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Nov 9, 2017

In Episode 1 of Series 3 of The Rights Track we talk to Professor Zoe Trodd, Director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, which, through its programme of trans disciplinary research is seeking to help end slavery by 2030.


  • Discussion around the recent renewed interest in modern slavery including a mention of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and Anti Slavery Day which was created by the Act. 
  • Zoe mentions the recent announcement that the agreed estimate of the number of slaves in the world now stands at 40.3 million according to the United Nations, the ILO (International Labour Organisation) the Walk Free Foundation and the IOM (International Organisation for Migration).
  • Target 8.7 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to eradicate slavery by 2030
  • Bellagio Harvard Guidelines are used by The Rights Lab team to define modern slavery which comes from the Slavery Convention of 1926. Zoe explains what that means in practice.
  • Zoe stresses the importance of being clear on what slavery is in order to tackle it. She mentions a Rights Lab project looking at mental health which is looking at whether slavery survivors require interventions specific to what’s happened to them 


  • Zoe explains the work of the Rights Lab and how it will lead to a range of pilot activities and interventions which will be evaluated to see what works and how what does work will become a “freedom blueprint” a document that shows what needs to be done to eradicate slavery by 2030.. 
  • Todd asks about importance of recognising the ubiquity of slavery  including the problems in the UK and of using the latest techniques and methods to measure it accurately. Zoe agrees and goes on to mention Rights Lab work to develop a national slavery index as well as the existing global slavery index
  • Zoe describes how satellites are being used to try to “see slavery from space” and mentions research which showed hundreds of child slaves being used on a UNESCO World Heritage site and describes how satellites have been used to root out slave labour in India
  • Explanation of how researchers draw the link between satellite images and the use of people as slaves in a particular area and what they do with that information. 
  • Zoe stresses the importance and the value of working at in individual level with survivors of slavery to ensure their voices are heard and represented in the research

15.18- end

  • Discussion moves to the Anti Slavery Act, what it means for organisations and large businesses and how the Rights Lab is analysing how businesses are responding to the Act’s requirements for them to demonstrate that slaves are not used at any point in their supply chains.
  • Zoe mentions how some industries have agreed to move towards a ‘slavery-free’ guarantee for their products and Todd describes the potential benefits to a company of that in respect of having a trusted and respected brand.
  • Zoe describes a willingness on the part of many different industries to do something about the issue of modern slavery but are not sure what to do - she hopes Rights Lab research will provide them with a clearer picture of what they can do and the tools to do it.
  • Zoe outlines what she hopes the Freedom Blueprint will look like and some of the key considerations