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 survivors 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, including those of children, 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: an international survivor-led organization that focuses on leadership development and capacity building for survivors of slavery and human trafficking.
I am a sociologist and criminologist working as a researcher within the Rights Lab Care and Custody Lever team.
A Ph.D. Student in the School of Politics and International Relations studying the wellbeing of survivors of human trafficking and slavery. She is a member of the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, where she will launch the Survivor Alliance, a leadership capacity-building organization for survivors of slavery and human trafficking.
A part-time research fellow within the Care and Custody Lever which aims at understanding both survivors and perpetrators’ mental health needs in order to pioneer an ad hoc therapeutic programme. I started investigating human trafficking and post-slavery life in 2010.