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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

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. 

Laura Murphy in India interviewing people

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.

Funding partners

Foreign and Commonwealth Office logo

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The British Academy logo

British Academy

National Endowment for the Humanities logo

U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities

Home Office logo

UK Home Office

Scottish Government logo

Scottish Government

Department for Education logo

Department of Education

People's Postcode Lottery logo

Postcode Lottery

Paul Hamlyn Foundation logo

Paul Hamlyn Foundation


Get in touch

Contact the Helena Kennedy Centre to discuss facilities, partnerships, doctoral research and more

Email us

Publications

International Submissions

Tobin, David, Laura T. Murphy, Rian Thum, Rachel Harris, and Jo Smith Finley, State Violence in Xinjiang: A Comprehensive Assessment (PDF, 13.7MB). Submission to the Uyghur Tribunal, London, June 4-7, 2021.

Murphy, Laura T. and Shawn Bhimani (2021), Submission to Inquiry into the Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced By Uyghur Forced Labour) Bill 2020, Submission to Australian Parliament.

Bundschuh, Thomas (with Lourdes Peroni and Matthew Sands) (2020), Comments on the CEDAW draft General Recommendation on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration, Submission to CEDAW on behalf of the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University

Murphy, Laura T. and Shawn Bhimani (2020), Xinjiang Forced Labour and the UK Supply Chain, Submission to UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Forced Labour in Xinjiang China. October 2020.

Bundschuh, Thomas (with Lourdes Peroni and Matthew Sands) (2019), Written Statement to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women for its half-day general discussion on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration, February 2019.

Bundschuh, Thomas (2019), Oral Intervention on behalf of the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University, General Discussion on Trafficking - 1667th Meeting, 72nd Session Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 22 Feb 2019 - General Discussion on Trafficking.

Elimä, Nyrola (2021), Forced Labour and the Xinjiang Solar Industry. Statement before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Books

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)

Journal articles

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 Association 12:1 (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.

Severns, Richard, Paterson, Craig and Souadou Brogan (2020), The Transnational Investigation of Organised Modern Slavery: A Review of the Literature.

Severns, Richard, Paterson, Craig and Souadou Brogan (2019), The Transnational Investigation of Organised Modern Slavery. An Evaluation of the use of Joint Investigation Teams to investigate and disrupt transnational modern slavery in the United Kingdom.

Murphy, Laura T., Sex and Labor Trafficking Among Homeless Youth: A Ten-City Study. Loyola University Modern Slavery Research Project. April 2017.

Research team

Laura Murphy

Laura T. Murphy

Professor of Human Rights and Contemporary Slavery

Laura Murphy's staff profile
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Clare Tudor

Director of the HKC Refugee Rights Hub / Lecturer

Clare Tudor's staff profile
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Craig Paterson

Postgraduate Lead & Deputy Head of Policing

Craig Paterson's staff profile
Matthew Sands

Matthew Sands

Lecturer in Human Rights Law

Matthew Sands' staff profile
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Lourdes Peroni

Senior Lecturer in Human Rights

Lourdes Peroni's staff profile
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Thomas Bundschuh

Senior Lecturer in Human Rights

Thomas Bundschuh's staff profile

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