Mental health support is one of the greatest gaps in the global antislavery response. When slaves are freed but given no support to rebuild their lives, many slide back into slavery. We are therefore pioneering a unique programme of therapeutic care for people coming out of enslavement. A culture- and cost-sensitive mental healthcare support package for survivors will address slavery’s aftermath. We are designing protocols that can be shared across agencies and in the wider field. Survivors are co-designing the programme with us. We will then adapt these recommendations for cost-effective care within low-resource settings. At the same time we are working to understand perpetrator behaviour and reasons for offending. This extensive examination of offenders’ narratives and motivations will help us develop the evidence base for therapeutic interventions. By understanding slaveholders’ behaviour, and sharing that knowledge with the therapists we train, we will improve the quality of therapeutic care.
As we work to achieve the goal of ending slavery, we need to listen to the antislavery ideas and solutions of enslaved people themselves: what do they suggest would enable their communities to become not just slavery-free but slavery-proof? We are creating, analysing and utilizing the first major development resource of contemporary slave narratives. We argue that contemporary slave narratives are a central facet of the antislavery agenda and we place survivors' ideas at the heart of the antislavery movement. This includes a mapping of survivor accounts onto the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to answer the question: which SDG achievements are more likely to prevent or end enslavement, from the point of view of slaves themselves? Underpinning all our work to uncover the Survivors’ Solution for ending slavery is our support for a Survivor Alliance: a survivor-led, national organizing body for survivor voices that builds survivor-leadership capacity.