Welcome to the Slavery Research Bulletin, designed to provide busy readers in the anti-slavery community with a succinct monthly update on new and interesting research.
Patterns of slavery in Northern India
The UK-based Institute of Development Studies have collected and analysed 353 in-depth life stories from bonded labourers and survivors of slavery in the northern Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This participatory research* identified factors that keep people in bondage – including the key issue of how critical life incidents (such as sickness) can trigger the need for risky loans.
*All names have been changed to protect participant identity.
New academic research
Two human trafficking journals have published new volumes (paywall).
The latest edition of Slavery Today Journal, released in December, covers diverse issues including trafficking at the US-Mexico border and Moldova and a look at historical perspectives on trafficking. The issue also addresses the role of partnership and collaboration in the field, with a regional focus on the U.S. state of Florida.
Also new from the Journal of Trafficking, Organised Crime and Security are articles focusing on child trafficking policy, a comparative study between India and the U.S., and the intersection between poverty and sex trafficking in Nigeria.
Trafficking in times of crisis
New research from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) addresses trafficking and exploitation in times of crisis, drawing upon field assessments in Iran and Libya, interviews and IOM data. The disruption of existing criminal networks, adoption of risky survival practices, and even the demand created by humanitarian workers are factors identified as increasing the risk to vulnerable people.
Using strategic litigation to combat slavery
The Freedom Fund and Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center have published a report outlining the importance of strategic litigation in combatting slavery. The report highlights the need for an international network of lawyers and advocates to advance strategic litigation against both private actors and states.
Demand AT have released their second and third working papers, exploring the concepts of ‘demand’ for trafficking and how economic theory can contribute.
News & updates
A new book, ‘Blood and Earth’, by Kevin Bales on environmental destruction and human trafficking is set to be released on January 19th.
If you have feedback or suggestions, please contact Dr. Zoë Fortune, the Freedom Fund’s Senior Research & Evaluation Officer.