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"Modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking… is a crime against humanity"
Declaration by Pope Francis on International Day for the Abolition of Slavery,2014

About the Centre

The Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery (CSMS) at St Mary's University is engaged in independent research to provide evidence that informs policy responses to modern slavery and human trafficking both in the UK and internationally.

The UK government in particular is taking a strong stance on modern slavery and is dedicating significant resources to prevent and pursue this phenomenon, which has been described by Pope Francis as a 'crime against humanity'. While this new determination brings us closer to eradicating slavery, government responses continue to be hampered by key knowledge gaps.

The new Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery is working with government departments to identify these gaps, generating empirical evidence to make the response more targeted, and generate better results for those subject to slavery and trafficking.

The Centre will be one of three dimensions that includes Bakhita House and the Santa Marta group for co-ordination with law enforcement and NGOs and governments.

To achieve these aims, the Centre will draw on the expertise of internal and external partners. Academic staff from across the University in the departments of Criminology, Sociology, Law, Business, Film and Media, Education, Health Sciences and Theology are involved.

External partners include the UK Government, Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, Kevin Hyland, the UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and Visiting Professor at St Mary's University, other academic institutions, campaigners, international organisations and NGOs.

Articles and news

The UK Modern Slavery Act: Victim identification and care

Ensuring the protection of victims of human trafficking is regarded as one of the most important aspects of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA). The focus on victim care, the intention to reduce harm caused by slavery and to improve support for victims has been welcomed, especially by first responders, including NGOs and law enforcement...

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