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Slavery & Unfree Labour News Stories

Colleagues from across the Slavery & Unfree Labour research theme contribute to a range of activities, events and projects. Here you can keep up to date with all the latest news and announcements.

News: How distressed call to BBC helped rescue of six women trapped in refrigerated lorry in France (BBC, 29 September 2023)

Report: Engagement of lived experience in international policy and programming (December 2023)

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre has published a new report on Engagement of lived experience in international policy and programming as the culmination of MS PEC work led by University of Liverpool researchers and commissioned by the FCDO.

A research summary, the full report, 6 regional reports authored by regional consultants and a methods annex can all be found on the Centre's website.

A podcast on the report featuring Dr Wendy Asquith, Research Fellow at the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, and Dr Allen Kiconco, who collaborated with Professor Alex Balch and Dr Asquith on leading the research has also been produced. Listen to the podcast here.

You can also read a blog that summarises 5 examples of good practice identified by the project.

Home Office reclassifies modern slavery as illegal immigration issue (Guardian UK, 13 Oct 2022)

‘Modern-day slavery’: Kenyan domestic workers tell of abuse in Saudi Arabia (Guardian UK, 27 Sept 2022)

‘Modern-day slavery’: Kenyan domestic workers tell of abuse in Saudi Arabia (Guardian UK, 27 Sept 2022)

Home Office accused of deliberately leaving anti-slavery post unfilled (Guardian UK, 29 Aug 2022)

University researchers cited in Crown Commercial Service Modern Slavery Statement (December 2021)

Ministerial government departments have, for the first time ever, voluntarily published their first annual modern slavery statements setting out how they are tackling the potential risk of modern slavery in their supply chains.

Two research projects by Dr Bruce Pinnington and Dr Jo Meehan are highlighted in the modern slavery statement by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). CCS is the largest public procurement organisation in the UK, responsible for commercial agreements for Government Departments and the wider public sector to access and buy goods and services circa £22.7 billion annually.

Bruce and Jo have been working with CCS since 2018 to help government departments build an understanding of how effectively modern slavery prevention is being put into practice across supply chains. To date, ten PhD and MSc students from ULMS have also been involved in the research programme.

CCS’s statement can be found here.

Impact of Covid-19 on management of supply chains report published (July 2021)

This report, entitled Implications of Covid-19 for modern slavery challenges in supply chain management, was developed by Dr Bruce Pinnington and Dr Joanne Meehan from the University of Liverpool Management School and Dr Alex Trautrims from the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham. 

This research looked at procurement and supply chain managers’ perceptions of the impact of Covid-19 on their firms’ commitment to addressing modern slavery in their supply chains.

Read more on this research project and the full report here.

University of Liverpool publishes independent review of the Hope for Justice IMSA model (June 2021)

An independent review of the groundbreaking approach to supporting survivors of modern slavery in the UK taken by charity Hope for Justice, carried out by a University of Liverpool researcher, was a “key driver” in the creation of a new partnership endorsed by the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Find out more about the independent review here.

Stephen Kenny interviewed by Philadelphia-based Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Stephen Kenny scrutinizes the career of surgeon Rudolph Matas, the so-called "father of vascular surgery." Kenny demonstrates how his life and work must be understood in the context of segregation in the U.S. South and the racialized medicine that was practiced there in the 19th and 20th centuries. He also highlights the ways in which Matas used medical photography to legitimate an ideologically driven racialized research agenda. 

Listen here

Watch on YouTube here

Fashion brands should engage "more proactively" around sustainability on social media

University of Liverpool analysis suggests brands' current approach may be “counter-productive”.

Dr Katia Balabanova and her team in the University’s Department of Communication and Media, drilled down into tweets posted through July 2019 across two particular case studies, in order to explore how ethics and sustainability are discussed online.

Blog: We should integrate modern slavery into UK international development priorities
Professor Alex Balch writes on the Modern Slavery Evidence Centre about the opportunities to integrate modern slavery across all priorities in the light of a range of changes to the UK's approach to international development. This coincided with Alex's appearance on the Parliamentary International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact.

University of Liverpool team author first Policy Brief for the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre
Professor Alex Balch, Helen Bryant, and Olly Kennedy have produced a Policy Brief for the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre.

Slavery & Unfree Labour Research Theme Brochure
To mark Anti-Slavery Day (18 October) 2020, the Slavery & Unfree Labour research theme published a review of the projects undertaken within, and colleagues contributing to, the theme from across the University.

Watch the 'Eradicating Modern Slavery Debate' with Dame Sara Thornton
To mark the appointment of the UK’s independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton as Honorary Professor in Modern Slavery, representatives from the University of Liverpool, the Centre for the Study of International Slavery and the city’s International Slavery Museum held an online ‘Eradicating Modern Slavery Debate: Insights, Exhibits, and Actions’ panel discussion on 14 October. Watch it below.

UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner appointed Honorary Professor in Modern Slavery
The University of Liverpool was delighted to announce the appointment of UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton to the post of Honorary Professor in Modern Slavery.

Management School researchers investigate modern slavery in the Liverpool City Region
Dr Jo Meehan, Senior Lecturer, and Olly Kennedy, PhD student, have been carrying out an investigation, in partnership with the Liverpool Combined Authority and the Heseltine Institute, to uncover the attitudes and awareness to modern slavery in the Liverpool City Region.


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