Research

Health and Wellbeing Programme

What is safe and effective support for survivors of modern slavery? 


People who have lived in modern slavery have often experienced extreme physical, emotional and psychological abuse. This can lead to a range of complex physical and mental health challenges. Survivor support is a central tenet of local, national and international policy. Yet, the research evidence on which support provision is based often lacks survivor involvement and an understanding of what works and for whom.  

In our Health and Wellbeing programme, we combine learned experience (experts from health, public health, social sciences, medical anthropologists and political scientists) and lived experience (people who have experienced modern slavery). Our research is underpinned by a social-ecological approach and identifies the wider contextual factors that influence survivor health and wellbeing. This informs the implementation of evidence-based, survivor-informed health policy and support provision. 

For example, we are conducting research into modern slavery and public health, midwifery, and mental health, as well as into perpetrator behaviour and online harms. Our focus includes the core components of safe and effective support for survivors, and how can services be maximised to promote survivor health and wellbeing. We explore survivor conceptions of physical and mental health. Rather than taking a deficit approach (focusing on what is wrong with someone) we seek to understand survivors’ strengths and assets—and those of their communities—for supporting health and wellbeing. Through this work, we uncover makes support safe and effective—enabling survivors to thrive after enslavement.  

Lived experience is central to our work and we work with a Survivor Research Advisory Board (SRAB). Underpinned by best practice approaches to survivor involvement, the SRAB informs all aspects of our research, including study design, the development of participant resources, data and analysis, and policy and practice recommendations. 


Programme experts

Nicola Wright

Nicola Wright

Description
Rights Lab Associate Director (Health and Wellbeing Programme)
Andrea Nicholson

Andrea Nicholson

Description
Rights Lab Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations
Liz Such

Liz Such

Description
Rights Lab Anne McLaren Fellow in Modern Slavery and Public Health
Ben Brewster

Ben Brewster

Description
Rights Lab Nottingham Research Fellow in Modern Slavery Perpetration
Matthew Young

Matthew Young

Description
Rights Lab Research Fellow in Survivor Journeys and Support
Minh Dang

Minh Dang

Description
Rights Lab Research Fellow in Survivor Wellbeing and Scholarship
Kate Garbers

Kate Garbers

Description
Rights Lab Senior Research Fellow in Policy Evidence and Survivor Support
Holly Jones

Holly Jones

Description
Rights Lab Research Fellow in Communities and Societies and PhD Student in Mental Health and Wellbeing
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