Today, on October 18th, is Anti-Slavery Day. Anti-Slavery Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of modern slavery and encourage government, business, and the general population to take action to address this pressing global problem.
The focus of this year’s Anti-Slavery Day is on the importance of listening to people with lived experience of modern slavery. People across the UK are being encouraged to listen to modern slavery survivors as lived-experience experts on the issue and pledge their support to address slavery by using the using the #TimetoListen hashtag on social media.
The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC) is marking the day by promoting the meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience in research and policymaking.
The Modern Slavery PEC’s Director of Research Professor Alex Balch said:
“Developing new evidence that draws directly from the lived experience of survivors is key to improving the policies designed to address modern slavery. The voices of those affected must be heard if we are to protect people from being trapped and exploited effectively.
“Research led by people with lived experience is at its relative infancy in this area. But meaningful inclusion and involvement will help to improve the evidence base on which the policy response to modern slavery is built.
“It is about changing who is in the driving seat in research and involving those who are directly affected, rather than merely asking people to re-tell their stories of exploitation.
“We need to expand our ideas about who can be researchers and who should have power when designing projects. We’re working to implement the principle of survivor-involvement in all our work.
“People with lived experience haven’t had their voice heard for too long, it’s time to listen to them.”
“Developing new evidence that draws directly from the lived experience of survivors is key to improving the policies designed to address modern slavery.“Professor Alex Balch, Director of Research at the Modern Slavery PEC
Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which funds and actively supports the Modern Slavery PEC, Professor Christopher Smith said:
“In order for arts and humanities research to describe our world and influence the changes we all want to see, we must listen to and incorporate into our research the lived experiences of all people.
“Anti-Slavery Day is an opportunity to take notice of the most vulnerable members of society and to reflect on our shared humanity and what we can do create a fairer, more inclusive society.
“AHRC is proud to support the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre to enhance our understanding of modern slavery, to work with the survivors of modern slavery, and to inform law and policies that address this pressing global issue.”
How the Modern Slavery PEC is working to implement the principle of survivor inclusion in its work
- We promote the voices of survivors in its communications
- We are creating a committee of people with lived experience (Survivor Standing Committee) to work alongside the PEC to develop a comprehensive survivor engagement strategy, and to embed the survivor inclusion in all its work through informing the selection, design, production, and uptake of research.
- We strongly encourage the meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience in research
- We consult people with lived experience on the award of funding for research and other key decisions