Partnerships with academia

The Commissioner has developed partnerships with academic and research institutions, and has promoted external high quality quantitative and qualitative research into modern slavery issues in order to fill key evidence gaps and develop a stronger evidence base.


Until recently little has been known about the nature and scale of modern slavery in the UK. The Commissioner therefore believes research is essential if we are to dispel myths and get to the heart of the problem.

The only way to eradicate modern slavery is from a position of understanding, taking evidence-led action to improve prevention, intensify the pursuit of criminals and bolster victim care.  High quality research is a crucial tool in the fight against this crime.


The Commissioner has strengthened his relationships with talented researchers across multiple institutions. In addition to commissioning research and using the latest evidence, the Commissioner has partnered on four projects. These include the first ever mapping of multi-agency partnerships in the UK and an assessment of the ingredients for successful partnership working; a delphi study which will assess understandings of modern slavery in supply chains between supply chain managers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs); the UK’s first compendium of modern slavery research; and finally, an ambitious research project which will examine the dynamic interaction between climate change and vulnerability to modern slavery.

The UK’s first compendium of modern slavery research is being developed in partnership with the University of Nottingham to map out who is working on this issue, what research they are undertaking and where more needs to be done to strengthen the modern slavery evidence base.

To examine the climate change-modern slavery nexus, the Commissioner has partnered with Royal Holloway, University of London. The research will address the knowledge gap on the dynamic interaction between climate change and vulnerability to modern slavery by drawing on the experiences of brick-kiln workers and their villages in Cambodia.

The Commissioner has also supported the production of high quality knowledge by sitting on several research advisory panels, including the Independent Child Trafficking Advocate’s Independent Expert Advisory Panel, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) modern slavery inspection, and the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) modern slavery inspection.

At an international level, the Commissioner has been appointed as a member of the US State Department led Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Advisory Council of the McCain Institute of Arizona University. In addition, the Commissioner has contributed to setting the analytical direction of Alliance 8.7.

Other areas of focus

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