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About us

Since 2006, we’ve been producing world-class research that supports efforts to tackle modern slavery, coercion and human trafficking, both at home and abroad – continuing the legacy of William Wilberforce.

In 2015 the Wilberforce Institute was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes celebrate excellence, innovation and public benefit in work carried out by UK colleges and universities. With the award of this prize, the Wilberforce Institute won global recognition for its applied research into slavery in all its forms and for bringing the lessons of the past, through its ground-breaking Global Slavery Index, to the combatting of modern slavery.

The Wilberforce Institute has become a world leader in the study and explication of slavery today. Few have had more impact on our understanding of and response to a crucial problem facing Britain today. The Right Honourable Lord Frank Field of Birkenhead, former MP and Chair of The Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review

Our people

Our team is made up of scholars, research fellows, postgraduate students and affiliates. Together they study both historical and contemporary exploitation, gaining unique insights to help in the fight to eradicate modern slavery in all of its forms.

Our partners

We collaborate with a broad and diverse range of partners, including researchers, policymakers, businesses, and people who have experienced modern slavery.

Who was William Wilberforce?

The Institute is named after William Wilberforce (1759-1833), who led the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade and is generally recognised as the ‘father’ of the British abolitionist movement.

Our mission

Our mission is to produce high quality and innovative research on slavery in all its forms, historical and contemporary. We do not see these as separate fields of inquiry; on the contrary, we regard history as a lens through which to study contemporary issues regarding slavery and exploitation.