School of Politics and International Relations

Pathways Through Liberation - Revealing Survivors' Support Journeys Outside of the UK National Referral Mechanism

hands reaching out for each other

Funder: Economic and Social Resource Council (ESRC)
PI: Dr Andrea Nicholson
Duration: Ends August 2023

In 2018, only 6,993 potential victims were referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). Of those, little is known about what happens to the majority of survivors after they reach the 'cliff edge' of support at the end of their time in the NRM, but there is some evidence that survivors are experiencing homelessness and destitution, and are at risk of further exploitation. Even less is known about the outcomes and support interactions of those who decline to enter the NRM, or who exit prematurely.

The ongoing journeys and outcomes for these individuals are not routinely monitored by most support organisations or by governmental authorities. Data is not collected on the numbers of suspected victims of modern slavery who choose not to enter the NRM or who exit NRM services prematurely, or their reasons for doing so.

In collaboration with 10 NGOs, and partnering with St Mary’s University Twickenham and the Office of the Independent Antislavery Commissioner, this ESRC funded project addresses the above knowledge gap. Undertaking a comparative study of survivors’ experiences across the UK, the research team are working with adult survivors to record and share their experiences of recovery and of their encounters with state and third sector services to better inform antislavery policy and the process of NRM transformation. 

Twitter: @supportpathways


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