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Lunchtime seminar: Exploring support for children affected by modern slavery in the UK

Explore modern slavery research in a short and accessible way through our new lunchtime seminars.

Published: 8th March 2024

Exploring support for children affected by modern slavery in the UK, particularly through guardianship service.

Tuesday 26 March 2024, 12.30 - 1.15 pm

Dr Anna Skeels, Modern Slavery PEC Fellow, Research Fellow, SPARK, Cardiff University

Child modern slavery is a complex and extreme violation of children’s protection and their rights. It affects thousands of children in the UK: in 2022, 41% of referrals made to authorities as potential cases of modern slavery were made for children or adults who were exploited as children.

There’s extensive evidence on the challenges children face in their immediate protection and long-term recovery, from securing a protective environment for them to feel safe in, to more practical challenges such as access to education, mental health support, support in any legal cases related to their experience, or securing immigration status.

However, we rarely hear about what children's journeys to recovery can look like in practice or how support services are made relevant and appropriate for them.

In England and Wales, the 2015 Modern Slavery Act mandated the Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship (ICTG) Service, which is currently commissioned from children’s charity Barnardo’s. The Guardians are professionals who advocate for individual children and must act in their best interests to help them navigate the complex systems of criminal justice, immigration and social care.

Modern Slavery PEC has funded research with 25 young people to find out what they thought about the guardianship service provided to them and what the outcomes were for them.

In this lunchtime seminar, Dr Anna Skeels from Cardiff University, who led this research, will share the findings and present a short video where young people tell you about their experience of the service in their own words.

Watch the recording of the seminar

Modern Slavery PEC lunchtime seminar series

At the Modern Slavery PEC we believe in increasing the understanding of modern slavery, particularly through promoting the latest robust and relevant evidence in a way that is accessible to everyone.

This is why we have started a series of monthly lunchtime seminars, at which modern slavery researchers can share their latest findings with a diverse audience - everyone is welcome! The format is deliberately accessible and concise: no more than 15 minutes to present, followed by questions and discussion. Each seminar will last no longer than 45 minutes, which we hope will fit nicely into your lunch break!

We’ll be asking researchers who present to explain their findings in plain language that non-experts can easily understand, focusing on the real-world implications of their work and potential for impact on policy or practice, and, above all, on people and communities affected by modern slavery.

The seminars are open to anyone to join – you don’t have to be a researcher yourself. We encourage everyone interested to come along.

For those who can't make it, we will record the presentations and publish them on our YouTube channel and as short podcasts.

Past seminars

Linking modern slavery and climate change in the UK.

Dr Bethany (Beth) Jackson, Senior Research Fellow in Modern Slavery and Sustainable Ecosystems, Nottingham University Rights Lab.

Modern slavery: what the numbers tell us about how survivors are identified.

Dr Patrick Burland, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the UK.

Identification and support of people with lived experience of modern slavery in UK prisons.

Dr Marija Jovanovic, the University of Essex:

Modern slavery and the procurement of medical supplies in Malaysia.

Prof Alex Hughes, University of Newcastle