Research into the value of cultural understanding in UK responses to modern slavery receives funding

The University of Hull has received a grant to understand the relationship between systematic oppression and modern slavery and the value of cultural understanding in mitigating risks.

It is one of six projects that has received funding to address the prevention of modern slavery in the UK from the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC).

Dr Zahra Shirgholami, a lecturer at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, who is leading the research for the University, said: “We need reliable data on the value of cultural understanding and how to enhance the inclusivity of responses to modern slavery. Nonetheless, there is currently limited research in assessing the value of cultural understanding in response to modern slavery within the UK.’’

To address this gap, a grant of around £90,000 will fund a collaboration between the University’s Law School and the Wilberforce Institute, Shiva Foundation and West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network. They will work on a project investigating the importance of cultural understanding in improving equity and effectiveness in identification, support provision and legal enforcement related to modern slavery.

The projects are designed to provide evidence and guidance for policymakers to ensure that robust legislation and policies are in place to meet the challenges of preventing modern slavery and exploitation.

The six research projects are funded by Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC), which in turn is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

It’s incredibly important that we understand how to better prevent modern slavery, and this means targeted research on interventions that relate to different vulnerabilities and structural factors underpinning modern slavery. We have funded this group of research projects that look at a range of issues so that we can inform policies that more effectively prevent adults and children from being exploited in the UK.

Alex Balch

Director of Research at Modern Slavery PEC

The six prevention research projects will specifically look at:

  1. Understanding the value of cultural competency in UK responses to modern slavery.
  2. Exploring cultural barriers to accessing support for Albanian nationals following modern slavery.
  3. Investigating the risks of human trafficking and exploitation for unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee children in Home Office operated hotels.
  4. Analysing the links between modern slavery and homelessness in the UK.
  5. Improving prevention and identification of modern slavery of children and young people in the UK.
  6. Improving identification of disabled children and young people at risk of modern slavery.

 More information on the University of Hull's research project may be found on the Modern Slavery PEC website.

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