Assessing The Impact Of COVID-19 On People Vulnerable To, Or Already Experiencing, Forced Marriage

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Politics & International Relation

Abstract

COVID-19 and COVID-related decisions are having significant impacts on children and adults vulnerable to, and already experiencing, the crime of forced marriage. Our mixed-methods project will chart and understand this impact, inform evaluation of the UK's response to COVID-19, and shape on-going policy regarding the UK's pandemic response. We consider the uneven economic and social impact of the pandemic, and the ethical dimensions of unequal impacts of COVID-related decision-making, on this vulnerable group, and seek to impact how civil society and the voluntary sector support vulnerable people.

The government's Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) and the charity Karma Nirvana (KN) (which provides a national forced marriage helpline) have warned about the significant impact of the pandemic on forced marriage in the UK. We designed this project with both organisations, and will work with them to analyse quantitative and qualitative data about the impact of COVID-19 on those at risk of, or experiencing, forced marriage; and to record and analyse the challenges faced in the pandemic, evaluate the efficacy of mitigation strategies, and formulate new policies and practises for protection and response.

Within the first 6 months, we will have co-created an accurate account of the economic and social impact of COVID-19 and COVID-related decision-making on victims of forced marriage, and the ethical implications of unequal impacts. We will then continue to chart the changing risk environment, while co-developing policy reports and recommendations for the UK government (including FMU), NGO practice responses (including KN), and other stakeholders, to improve the on-going response to COVID-19 and build community resilience.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Joined (through AHRC Nomination) Future Leaders Fellows Development Network 
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Department Future Leaders Research Fellowship
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I have recently joined this network, contributing some peer support to fellow Fellows.
Collaborator Contribution I have recently joined this network, but am already greatly benefitting from training and development opportunities and courses provided by the network.
Impact None as yet.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Karma Nirvana - ESRC COVID Rapid Response collaboration 
Organisation Karma Nirvana
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are going to help process data from Karma Nirvana, and feed into their on-going policy on pandemic response.
Collaborator Contribution Karma Nirvana are acting as 'gatekeepers' for our work, introducing us to key stakeholders, particularly survivors of forced marriage, and allowing us access to their data.
Impact This research grant was written collaboratively, and Karma Nirvana contributed to the research design and research questions (two of their key members of staff are also Co-Investigators). They have invited both the PI and RA on their latest training for Honour Based Abuse, and we are running quarterly workshops with them to discuss data, analysis, findings and policy recommendations.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Blog for Justice Everywhere 
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 I wrote a blog post for Justice Everywhere on forced marriage and COVID-19. I'm not sure how many people read the blog, but 1220 people saw my tweet about it on Twitter, and people engaged with it 16 times.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://justice-everywhere.org/international/forced-marriage-in-times-of-covid-19/
 
Description Gave talk at Global Partners online event on COVID-19's impact on trafficked women and girls 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I was part of a panel of experts talking about the likely impact of COVID-19 on trafficking women and girls organised by Global Partners. This was broadcast live on YouTube, and also live-tweeted from their Twitter account.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZOHQYNbGys&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=GPG
 
Description Hosted online event on impact of COVID-19 on efforts to combat human trafficking and modern slavery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I am guest editing a special edition of Journal of Modern Slavery on the impact of COVID-19 on efforts to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. I hosted an online event for all the authors, which was accessible to the public via an Eventbrite sign-up. We had speakers from all around the world (stretching from time zones GMT-7 to GMT+10:30) and an audience of researchers, practitioners, philanthropic funding bodies, and members of the general public. The event was videoed, and we hope to share it on the journal website soon.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Quarterly Stakeholder Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We held the first of our planned stakeholder workshop with project partners. This allowed us to share data, discuss approaches to our methods and analysis, and plan next steps for the research project. It also led to our first publications - a research note on methodology and the first report from our data findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Talk given to Women's Staff Network, University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 20 people attended a lunchtime seminar as part of the Women's Staff Network (not a network I had previously known about at the University) on my research project. This sparked a number of questions, including an invitation to speak about forced marriage to student teachers in our Department of Education on forced marriage and things they should know and/or look out for once they start their professional careers. I have now signed up to give a presentation to next year's cohort.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020