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Pioneering work building slavery-free communities

Farmer John Hammond help uncover and prosecute a slave master who was exploiting labours. The Modern Slavery Partnership was launched on his farm in 2017.

Pioneering work building slavery-free communities

Rights Lab research has informed local initiatives to create sustainable and resilient communities where slavery cannot flourish.

The Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham is the world’s first large-scale research platform for ending slavery, tackling one of the great human rights issues of our time.

The globally-recognised research team provides practical and research support to an innovative anti-slavery partnership here at home, bringing together a wide range of organisations across the area fighting to make Nottingham the first slavery-free community.

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Modern Slavery Partnership brings together key stakeholders including Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, government agencies, both universities, local businesses, churches, charities and the Police.

On Anti-Slavery Day in 2017, leaders in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire signed a pledge to end modern slavery and have since overseen the training of more than 1,000 frontline staff in public services and the voluntary sector.

Farmer John Hammond help uncover and prosecute a slave master who was exploiting labours. The Modern Slavery Partnership was launched on his farm in 2017

With an estimated 10,000-13,000 victims of modern slavery and human trafficking across the UK, exploitation can be hidden in plain sight within our workplaces or neighbourhoods, a phenomenon described as “the slave next door” by modern slavery experts Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter.

The partnership have carried out awareness-raising and information sessions with diverse community groups, undertaken targeted business engagement and created new ways to support survivors over the long term. With Rights Lab support they are currently working on a shared ‘problem profile’ to develop a deeper understanding of local exploitation and improve the targeting of future interventions.

This place-based approach to addressing slavery has received growing support in other communities, with Birmingham and Sandwell following suit. On Anti-Slavery Day 2019, City and County leaders called on more villages, towns, and cities across the UK to join them and commit to making their communities slavery-free.

“Local civic leadership can play a critical role in addressing slavery, including raising public awareness, providing training for frontline staff, promoting a slavery-free economy, and co-ordinating improved support services.”

Dr Alison Gardner, Associate Director for Communities and Society, The Rights Lab, University of Nottingham.