Loading content

Homelessness and modern slavery in the UK

Research project examining the links between homelessness and modern slavery in the UK.

This research project will analyse the links between modern slavery and homelessness in the UK. There is a body of evidence suggesting that people who are homeless are at a higher risk of being exploited in modern slavery and in turn that survivors of modern slavery are at a higher risk of becoming homeless. The project will explore why that is the case.

The research project will be undertaken by the University of Roehampton, Hestia, British Transport Police, Sutton Night Watch Homeless Charity, The Upper Room, Human Trafficking Foundation, Croydon Council, Hope at Home and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority.

Specifically, the project will look at the scale and trend of adult survivors of modern slavery who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing homelessness in the UK. It will also explore the relationship between homelessness and modern slavery in the context of homelessness guidance and the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) system, which identifies potential victims of modern slavery and provides them with support. Finally, the research project will examine how different factors including age, nationality, gender and form of exploitation can influence the links between homelessness and modern slavery.

The research will investigate relevant case-level databases, including data from the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and the data from the Office of Nationals Statistics (ONS) on homelessness. It will also interview people who experienced both modern slavey and homelessness, as well as practitioners who support such cases. It will also organise focus groups with survivors and a separate workshop to interpret and refine overall findings from the research.

The team will be working with a Governance Committee that includes representatives from survivor organisations - this will help to ensure that the research is conducted in a way that is inclusive and respectful of the experiences of survivors.

Research team: Dr Melissa Jogie (Project Lead), Dr Michael Garapich, University of Roehampton; Marina Leoni, Hestia; Iain Cooper, Upper Room; Jared Hodgson, Hope at Home; Christopher Sutherland and David Ferguson at British Transport Police; Alison Kennedy and Amy Woods at Croydon Council, Robyn Philips at Human Trafficking Foundation, Andy Fulker at Sutton Night Watch and Frank Hanson at Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority.

This research was funded by an open funding call on prevention of modern slavery. The Modern Slavery PEC is funded and actively supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.