Research

Data and Measurement Programme

How many slaves exist in the world, and where are they?

 Our Data and Measurement Programme is asking: how many slaves are there in the world, and where are they? In order to tackle modern slavery, we need to know how many people are enslaved and where they are. Robust measurement and analysis give the antislavery movement credibility, confidence and the foundations from which to build effective action: governments need to be able to measure slavery prevalence in order to design and resource appropriate policy responses; an accurate understanding of the location and prevalence of slavery can help NGOs plan more effective programmes on the ground; and businesses benefit from understanding slavery prevalence linked to particular commodities.

 In the Rights Lab’s Data and Measurement Programme, geographers, political scientists, sociologists, mathematicians and business systems specialists have made globally recognised advances in measuring the risk and prevalence of modern slavery. As part of that work, our Slavery from Space initiative is the first use of geospatial observation to map and measure slavery. Using new machine-learning techniques and citizen science, the team has uncovered sites and industries with high levels of slavery. We now estimate that more of a third of the world’s slavery—trapping 40 million people—is visible from space.

 For example, we have joined with the United Nations University’s Delta 8.7 project and other partners to launch Code 8.7 at the UN headquarters. This global network is using computational science and AI to tackle modern slavery. As part of Code 8.7, we are now bringing together multiple partners to deliver a Global Antislavery Observatory: close-to-real time mapping of slavery sites via geospatial observation and other non-standard, novel data streams. Working with data providers, imagery analysts and AI experts, the Observatory is harnessing the value of satellite data for antislavery action. We can analyse satellite imagery and find and predict the locations of high-prevalence industries and hotspots.


Programme experts

Doreen Boyd

Doreen Boyd

Description
Rights Lab Associate Director (Data and Measurement Programme) and Professor of Earth Observation
Bernard Silverman

Bernard Silverman

Description
Rights Lab Professor of Modern Slavery Statistics
Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

Description
Rights Lab Associate Professor of Human Rights and Social Movements
Siddharth Kara

Siddharth Kara

Description
British Academy Global Professor and Rights Lab Associate Professor of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
James Goulding

James Goulding

Description
Rights Lab Assistant Professor in Business Analytics
Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown

Description
Rights Lab Research Fellow in Antislavery Remote Sensing
Giles Foody

Giles Foody

Description
Rights Lab Professor of Geographical Information Science
Benjamin Lucas

Benjamin Lucas

Description
Rights Lab Assistant Professor in Marketing
Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith

Description
Rights Lab Assistant Professor in Business Analytics
Stuart Marsh

Stuart Marsh

Description
Rights Lab Professor of Geospatial Engineering
Bertrand Perrat

Bertrand Perrat

Description
Rights Lab Assistant Professor in Business Analytics
Meryem Duygun

Meryem Duygun

Description
Rights Lab Professor of Banking and Finance
Renoy Girindran

Renoy Girindran

Description
Rights Lab Research Associate in Antislavery Data and Technologies
Liana Bravo

Liana Bravo

Description
Rights Lab Research Associate in Data Analytics and Web Monitoring
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