Cutting-edge modern slavery research centre opened

Magnifying glasses

A global conference on assisting and supporting survivors of modern slavery will mark the opening of the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC).

The ‘Virtual International Conference: Assisting and protecting survivors of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour’ is organised in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK.

Transforming laws and policies

The centre, funded and actively supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund, has been created to enhance the understanding of modern slavery and transform the effectiveness of laws and policies designed to overcome it.

Modern slavery is an issue that affects millions worldwide, yet it is not widely understood or adequately addressed by existing laws and policies.

There’s a gap that exists between the high-quality academic research and the world of policymaking and law-making, as well as frontline work with people directly affected by modern slavery.

The Modern Slavery PEC was created to address these issues and transform the effectiveness of laws and policies designed to prevent it.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair said:

Modern Slavery PEC is the first of its kind in the world, and was designed to bring together researchers, policymakers, businesses, charities and non-governmental organisations.

The centre’s collaborative and innovative research is playing a vital role in the important effort to eradicate modern slavery and bring positive change at a global level.

The centre commissions research to provide innovative and authoritative insight on modern slavery, with the aim of driving real policy change rooted in human rights.

It has already opened two calls for research on modern slavery survivor recovery and support and on the impact of COVID-19.

Network of networks

The Modern Slavery PEC brings together academics, policymakers, businesses, civil society and the public on a scale not seen before in the UK to solve this global challenge, building an inclusive ‘network of networks’ to facilitate new collaborations capable of generating innovative solutions to modern slavery.

The centre has also launched an inclusive consultation to inform the development of its research priorities for the next five years and beyond.

Led by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and funded by AHRC on behalf of UKRI, the centre is a consortium of six universities and independent research organisations.

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