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:
- How many slaves exist in the world and where are they?
- Why does slavery persist?
- What works to end slavery?
- What difference does freedom from slavery make to the world?
Each question forms a central Rights Lab programme, on Data, Survivors, Governance 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)
- Rights Lab Director
- Rights Lab Executive Director
- Rights Lab Research Director
- Rights Lab Deputy Director and Modern Slavery Evidence Unit Director
- Rights Lab Head of Operations
- Rights Lab Head of Philanthropy, Faculty of Social Sciences
- Rights Lab Head of Research Development
- Rights Lab Senior Research and Policy Fellow and Director of Strategic Projects
- Rights Lab Senior Administrator: Programme Coordination and Exec Team PA
- Rights Lab Senior Administrator: Partnerships, Marketing and Operations
- Rights Lab Director of Internships
- Rights Lab Internship Coordinator
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