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Insights and recommendations from the “Equity in Evidence” research conference

September 12, 2023

The conference “Equity in Evidence: fusing lived experience and community knowledge into research to end human trafficking” brought together 93 anti-trafficking experts from around the world to gather in London, UK. Participants included people with lived experience of modern slavery, researchers, policymakers, donors and other professionals in the global movement to tackle modern slavery. This gathering is a collaboration between The Freedom Fund, the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre.

Through nine panel discussions, the event aimed to address gaps in how current research is funded, designed, implemented and disseminated – often without the involvement of, or alignment with, the priorities of people with lived experience, slavery-affected communities and local research experts.

There was a clear consensus about the need to include people with lived experience in all stages of research, especially during the formative phases of setting research agendas and in deciding which projects are to be funded. This is a powerful mechanism for people with lived experience and for slavery-affected communities to find their own solutions and drive change. Also, the way in which research results are disseminated is crucial for shifting the power of research back to people with lived experience.

The post-conference report summarises the main findings and insights from the discussions, as well as recommendations on how to define, measure, record and share evidence and lessons from anti-trafficking research. It also outlines good practices and serious challenges in implementing and utilising research in slavery-affected communities.

Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the seven members of the Advisory Group. Over the past nine months, they have provided invaluable guidance to make the conference more responsive to the needs of different participants, including those with lived experience of modern slavery. They have also written a separate blog reflecting on the conference discussion which can be accessed here.

Photo: JDot Films/The Freedom Fund

Written by
The Freedom Fund