Uncovering the true extent of slavery

Helping to uncover the true extent of modern-day slavery across the world has been recognised with a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize award.

Walking in the footsteps of Hull's most famous son, William Wilberforce, our University of Hull researchers are helping to tackle modern day slavery.

According to the International Labour Organisation, 45.8 million people are enslaved worldwide in an illegal trade worth £150 billion across 167 countries - a number higher than at any point in history.

This year, our Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its outstanding contribution that has helped uncover the true extent of slavery around the globe, and highlighted how lessons from the past can educate our future.

Not content with providing academic insight, Wilberforce Institute researchers apply their expertise to give practical assistance too.

Our academics took a major role in shaping the UK’s Modern Slavery Act, which was passed by Parliament in March 2015.

As a result of the Act, all UK companies with a turnover of more than £36m are required to report annually on the steps they have taken to ensure modern slavery isn’t taking place in their supply chain.

The Institute is now working with one of the UK’s largest supermarkets to identify and eliminate slavery from their supply chains both in the UK and overseas, as well as training business leaders and frontline workers such as in job centres, healthcare and police to spot the signs of slavery.

Kevin Hyland, OBE, the UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:

“I am glad to see academics working to scope the understanding of modern slavery among adults in Great Britain, particularly their awareness of the crime and knowledge of how to respond. This research will help policy makers and academics alike to better tailor their activities and bring an end to this injustice.”

"This research will help policy makers and academics alike to better tailor their activities and bring an end to this injustice." Kevin Hyland, OBE - UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

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