Current PhD projects


Decolonising capacity “building” in the international modern slavery response sector 


Rights Lab project lead: Toluwanimi Jaiyebo 
Programme: Communities and Society

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The international development sector has increasingly shown commitment to ideals such as localisation, collaboration, and shifting of power. At the same time, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, has brought to the fore the issues of racism, oppression, and colonisation within international antislavery sub-sector. It is engrained in international development culture and exemplified in the practice of capacity “building” that expertise is centred in the global north, failing to acknowledge what can be learnt from peers from the Global South.

 Using Participatory Action Research, the objectives of this research are to critically review the literature on decolonisation and capacity “building” theories, to build the case for the decolonisation of global south and global north partnerships in the modern slavery sector. Secondly, study the challenges to decolonising capacity development in the antislavery sector and lastly, develop a model for decolonising capacity development in the antislavery sector to further the theoretical discourse, and to improve antislavery practice.



What enables (and precludes) effective international cooperation on modern-slavery and human trafficking between the countries of destination and those of origin”


Rights Lab project lead: Robert Marin
Programme: Communities and Society

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Taking an evidence-based micro-level approach, the research will aim to identify what enables (and precludes) effective international cooperation in the area of modern slavery between the countries of origin and those of destination. It will further attempt, employing an original mixed-methods research design, to “twin” together the main regions in the two jurisdictions, potentially providing a better foundation for the development of policy and practical measures. Given the changes generated by Brexit, the study will also attempt to explore the subsequent impact on the ability of the UK to cooperate with the EU Member States on modern slavery by benchmarking the findings against the pre-Brexit British-Romanian relationship. The research will be focused on collaboration between the UK and Romania, given their extensive collaboration efforts before Brexit and (or as a result) the high prevalence of Romanian victims identified in the UK.