings from the consultation will inform future calls for research, and funded research projects through the Modern Slavery PEC and it is likely the findings will also be used by our stakeholder organisations to assist them in informing their own directions and strategies.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://modernslaverypec.org/
 
Description The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC) aims to enhance understanding of modern slavery across the globe and transform the effectiveness of laws and policies designed to overcome it. At this stage of the investment, the Centre's focus has been to lay the foundations for impact through our Strategic Delivery Plan and Theory of Change. The Theory of Change sets out how the Centre's activities will lead to impact in the long-term. Our foundations for impact include the following activities: Collaboratively identifying research gaps and developing an agile and dynamic research agenda that meets policy priorities: the Centre ran a consultation into research priorities on modern slavery which was carried out between July and October 2020. This was based on an online survey informed by over 120 stakeholders and eight round tables (with 75 participants in total) including representatives from Government, businesses and civil society. In addition, six people with lived experience of modern slavery were also involved in the consultation. The main findings from this consultation have been used to develop the Centre's research agenda. Co-creating, conducting and commissioning research, including rapid research, to fill research gaps: at present the Centre is funding 15 active research projects which are due to report key findings in Spring/Summer 2021. This includes 11 projects to fill emerging evidence gaps on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on modern slavery. The Centre will continue to fund research projects in line with our research agenda and by ensuring that research is relevant, timely, trustworthy and accessible for policymakers and decision-makers. Facilitating two-way communication between researchers and research users and creating opportunities for knowledge exchange: the Centre acts as a platform between researchers and research users. We have convened events, roundtables and discussions for example discussions between researchers and policymakers about emerging research findings and a networking event to mark Anti-Slavery Day 2020, which brought together researchers and practitioners from across academia and the third sector. We also conduct regular horizon-scanning and engagement with groups such as policymakers in Government and businesses, to identify opportunities for policy influencing. Translating and synthesising PEC-funded and wider research to be accessible to policymakers and other research users, and supporting those groups to make best use of evidence in decision-making: the Centre will produce Policy Briefs to distil key findings and recommendations from our research. Our first Policy Briefs will be published from end March 2021 onwards and will be accompanied by engagement with users.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Bonavero & Bingham Report on "Effectiveness of Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act"
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/resources/tisc-effectiveness
 
Description Interactive workshops for regional modern slavery partnerships
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/resources/interactive-workshops-regional-partnerships
 
Description PEC's work highlighted in the 2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9271...
 
Description PEC's work highlighted in the Government response to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact review on modern slavery
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmg-response-to-the-icai-recommendations-on-uks-approach-...
 
Description PEC's work highlighted in the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Annual report 2019/20
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/9186...
 
