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Policy impact

An overview of the Modern Slavery PEC’s work to inform laws and policies with evidence funded and developed by the Centre.

Impact on laws, policies and practices addressing modern slavery is at the heart of the Modern Slavery PEC’s work.

We work to bridge the gap between research and policymaking and increase knowledge, access, understanding, and use of evidence and expert analysis in decision-making.

  • We focus on ensuring all our funded research is relevant, timely, trustworthy and accessible to decision-makers;
  • We translate the evidence produced by our funded teams into practical recommendations and disseminate them to key decision-makers;
  • We facilitate engagement between funded researchers and policymakers, practitioners and businesses;
  • We work to establish strong collaborative relationships with UK policymakers and international partners.

We build trusting and ongoing relationships with a wide number and variety of policymakers. These include officials working on modern slavery at the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, the devolved Governments, as well as other policy actors across departments relevant to particular pieces of research, whom we have brought together to discuss research gaps and findings.

Our policy impact approaches

We approach achieving policy impact in three different ways:

  1. Influencing the direct use of evidence in policy decisions and informing legislation and scrutiny of Government (instrumental impact);
  2. Supporting policymakers to access and understand evidence in modern slavery policy and decision-making (conceptual impact);
  3. Building relationships between policymakers, the Modern Slavery PEC and the wider modern slavery research sector (enduring connectivity).

Key attributes of our work we strive for are its accessibility and effectiveness in communicating key findings in a concise way. These include policy briefs, which synthesise evidence on a topic, rate its quality and make recommendations for policymakers. We have drawn from the available evidence and produced briefs on topics such as:

Another key tool to inform policy are our Research Summaries, co-produced with funded research teams, summarising the project findings and tailored to specific audiences. These are produced for nearly all our funded projects, focusing on key findings and key recommendations for relevant decisionmakers.

Examples of impact

  • The Statutory Guidance for Modern Slavery Victim Identification and Support in England and Wales was updated to make legal aid entitlements clearer, in line with the recommendations made by a Modern Slavery PEC-funded research project on access to legal advice for survivors of modern slavery.
  • The Home Office started publishing the additional National Referral Mechanism (NRM) data in line with our policy briefing recommendations featured in the Centre’s policy briefing on identification of potential victims, including data on the links between modern slavery, small boat Channel crossings and asylum.
  • Informing Parliamentary scrutiny, for example, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) cited the Centre’s evidence several times in its report on the modern slavery provisions of the Nationality and Borders Bill.
  • Following our engagement, the UK Department for International Trade invited the Modern Slavery PEC to provide expert input to support technical discussions amongst G7 officials on best practices to prevent, identify and eliminate forced labour in global supply chains. Those discussions led to G7 Trade Ministers issuing a joint statement.
  • Modern Slavery PEC has influenced the creation of the Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, chaired by the former UK Prime Minister Theresa May. The Centre carried out the scoping study examining the case for establishing such a Commission, which guided its creation.
  • To mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as part of its five human rights pledges, the UK Government pledged to support the inclusion of survivors of modern slavery in its international programmes and champion survivor leadership in international partnerships, including working with international partners to eradicate all forms of modern slavery. The pledge aligns with key recommendations of the research led by the University of Liverpool and the Modern Slavery PEC – commissioned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office – which found that meaningful inclusion of survivors of modern slavery in international programmes makes them more effective.