Research

Ecosystems and the Environment

How is environmental change interconnected with modern slavery?fishing1

Our Ecosystems and the Environment Programme is asking: how is environmental change interconnected with modern slavery? Our emergent research demonstrates that modern slavery activities create, exacerbate, and are preconditioned by climate change and environmental degradation. Better understanding this nexus is imperative to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and advancing a more equitable and ecologically resilient and adaptive society in the context of a warming Earth, altered ecosystems, and environmentally-induced migration.

 In the Rights Lab’s Ecosystems and the Environment Programme, environmental scientists, geographers, development studies experts, and sustainable business specialists are working across disciplines to identify, understand, and measure how modern slavery immediately and distally contribute to climate change and environmental degradation, and how climate change and environmental degradation, in turn, increase vulnerabilities to slavery. This includes mapping the ecological dimensions of human vulnerability to modern slavery and the synchronous occurrence of environmental degradation and modern slavery in agricultural, forest, marine, and freshwater ecosystems.

 For example, with partners we are producing the first global risk map of fishing ports vulnerable to illegal fishing and/or modern slavery based on primary data. From this, front-line responders and other partners are allocating services to more efficaciously combat modern slavery in capture fisheries. Additionally, we are advancing the narrative of the slavery-environmental degradation nexus from conceptual to empirical by moving beyond the use of extrapolated data and proxies to collect empirical qualitative and quantitative evidence to build models to aid in causal inferencing.

 

 Programme Experts

 

 

 

Rob Caruana

Rob Caruana

Rights Lab Professor of Business Ethics

 

 

Lara Bianchi

Lara Bianchi

Rights Lab Assistant Professor in Business and Society

 

 

 

World-class research at the University of Nottingham

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