Description Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK 
Organisation Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We collaborated with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA) on the planning and delivery of an international virtual conference. We financially contributed to the organisation of this event, had weekly/bi-weekly catch ups and collaborated throughout the planning of the event, including on programme development, communications and branding.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners at the CPA owned the project management of the event from the initial survey of stakeholders of the event, contacting and securing speakers, through to the successful delivery of the event across two days on an innovative virtual platform. Their invlvement also included supplying us with regular 6 weekly reports so that we could keep our partners up to date on progress, and the production of a thorough post-event report
Impact A virtual international conference, which is discussed in more detail in the 'Engagement Activities' section
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-stakeholder Working Group to oversee the Modern Slavery PEC's research consultation (representatives from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Home Office, The Alan Turing Institute, Nottingham University Rights Lab, Hull University Wilberforce Institute and The Clewer Initiative). 
Organisation Alan Turing Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We set up this Working Group to oversee our research consultation. A member of the PEC's senior management board chaired the Working Group and delivered the research consultation.
Collaborator Contribution The Working Group provided support to the research consultation for example by chairing stakeholder roundtables, contributing to the design of the consultation and providing feedback on draft reports.
Impact A research consultation report, underpinned by a survey of over 100 stakeholders and eight stakeholder roundtables.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-stakeholder Working Group to oversee the Modern Slavery PEC's research consultation (representatives from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Home Office, The Alan Turing Institute, Nottingham University Rights Lab, Hull University Wilberforce Institute and The Clewer Initiative). 
Organisation Clewer Initiative
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We set up this Working Group to oversee our research consultation. A member of the PEC's senior management board chaired the Working Group and delivered the research consultation.
Collaborator Contribution The Working Group provided support to the research consultation for example by chairing stakeholder roundtables, contributing to the design of the consultation and providing feedback on draft reports.
Impact A research consultation report, underpinned by a survey of over 100 stakeholders and eight stakeholder roundtables.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-stakeholder Working Group to oversee the Modern Slavery PEC's research consultation (representatives from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Home Office, The Alan Turing Institute, Nottingham University Rights Lab, Hull University Wilberforce Institute and The Clewer Initiative). 
Organisation Home Office
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We set up this Working Group to oversee our research consultation. A member of the PEC's senior management board chaired the Working Group and delivered the research consultation.
Collaborator Contribution The Working Group provided support to the research consultation for example by chairing stakeholder roundtables, contributing to the design of the consultation and providing feedback on draft reports.
Impact A research consultation report, underpinned by a survey of over 100 stakeholders and eight stakeholder roundtables.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-stakeholder Working Group to oversee the Modern Slavery PEC's research consultation (representatives from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Home Office, The Alan Turing Institute, Nottingham University Rights Lab, Hull University Wilberforce Institute and The Clewer Initiative). 
Organisation Independent Anti Slavery Commissioner
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We set up this Working Group to oversee our research consultation. A member of the PEC's senior management board chaired the Working Group and delivered the research consultation.
Collaborator Contribution The Working Group provided support to the research consultation for example by chairing stakeholder roundtables, contributing to the design of the consultation and providing feedback on draft reports.
Impact A research consultation report, underpinned by a survey of over 100 stakeholders and eight stakeholder roundtables.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-stakeholder Working Group to oversee the Modern Slavery PEC's research consultation (representatives from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Home Office, The Alan Turing Institute, Nottingham University Rights Lab, Hull University Wilberforce Institute and The Clewer Initiative). 
Organisation University of Hull
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We set up this Working Group to oversee our research consultation. A member of the PEC's senior management board chaired the Working Group and delivered the research consultation.
Collaborator Contribution The Working Group provided support to the research consultation for example by chairing stakeholder roundtables, contributing to the design of the consultation and providing feedback on draft reports.
Impact A research consultation report, underpinned by a survey of over 100 stakeholders and eight stakeholder roundtables.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-stakeholder Working Group to oversee the Modern Slavery PEC's research consultation (representatives from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, the Home Office, The Alan Turing Institute, Nottingham University Rights Lab, Hull University Wilberforce Institute and The Clewer Initiative). 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We set up this Working Group to oversee our research consultation. A member of the PEC's senior management board chaired the Working Group and delivered the research consultation.
Collaborator Contribution The Working Group provided support to the research consultation for example by chairing stakeholder roundtables, contributing to the design of the consultation and providing feedback on draft reports.
Impact A research consultation report, underpinned by a survey of over 100 stakeholders and eight stakeholder roundtables.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Survivor Alliance 
Organisation Survivor Alliance
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution As part of our consultation on the PEC's research priorities, we collaborated with Survivor Alliance to seek the views of survivors on the following topic "what research would you like to pursue that addresses issues of sustainable freedom and wellbeing for survivors of slavery?"
Collaborator Contribution Survivor Alliance conducted research with six survivors of modern slavery to inform the PEC's research consultation.
Impact A research consultation report, informed by the views of survivors of modern slavery
Start Year 2020
 
Description Anti Slavery Day Networking Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact We marked our first Anti-Slavery Day by hosting a virtual networking event, entitled "Building new collaborations in modern slavery research", to create a platform for researchers and non-academics to facilitate new collaborations in modern slavery research. The UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton headlined the event, with the participants also hearing from researchers running the current PEC projects, presenting their own ideas for research and networking directly with other colleagues. The event proved to be very popular and we will aim to build on it and continue providing platforms for people to come together against modern slavery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/latest/event-building-new-collaborations-in-modern-slavery-research
 
Description Blog for Business Against Poverty 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A blog post which opened the conversation on the best ways to tackle modern slavery in supply chains, and set out the PEC's priorities for research on what works in this area
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://businessfightspoverty.org/lets-open-a-conversation-on-research-into-modern-slavery-in-busine...
 
