Jess Sparks

Rights Lab Associate Director (Ecosystems and the Environment Programme) and Assistant Professor of Antislavery Ecosystems


Jess Sparks is the Associate Director of the Rights Lab's Ecosystems and Environment Programme and a Nottingham Research Fellow in Antislavery Ecosystems. Her research focuses on conceptualizing and quantifying the processes and interconnections that facilitate a modern slavery-environmental degradation-climate change nexus, specifically looking at the multidirectional relationships between fish stock declines and labour exploitation, including forced labour. She has also researched the presence of this nexus in the context of deforestation and sustainable food systems. Some her current research projects include a global port risk assessment of labour abuses; exploring the relationship between climate change and forced marriage; and carbon footprinting modern slavery. She has worked in the labour and human rights fields for over 15 years, first as a social worker and now as a researcher.


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