Research

About the Rights Lab

There are 40.3 million people enslaved around the world today. The global modern antislavery effort is nearly 20 years old and a commitment to end slavery by 2030 is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (target 8.7). But we lack long-term, robust, evidence-based strategies for abolition.

We have therefore built the world’s first large-scale research platform for ending slavery. We tackle a key challenge of global development and what the Prime Minister has called “the great human rights issue of our time.” The largest group of modern slavery scholars in the world, and home to the world’s leading academic experts on modern slavery, the Rights Lab is underpinning antislavery with an advanced research agenda.

Our team of more than 100 academics on campus is answering four main questions:

  1. How many slaves exist in the world and where are they?
  2. Why does slavery persist?
  3. What works to end slavery?
  4. What difference does freedom from slavery make to the world?

Each question forms a central Rights Lab programme, on Data, Survivors, Policy and Business, led by our four Associate Directors and staffed by senior and early-career scholars who work closely with our NGO, business, policy and slavery survivor partners around the world.

Research to help end modern slavery by 2030

As a Lab, we are an experimental space. We bring diverse methods to bear on a critical problem, without adherence to disciplinary boundaries. We leverage the theories and methods from political science, law, sociology, history, geospatial science, computer science, corpus linguistics, and mental health, among numerous other disciplines, and mix methods, data, tools, and techniques into the best combination for solving a real-world problem.

As a Lab, we also take practical application as our main purpose. We have built our transdisciplinary approach upon a fusion of rigorous empirical research and advocacy. As our programmes unfold, we use their results to update what we call a Freedom Blueprint: a plan for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 – the end of slavery.

We update this roadmap as we make discoveries, test intervention techniques, and complete our evaluation processes. We hope it will offer a global plan for what everyone must do – individuals, communities, businesses, national governments, corporations, and intergovernmental organisations – to achieve a slavery-free world by 2030.

Download our brochure (1.1 MB, PDF)

Leadership Team

Zoe Trodd

Zoe Trodd

Description
Rights Lab Director
Todd Landman

Todd Landman

Description
Rights Lab Executive Director
Kevin Bales

Kevin Bales

Description
Rights Lab Research Director
Nathalie Walters

Nathalie Walters

Description
Rights Lab Head of Operations
Sarah Kerr

Sarah Kerr

Description
Rights Lab Head of Policy, Partnerships and Impact
Sam Cousens

Sam Cousens

Description
Rights Lab Head of Philanthropy, Faculty of Social Sciences
Nick Wright

Nick Wright

Description
Rights Lab Head of Research Development
Arianne Griffith

Arianne Griffith

Description
Rights Lab Senior Research and Policy Fellow and Director of Strategic Projects
Jacqui Clay

Jacqui Clay

Description
Rights Lab Senior Administrator: Programme Coordination and Exec Team PA
Helen Taylor

Helen Taylor

Description
Rights Lab Senior Administrator: Partnerships, Marketing and Operations
Charlotte Lloyd

Charlotte Lloyd

Description
Rights Lab Research Officer
Steve Vaccarini

Steve Vaccarini

Description
Rights Lab Director of Internships
Olivia Wright

Olivia Wright

Description
Rights Lab Internship Coordinator

Useful Links

 
Back to the top

World-class research at the University of Nottingham

University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD
+44 (0) 115 951 5151
research@nottingham.ac.uk
Athena Swan Logo