The Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice is a thought leader in the effort to address forced labour worldwide. We support community partners addressing modern slavery internationally and in the UK through our research, clinics, and consultation.
The Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice has developed a significant strength in community-based research and collaboration on modern slavery and human trafficking. Our staff work on projects around the globe, tackling the issue of forced labour with a community-based, human rights approach. We conduct applied research, provide legal counsel and advocacy services, train communities, produce guidance, and provide subject matter expertise for a vast array of stakeholders including, legislatures and government agencies, advocacy groups, international non-profits, police departments, and corporations. Our team has diverse expertise in the area, with strengths in the areas of child trafficking, asylum and refugees advocacy, survivor testimony, forensic interviewing, migration, gender-based violence, policing, and international forced labour.
Some of our recent projects include
collaborating with local authorities across the UK to assess their response to child trafficking;
collaborating with the government of Scotland to create a guardianship pilot for supporting separated children, many of whom had been trafficked;
supporting the development of modern slavery data collaborations in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands.
conducting an analysis of a joint human trafficking investigation led by South Yorkshire and Latvian police;
conducting research on forced labour in the Uyghur region of China, for use by advocates, governments, and corporations;
conducting a study of Indian labourers who revolted against the landowners who held them in debt bondage for generations;
researching sex and labour trafficking among homeless youth in ten cities across the United States and Canada;
creating guidance for U.S. homeless youth serving organizations about how to assist youth who have been trafficked;
conducting a systematic review of the literature on European, American, UK, and Canadian health systems approaches to trafficking for the World Health Organization;
conducting a quality of life survey with survivors of human trafficking in the US;
providing oral evidence and subject matter expertise to Scottish trafficking enquiry led by Baroness Helena Kennedy and at high level government strategy groups in Scotland and UK;
consulting for ECPAT UK and leading a Home Office funded project working directly with selected Local Authorities analysing their response to both in and out of country child trafficking.
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities
UK Home Office
Department of Education
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
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Contact the Helena Kennedy Centre to discuss facilities, partnerships, doctoral research and more
Murphy, Laura T., The New Slave Narrative: The Battle Over Representations of Contemporary Slavery (New York Columbia University Press, 2019)
Murphy, Laura T., Survivors of Slavery: Modern-Day Slave Narratives (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014)
Paterson, Craig, Severns, Richard and Brogan, Souadou (2020), The Transnational Investigation of Modern Slavery.International Journal of Crisis Communication. 4: 11-22.
Bales, Kevin, Bernard Silverman, and Laura T. Murphy, How Many Trafficked People Are There in the Greater New Orleans Area?: Lessons in Measurement.Journal of Human Trafficking(August 2019).
Peroni, Lourdes, The Protection of Women Asylum Seekers under the ECHR: Unearthing the Gendered Roots of Harm.18(2) Human Rights Law Review (2018) 347–370
Peroni, Lourdes, The Borders that Disadvantage Migrant Women in Enjoying Human Rights.36(2) Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights(2018) 93-110
Murphy, Laura T. and Esther de Bruijn, Trading in Innocence: Slave-Shaming in Ghanaian Children’s Market Literature.Journal of African Cultural Studies 30:3 (Summer 2018).
Murphy, Laura T., Anti-Trafficking’s Sensational Misinformation. Journal of Human Trafficking. 4:1 (January 2018). Special Issue on “Media and Human Trafficking: Negotiating Meaning, Representation, and Change.”
Murphy, Laura T., On Freedom and Complexity in The (Captive) Nation.Journal of the African Literature Association12:1 (January 2018). Special issue honouring Biodun Jeyifo.
Reports and White Papers
Murphy, Laura T., Peter Geller, and Hanni Stoklosa, What Can Health Systems do to Prevent and Respond to Human Trafficking.Scoping Review. World Health Organization Health Evidence Network Report 72. Forthcoming Summer 2021.