Description Dr Alicia Kidd's blog for Thomson Reuters to promote the PEC-designed workshops for local actors to devise local strategies against modern slavery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog promoting the workshops designed by the Modern Slavery PEC project for local actors to create their own local response to cases of modern slavery
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://news.trust.org/item/20201015123823-50gpt
 
Description Dr Alicia Kidd's blog for Yorkshire Post to promote the PEC-designed workshops for local actors to devise local strategies against modern slavery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog promoting the workshops designed by the Modern Slavery PEC project for local actors in Yorkshire to create their own local resposne to cases of modern slavery. The Wilberforce Institute, which led on the project, is based in Hull and has rich links to local communities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/anti-slavery-days-importance-raising-awarene...
 
Description Investor Action article (FT FDi Intelligence) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Researchers working on a project funded by the Modern Slavery PEC were interviewed and had the work of their project cited in this FDI Intelligence article (FDI Intelligence is the FT's platform for investors, the article is on working to end modern slavery through data).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.fdiintelligence.com/article/79350
 
Description Modern Slavery Business Roundtables 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Modern slavey in busines supply chains is one of the research priority areas of the PEC. The 1st roundtable in this series provided an introduction of the PEC to businesses; the 2nd roundtable continued on that 1st roundtable whilst expanding the business members base; the 3rd roundtable introduced relevant PEC projects to business on modern slavery in business supply chains
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/latest/roundtable-business
 
Description Modern Slavery Data for Investor Action Roundtables 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Aligned with the PEC research priority area of modern slavery in business supply chains, two roundtable events were held which focused on investor access to high-quality, accurate data on modern slavery risks in investment portfolios The first roundtable was held with asset management industry representatives; the second with participants representing a range of different stakeholder groups, with both totalling seventy experts ranging from asset management professionals to representatives of civil society organisations, commercial information providers, and leaders of initiatives, to foster collective action in the financial sector to address modern slavery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/research-projects/modern-slavery-data-investors
 
Description PEC Director's blog for Thomson Reuters (reposted on the PEC website) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog by the PEC director published by Thomson Reuters outlining the context for the PEC's existence, the key problems it's set out to tackle and its mission
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://news.trust.org/item/20200915113542-a2pk7
 
Description PEC-CPA International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Marking the official opening of the new Modern Slavery PEC, we hosted a global conference on assisting and supporting survivors of modern slavery on 15 & 16 September, organised in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. It brought together over 250 survivor advocates and professionals from over 30 countries, with speakers including the former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton, Chair of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act Frank Field, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery Prof Tomoya Obokata.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/latest/virtual-conference
 
Description Presentation at the Home Office Modern Slavery Strategy and Implementation Group (MSSIG) Prevent group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The PEC was invited to speak at the Home Office Prevent MSSIG group - which brings together Government with partner organisations to address modern slavery - about the PEC's overall research aims
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Research Priorities Consultation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Over the summer 2020 we held a consultation to inform the development of the PEC's research priorities for the next five years, with an online survey and a series of workshops that followed up throughout September. A report, alongside a blog by the Director of Research Prof Alex Balch on the PEC's website, was published in January 2021. It will inform the Modern Slavery PEC's research strategy, due to be published in April 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://modernslaverypec.org/resources/report-consultation-on-the-modern-slavery-pec-research-priori...
 
Description Roundtable with UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact We organised a roundtable with Professor Tomoya Obokata, the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. The purpose of the roundtable was to give an opportunity for Professor Obokata to introduce the plans he was drawing up for his work in the role, to create a platform for key PEC stakeholders to engage with him and provide feedback on his priorities, and for the attendees well to learn more about the PEC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Tackling Modern Slavery BBC Podcast (BBC Radio 3 New Thinking podast) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The New Thinking Podcast produced jointly by BBC and AHRC, hosted by Naomi Paxton, featured two researchers working on the PEC projects, Katarina Schwartz from the Rights Lab on the analysis of the main source countries of trafficking into the UK and Alicia Kidd from the Wilberfoce Institute on the interactive training for frontline practitioners. The podcast was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and is available as a podcast on BBC Sounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jnmc