Skip Content

Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business

This programme supports policy-oriented research aimed at promoting immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

Current projects

Programme part of

International

We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.

More about the programme

This programme funds excellent, policy-oriented research, aimed at addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and advancing the UK’s Aid Strategy, including a particular focus on Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 (SDG 8.7). SDG 8.7 is about taking immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. The British Academy delivers this programme in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development.

Many of the estimated 45 million people enslaved in the world, and 75 million children employed in hazardous work, are employed within global supply chains. Not tackling these problems exposes companies to economic and reputational risks, as investors and consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the ethical performance of the companies they engage with, including human rights risks. Yet, businesses often do not know how to respond effectively to these challenges. They tend to be reliant on tools, such as social auditing, to detect risks within their supply chains (these social audits are rarely open to public scrutiny). They also cannot be fully sure that any programmes they run to tackle modern slavery and child labour are effective, or whether their responses to these problems actually drive bad practice even further underground.

Current understanding of what works in addressing slavery, human trafficking and child labour is very limited. Our programme on Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business aims to fill the existing evidence gaps, investigate what works at scale and inform the development of more effective interventions by policy makers and the business community in the UK and overseas.

Read the special edition of the Journal of the British Academy dedicated to the research projects funded under this programme.

Programme Outcomes

Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business: Research Findings and Recommendations

Clothes, Chocolate and Children: Bitter-Sweet Realities in the Cocoa and ‘Fast Fashion’ Global Supply Chains

Linking Decent Work with Economic Growth: a Case Study from the South Indian Garment Industry

Migrants, Brokers and the State in Ghana and Myanmar: Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery or Agents of Change?

Fishing for Export: Informal Business Practices Within the Indonesian Seafood Sector

Contesting the ‘Trafficking and Modern Slavery’ Frame: Business and Sex Work in Jamaica’s Tourism Industry

Considering Ethics Alongside Efficacy of Worker Voice Technologies in Combating Modern Slavery

Criss-Crossing Legal Systems: the Effectiveness of Modern Slavery Legislation in a Transnational (Brazil-UK) Framework

Pulling the Thread: Engagement with the UK Modern Slavery Act from a Global Fashion and Textile Industry Perspective

Please contact badfid@thebritishacademy.ac.uk or call 020 7969 5220 for further information.