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Improving participation and outcomes for children following modern slavery

Research project identifying which outcomes are most important for young people with lived experience of modern slavery.

Bringing young people's views, knowledge and experience to the creation of policy and law is vital for ensuring their experiences of protection and care are taken into account and designing the right responses.

Bringing young people's views, knowledge and experience to the creation of policy and law is vital for ensuring their experiences of protection and care are taken into account and designing the right responses.

A research project led by the Institute of Applied Social Research at the University of Bedfordshire, in collaboration with Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT UK), seeks to identify which outcomes of care and protection are most important from the perspectives of young people themselves, and what the pathways towards these outcomes might look like through survivor-led research. Devised alongside young people, the team will develop an outcomes framework for what short-, medium- or long-term positive outcomes might look like in the UK context.

The project will work with young people to identify their experiences and priorities. They will use arts and multi-media-based approaches to co-create projects around the themes of protection, recovery, inclusion, and empowerment. The work will be framed by participatory and trauma-informed methodologies and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

Alongside this, there will be an international scoping review of academic and grey literature around processes and outcomes of protection, recovery and empowerment, referencing 'what works' across other complex social problems, such as violence against children and child sexual exploitation. Young people will be involved in relating these findings back to their own knowledge and perspective.

The project will seek to develop creative outputs such as podcasts and arts-based outputs designed by young people to inform key stakeholders of the findings. Other outputs will include new university curricula, to be trailed in the University of Bedfordshire's social work, policing and social care courses.

This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Modern Slavery PEC call for research on Victim and Survivor Recovery

Project team: Dr Patricia Hynes, Dr Helen Connolly, University of Bedfordshire and Laura Duran, Patricia Durr and other ECPAT UK staff.