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Alex Henry

My work with the Rights Lab is based around the Antislavery Usable Past project. In particular I am looking into how images and photographs of the Holocaust have been used by museums and memorial sites around the world.

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Alison Gardner

Team Lead for the Rights Lab ‘Slavery-Free Communities’ initiative, working with statutory, business and voluntary-sector partners to develop policy and community-centred responses to modern slavery.

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Andrea Nicholson

Andrea Nicholson is a team lead with the Rights Lab, a university Beacon of Excellence, where she leads the project Survivors’ Solutions. Her research draws on history, cultures, literature and psychology to interpret the law and frameworks surrounding contemporary slavery, focusing on the value and application of survivors´ narratives to anti-slavery strategies.

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Bethany Jackson

My Rights Lab-funded research focuses on finding innovative ways to use geospatial technology to help combat the issue of contemporary slavery. I am a team member with the Slavery Observatory project.

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Blood and Bondage

One of the first casualties of conflict is the rule of law, and in the absence of legal protections slavery flourishes. The conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burma, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Northern Uganda, and more recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Syria, and Mali have all been marked by enslavement used as a weapon against vulnerable populations. The conflicts in both Afghanistan and Colombia, two of the most long-lasting and destructive wars this century, involved the extensive use of child soldiers. Today the conflict in the Middle East and the resulting refugee crisis is fuelling a rapid growth in human smuggling leading to trafficking and enslavement. Conflict is driving slavery and human trafficking, and the profits of trafficking then fuel combatant groups. At the same time, the past 20 years of experience in the liberation, rehabilitation, and reintegration of slaves has demonstrated a clear “freedom dividend” which strongly supports peace and stability. In this comprehensive study of slavery and conflict, we aim to show whether ending slavery significantly reduces the likelihood of conflict and breaks the cycle of pervasive violence. Our thesis: slavery breeds conflict, freedom births peace. We are explaining the historical and contemporary extent of slavery within conflict, the role that slavery plays in supporting and fostering conflict, the potential for a ‘peace dividend’ arising from slavery reduction and for a ‘freedom dividend’ arising from conflict reduction. We aim to help the global antislavery movement understand the process by which those enslaved in conflict can be brought to a sound footing in a free and safe society.

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Caroline Emberson

Caroline joined the University of Nottingham in March 2017. She is working, with Dr Alexander Trautrims, on the Rights Lab ‘Unchained supply’ project which engages closely with practitioners to better understand, and to effect change in, modern slavery supply chain risk.

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Charlotte James

A research associate for the Rights Lab’s Antislavery Usable Project, exploring the use of visual culture in the modern abolition movement. My focus is on murals and I am creating a database of modern antislavery murals across a variety of topics from around the world.

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Errolinda Ward

A Research Associate with the Rights Lab's Slavery-Free Communities project. One of my aims is to develop collaborative research with the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) and anti-slavery partnerships across the Midlands, building the evidence base for local and community-based anti-slavery interventions.

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Hannah Jeffery

“The Black Power movement represents a largely unchronicled epic in American history,” argues historian Peniel E. Joseph in his article “Rethinking the Black Power Era. This academic oversight catalysed a wave of Black Power studies in the 2000s, with scholars like Joseph and Paul Gardullo altering perceptions of the movement by expanding it from the parameters of the 1960s. This scholarship reconsiders the temporal, chronological and spatial frameworks that define the era, and my PhD will join this repertoire of Black Power scholarship by proposing the existence of a Long Black Power Movement.

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Hannah-Rose Murray

A research associate with the Rights Lab's Usable Past project, working on heritage and public history.

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Jessica Wardlaw

A Research Associate with the Rights Lab's Slavery Observatory project. My research interests span Geography (including Web GIS, cartography, spatial cognition and knowledge construction, health geography) and Human-Computer Interaction (from applied aspects such as user-centred design, usability engineering and design practice, to cognitive aspects including sense- and decision-making, information visualisation and affective interaction design), especially as it applies to geographical and so-called "Big" data. I am especially interested in the boundary between amateur and professional, and human and machine, capabilities.

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Juliana Semione

A research associate on the Slavery Free Communities project. I am passionate about facilitating and improving community partnerships so that those partnerships can improve care, services, and ultimately quality of life for survivors of modern slavery.

