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 to achieve this goal, we need 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 one of the great human rights issues 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 is answering five big questions:
1. How many slaves exist in the world and where are they?
2. Why does slavery persist?
3. What factors underpin resilience against slavery?
4. How can we close the implementation gap?
5. What difference does freedom make?
Each question forms a central Rights Lab programme, on Data and Measurement, Survivors and Cultures, Communities and Society, Law and Policy, and Business and Economies, led by our five 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.
Then, through our Modern Slavery Evidence Unit (MSEU) we bring together all of the Rights Lab’s research to ask a final big question: what works to end slavery?
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 2019 Innovation Update (PDF)
- Rights Lab Director
- Rights Lab Executive Director
- Rights Lab Research Director
- Rights Lab Head of Operations
- Rights Lab Head of Research Development
- Rights Lab Research Development Officer
- Rights Lab Senior Administrator: Programme Coordination and Exec Team PA
- Rights Lab Senior Administrator: Partnerships, Marketing and Operations
- Rights Lab Business Administration Apprentice
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