Empowering the survivors of modern slavery

 MInh Dang 2 - reduced
23 Apr 2018 10:17:20.430

PA 69/18

A new group has been launched to help unite and empower survivors of human trafficking and slavery around the world.

The Survivor Alliance launches online today (23 April), and is led by Minh Dang, a PhD student in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham and a member of the University’s Rights Lab. In partnership with other experts from the Rights Lab, the Survivor Alliance is supported by internationally renowned survivor leaders who sit on a board of directors. 

The Survivor Alliance aims to bring together a community of people who have overcome modern slavery and trafficking and to provide a network of resources and support in their anti-slavery leadership efforts. Survivors of slavery can enrol to become members for free.

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Resources available on the website will include:

  • An online space where survivors can see where members of the Alliance are located around the world, what types of expertise each person has, and what types of leadership support or resources people need
  • A consulting referral service, which will begin with an online listing of specific survivor consulting opportunities

Minh, who is one of the Alliance founders, provides training and technical assistance to NGOs, universities, and government agencies across the US and the UK.Her PhD is studying the wellbeing of survivors of human trafficking and slavery. She is a devoted advocate for survivors of child abuse and human trafficking and is developing strategies to support education, training, and leadership development for survivors.

Minh said: “Currently, support for survivors of modern slavery and trafficking is focussed on their immediate needs, such as housing and other practicalities. We have created the Survivor Alliance to support survivors who are actively engaged in anti-slavery efforts as NGO leaders, authors, artists, and trainers.

“We want to provide a forum where survivor leaders will support one other in their leadership development. There is so much more to post-slavery support than basic services. We work with survivors who are creating meaning and purpose through their community activism and civic engagement.”

“Freedom is more than the moment of exit from slavery. Freedom is an ongoing journey and process. We want to invite survivors of slavery around the world to share their expertise with each other, and to galvanize our collective voices to fight slavery. We want our allies and the public to see us as more than traumatized people. We are anti-slavery leaders.”

Minh was the Executive Director for Don’t Sell Bodies (DSB), an anti-human trafficking initiative founded by Jada Pinkett Smith. With DSB, Minh helped launch the U.S. Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking. In May 2013, Minh was one of fifteen Asian American/Pacific Islander women recognized at the White House as a Champion of Change for her efforts to end human trafficking.

She is a ten-year veteran of the service-learning field and received her B.A. in Sociology and Masters in Social Welfare at University of California, Berkeley. Prior to beginning her PhD at the University of Nottingham, Minh coordinated the Bonner Leaders AmeriCorps Program at the UC Berkeley Public Service Centre. She has served on the Board of Directors for Youth Engagement Advocacy Housing (YEAH), and the Norma J. Morris Centre for Healing and recently finished her term on the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Professor Zoe Trodd, Director of the Rights Lab, said: “The Alliance is a pioneering new survivor-led organisation that will push the anti-slavery movement into its next phase of development. Every successful social movement has required the voices of those whose lives are deeply affected by injustice. The Alliance provides a key solution that is currently missing from the contemporary anti-slavery movement: a survivor-driven institution that moves survivors from being occasional spokespeople to strategic thinkers and movement leaders.

 “The Rights Lab's commitment is that everything we do is survivor-informed and in collaboration with survivor-leaders. We are very excited to collaborate with the Alliance's members, whose ideas will shape progress towards ending slavery in our lifetime.”

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

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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 is available from Minh Dang at info@survivoralliance.org

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

Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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