Making communities more resilient to modern slavery

MOdern slavery report
09 Nov 2017 00:15:00.000

PA 257/17

Agencies and community groups in the UK need more dedicated funding to help fight modern slavery, according to a new report.

There is also a need for clearer leadership and co-ordination of anti-slavery activity, as well as consistency across the country in order to ensure appropriate services are provided to victims.

These are just some of the findings from the research report — ‘Collaborating for Freedom: Anti-Slavery Partnerships in the UK’, which explores how we can make our communities more resilient to modern slavery by bringing agencies together to combat crime.

Click here for full story
 'Playing a vital role in tackling modern slavery’

The report is a collaborative project between experts at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab and the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE.

The six-month project mapped UK ‘modern slavery partnerships’ — groups of organisations coming together to address slavery locally and regionally. This mapping exercise was achieved through a targeted survey. The second phase of the research explored the different types of partnership work which is already taking place around the country and what has been successful.

Dr Alison Gardner, the lead researcher on the project from the University, said: “Local partnerships play a vital role in tackling modern slavery and by mapping their work we can start to share good practice and help to make our communities slavery-free.”

‘Modern slavery is a brutal abuse, denying people of their dignity, safety and freedom’

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, who spearhead’s the UK’s fight against modern slavery, said: “Modern slavery is a brutal abuse, denying people of their dignity, safety and freedom. It impacts millions worldwide and thousands here in the UK. If we want to see more victims rescued and more perpetrators behind bars, we need to work together. Police, charities, local authorities, health services and others must not act in silos, and this research identifies how those agencies can better work in partnership to provide a professional response to stop this evil trade in human life.”

The findings of the report will provide the first comprehensive overview of anti-slavery partnership work in the UK, together with an assessment of its strengths and challenges, and the associated implications for national and local policymakers.

The findings will be presented by experts from the University’s Rights Lab and the Anti-Slavery Commissioner at a national conference on Thursday 9 November in the Trent Building at the University of Nottingham.

The conference, which is being held as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s annual Festival of Social Science, is also part of an anti-slavery awareness campaign, which has seen local organisations pledging their commitment to making Nottingham a slavery-free city.

Other key findings from the report show that:

  • Varying approaches in the way local agencies are addressing modern-slavery are affecting the consistency and quality of service responses.
  • Whilst many partnerships focus on training frontline staff and sharing    information, the majority of partnerships were not yet influencing deeper  problems of slavery, such as what is happening in their supply chains.
  • There is very little dedicated funding to promote joint planning of local      anti-slavery activity.
  • There is high demand for increased co-ordination of partnership work at a national, sub-regional and local level.

The University of Nottingham is home to the Rights Lab, a University Beacon of Excellence that brings together over 100 scholars to deliver research that helps to end global slavery by 2030.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information from Dr Alison Gardner from the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, via email

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Global slavery expert is honoured by Prince Charles

Published Date
Friday 7th July 2017

Fighting slavery from space

Published Date
Monday 3rd July 2017

Good neighbours really do matter according to a new study

Published Date
Wednesday 28th March 2018

Using street art to help fight modern slavery

Published Date
Tuesday 28th November 2017

The murky world of the hand car wash

Published Date
Wednesday 5th July 2017

Learn about modern day slavery with free online course

Published Date
Wednesday 12th October 2016

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798