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Slavery Research Bulletin: 15 November 2023

November 15, 2023

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

Online marketplaces for commercial sexual exploitation

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)releasesa study that examines the risks of human trafficking on sexual services websites across 40 OSCE states. The findings are based on the mapping and analysis of almost 2,900 sex services websites across the OSCE region, containing over three million advertisements. The study finds scant evidence of these sites implementing protective features, such as proof-of-age or consent protocols to verify the person being advertised. It calls on law enforcement agencies to take a more proactive approach to monitoring websites and avoiding misuse by traffickers.

Learning from legislative reforms to tackle child marriage

UN Women analyses legal reforms in 43 countries that have attempted to and/or succeeded in changing the minimum age of marriage (MAM) for girls. The findings reveal that more than 20 countries, including Indonesia, Nepal, and Saudi Arabia, have made progress in raising MAM to 18 years, whereas Somalia and Turkey lowered MAM below 18 years. The study commends a three-pronged approach for eradicating child marriage, involving law, justice, and access to remedies; the promotion of shift in social and gender norms; and protection of and opportunities for adolescent girls and boys to reach their full potential.

The role of capital market actors in addressing modern slavery

The United Nations Universityexploresthe different motivations of capital market actors in addressing modern slavery. The evidence, gathered from literature review and 39 interviews with actors such as asset managers and development finance institutions, shows that most investors cite reputational and financial risks as primary motivators for taking action on modern slavery. Although investors may consider divesting or exclusion to avoid modern slavery risks, potentially worsening conditions for workers, the report recommends engaging with investees to improve company practices.

The relationships between mobile money and child labour

A study led by the University of Bradford, United Kingdom examines the impact of household adoption of mobile money on schooling and child labour outcomes in Tanzania. Using a difference-in-difference approach and drawing on data from the Tanzania National Panel Surveys which tracked 3,265 households over the period of 2008 to 2015, the study reveals that households with mobile money users are 15 percentage points more likely to have their children enrolled in school and 9 percentage points less likely to engage their children in labour, compared to non-users.

Evaluating an intervention to address child labour in Ghanian fishing villages

Researchers from the University of Washington evaluate a community-based child rights education program implemented in the Senya fishing village in Ghana, aimed at reducing child labour and trafficking. The study analyses school enrollment data from 2013 to 2018 and conducted pre- and post-intervention assessments with 918 program participants, comprising 553 community members, 297 students and 68 teachers. Using a quasi-experimental design comparing Senya with non-program villages, the study reports a 32 percent increase in the knowledge of child rights in the community and an eight percent increase in school enrollment – two root causes that contribute to child labour.

Read on

Justice and Care reviews the prevailing policy approaches adopted by local authorities, international organisations, and civil society actors in combating online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) in the Philippines.

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the EUROMED Migration program gather lessons and provide recommendations on using public communication to protect the rights of migrants and prevent trafficking.

The EU-funded AGRUMIG project assesses migration trends in Nepal and examines the effectiveness of interventions implemented by government and non-governmental organisations to manage outmigration and reduce labour trafficking.

Freedom Fund news

Our Freedom Rising program supports and unites leaders from across the modern slavery movement to create change. Meet four of the leaders in thisshort video.

Visit our Newsroom for more updates.

Research library

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


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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.

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