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Slavery Research Bulletin: 15 March 2023

March 15, 2023

Welcome to the Freedom Fund’s monthly bulletin designed to bring you new and compelling research from the global anti-slavery movement.

Labour rights overlooked by certification schemes in the seafood sector

Human Rights at Sea reviews 40 active fishery and aquaculture certification schemes for their consideration of human rights protections, benchmarking them against 16 key performance indicators derived from international conventions and legal standards. Based on secondary data analysis and discussions with experts, it found that 52 percent of fisheries and 41 percent of aquaculture programs did not satisfy one single indicator, and that transparency and remediation were rarely addressed.

Characteristics of recruiters as reported by survivors of trafficking

A joint study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) investigates the characteristics of recruiters used by survivors of trafficking. Drawing on IOM’s Global Victim of Trafficking Database containing cases data on over 49,000 survivors, the analysis found that 81 percent of survivors were recruited in some way. While recruiters were most commonly strangers (48 percent), a sizeable proportion (37 percent) of survivors reported knowing their recruiter as family members, partners or acquaintances.

Recovery and reintegration outcomes as defined by survivors

The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre presents a set of seven core outcomes that should serve as a minimum standard for adult survivors’ recovery, healing, well-being and reintegration. Using a participatory approach which includes 46 interviews with survivors, stakeholder workshops, and a survivor-driven consensus building process, the resulting outcomes moves away from a model where the expectation for achieving recovery is placed on survivors. Instead, the framework emphasises the structural barriers faced by survivors and the importance of public institutions and inter-agency collaboration.

Evaluating a web-based edutainment program targeting perpetrators in Vietnam

Research led by Emory University evaluates the effectiveness of an online ‘edutainment’ program on sexual violence behaviours among university men in Vietnam. The study found that 12 months after the intervention, men exposed to the program were 13 percent less likely to report sexually violent behaviour and 13 percent more likely to engage in prosocial bystander behaviour. The gap between the intervention and control groups narrowed between six- and 12-month post-intervention, illustrating the importance of longer-term measures to assess impact.

The prevalence and dynamics of child labour in India 

Researchers from Manchester University estimate the prevalence of child labour and children working long hours in India. Drawing on data from the 2019 Indian Time Use Survey conducted with 447,250 individuals, covering both children under formal employment and unpaid work, the study reveals that seven percent of children aged 6 to 17 were considered child labourers in 2019 – equivalent to 21 million children across India. It also found that there were more girls than boys in child labour once long hours of domestic work were taken into account.

Read on

ODI examines the exploitation of labour migrants in Southeast Asia and emphasises the importance of going beyond the dominant criminal justice response.

Global Fishing Watch shares learnings from deploying a machine learning algorithm that uses vessel characteristics and movement patterns to identify forced labour risks.

Winrock International and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab launches a monitoring and evaluation toolkit for measuring the effectiveness of anti-trafficking responses.

Freedom Fund news

The Freedom Fund is granting up to USD 20k to human rights groups and activists who plan to submit evidence of forced labour and conduct follow-up advocacy under the US Tariff Act. Apply by 24th March.

Visit our Newsroom for more updates.

Research library

Visit our Slavery Research Library to access anti-slavery resources from across the globe.


Our team would love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

The Slavery Research Bulletin is produced monthly by the Freedom Fund, a global fund with the sole aim of helping end modern slavery.

Research being featured in this bulletin does not equal endorsement by the Freedom Fund.

Written by
The Freedom Fund