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St Mary’s Bakhita Centre to Lead Research Programme on Survivors of Modern Slavery

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The Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse at St Mary’s University, Twickenham is to undertake innovative research into British survivors of modern slavery experience of support in Britain.

The study is one of five announced innovative research projects announced by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC) from its call for research on survivor support and recovery.

The five projects aim to fill gaps in evidence on the best ways to improve the current support system for children and adults with lived experience of modern slavery so that systems are better able to support victims in short and long-term recovery towards fulfilling their full life potential.

The research funded in the project aims to cover a range of areas key to improving the policy response in the UK for survivor care, with three projects looking at adults and two at children affected by modern slavery practices. For adults, they include projects on survivors’ mental wellbeing, improving support for British nationals and establishing a set of core short and long term outcomes for survivors. For children, they’re set to improve participation and outcomes and examine best practice based on the example of the Scottish Guardianship Service.

Speaking of the research Dr Carole Murphy, Acting Director of Bakhita Centre, said, “The support for people who were identified as survivors of modern slavery in the UK was established with the needs of foreign nationals in mind. Although awareness of the plight of British nationals affected by modern slavery has grown in recent years, the specific needs of British Survivors have not been well understood. Our study aims to change that and produce clearer protocols for improved support going forward."

Executive Chair of Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which funds the research, Professor Christopher Smith, said, “AHRC is committed to bringing marginalised communities into the research process and supporting research that is created, used and valued by all.

“Through listening to the lived experiences of modern slavery victims, the projects funded as part of this investment will make a vital contribution towards supporting and protecting some of the most vulnerable members of society.

“These projects are an example of the crucial role that AHRC is paying in tackling contemporary challenges in order to build a better future for all.”

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