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Measuring Slavery

Only by measuring and understanding the scale of slavery can we effectively tackle it. Since 2013, the Walk Free Foundation has published the annual Global Slavery Index (GSI). The world’s only big data intervention into contemporary slavery, the GSI is a country by country estimation of slavery’s prevalence and the adequacy of response in 167 countries. The most recent edition covered 99% of the world’s population.   We help to refine the GSI's global metrics, further develop the data collection and analysis methodology to bring greater validity and reliability, incorporate new data on factors that make people vulnerable to enslavement, and develop new methodologies for particularly challenging countries that build on current methods.  We also dig deep into the GSI's unanalysed data to conduct in-depth analysis around key themes, for example the relationship between slavery’s prevalence and internal conflict, or between women’s physical integrity and rates of enslavement.

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Minh Dang

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.

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Professor Zoe Trodd

Zoe Trodd is the Director of the Rights Lab, and an expert on antislavery past and present. Her focus is multidisciplinary strategies for ending slavery.

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Runa Lazzarino

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.

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Slavery-Free Communities

Even as we tackle slavery as a global problem, we recognise the importance of local action and offer the first major examination of slavery as a local issue. This is lodged in our work to help make Nottingham the world’s first slavery-free city. We test the ‘theories of change’ underlying policy responses to modern slavery, highlight evidence for good practice, adapt and apply the latest theories on the dynamics of social practice to local policy on slavery, and share transferable, scalable and sustainable policies that can help communities to become slavery-free. Throughout we build, test, and disseminate collaborative multi-agency policy responses to slavery, which can be adapted to a wide variety of settings. We share learning from the project nationally and tap into public sector networks to explore how our methods might be applied within varying local contexts and governance institutions. We are drawing up comparisons with other locality-based antislavery initiatives in the UK, and hope to roll out a city-based process nationally then develop a transferable model for developing countries with our NGO partners.  

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The Antislavery Ecosystem

We are demonstrating the tight connection between ending slavery and reducing environmental destruction. Our preliminary research shows that if slavery were a country, it would have a population of some 46 million people and the gross domestic product of Angola (in global terms a small and poor nation), yet would be the third largest emitter of CO2 (2.54 billion tons per year) in the world after China (7.39 billion tons) and the United States (5.58 billion tons). Responding to this, we are completing the world’s largest study on the relationship between slavery and ecosystems. This work will: Compile, synthesise and integrate spatial data on the landscape changes that result from slavery activities and calculate the environmental costs of these activities and the potential gains that stem from curtailing slavery, with a focus on carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services. Explore the values associated with environmental gains, their capacity to be captured in environmental markets, and their ability to help fund slavery prevention and abolition efforts. Explore links between ecological resilience and human vulnerability as a precondition to enslavement.

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The Antislavery Usable Past

We offer the largest ever investigation and application of abolitionist lessons for contemporary antislavery.We seek a usable past of antislavery lessons, examples and methods. Theorising and embedding past antislavery as a protest memory—memory of protest used to protest—we emphasise that the antislavery usable past is a way to change the future. We champion the innovative use of heritage as a resource for social change. We map and monitor at-risk slavery heritage sites in countries and regions where slavery is endemic today, and we work with the heritage sector to embed contemporary antislavery in these memory organizations. We recover and utilise antislavery archives as a resource for new antislavery work. This impacts third sector archival practice and help to build institutional memory across civil society for the 2030 implementation work. At the same time, we are uncovering lesser known histories of slavery and antislavery as usable pasts for contemporary antislavery work, including the history of global indentured labour, the history of prostitution, and the history of definitional debates. We also explore the rich visual culture of contemporary antislavery, including artwork by former slaves. As in the 18th and 19th centuries, antislavery campaigners and artists use imagery to educate, change the debate, visualise liberation and propose solutions. Yet no one has gathered, examined or theorised this vibrant and ubiquitous imagery. We are therefore conducting the most extensive examination to date of contemporary antislavery visual culture. Archiving it as a digital resource, we are analysing its dynamics and offering today’s antislavery movement access to a much wider range of potential images and icons from which to draw.

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The Care & Custody Lever

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.