The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (‘the Centre’) is offering this funding opportunity, to support research into the impact of the COVID19 global pandemic on those who are vulnerable to, or victims or survivors of, modern slavery.
This victim-centred focus is integral to the Centre’s activities, and all proposals funded through this call must involve end users of the research, such as policy-makers, practitioners, NGOs and survivor groups, and they must demonstrate the potential to benefit these end users through the provision of new insights and evidence-based solutions to the problem of modern slavery.
The Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (‘the Centre’), led by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and with support from ESRC, is designed to bring research, policymakers, businesses, charities and NGOs together on a scale not seen before in the UK. It will combat and reduce modern slavery by driving real policy change in prevention, legal enforcement and supply chains, with a strong focus on victim / survivor support and recovery.
The purpose of this call is to support original and innovative research, which can act swiftly to improve understanding of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on those who are vulnerable to slavery, those who are enslaved, and those who are survivors of modern slavery, as well as the organisations which support them, and services that seek to prevent, detect, and prosecute the perpetrators.
Modern slavery is a global crime, which denies people of their dignity and their basic human rights; it intersects with other vulnerabilities, such as mental health and poverty, and it can cause lasting suffering. In response, the UK Government has subscribed to an international commitment to eradicate modern slavery by 2030, enacted world-leading legislation against modern slavery, and outlines clear research priorities that will enable this goal to be met. The Centre is addressing these research priorities through a partnership approach, working with those who already play a part in eradicating slavery, to put victims and survivors at the heart of research and help them influence future policy development.
Projects may wish to address one or more of the following, noting that the list is not exhaustive and other research questions / ideas are welcome:
- the impact that the COVID-19 global pandemic, and responses to it, are having on the nature and scale of modern slavery, including the demand for, and supply of, enslaved labour, the forms and methods of trafficking and exploitation, and the enforcement of legislation;
- emerging vulnerabilities to modern slavery, caused or exacerbated by COVID-19 and the resulting changes to the labour market and international mobility, and how vulnerable individuals and communities can be protected in these changed circumstances;
- the effectiveness of support services provided for victims and survivors of modern slavery, how their ways of working have been forced to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic response, and the impact that this is having on those whom they support;
- opportunities for international co-operation to address the health risks posed by trafficking, and to ensure that displaced communities and humanitarian settings are resilient in the face of the pandemic.
The Centre is a UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) programme, which is designed to bring together world class research across multiple disciplines, with policy-makers, businesses, civil society and international organisations on a scale which is capable of having a real impact on tackling this global challenge. The specific objectives of this programme are to:
- transform understanding of modern slavery;
- model and bring about a more collaborative approach to responding to modern slavery;
- establish a “network of networks”, to enable better dialogue, knowledge sharing and collaboration in the fight against modern slavery;
- make legal and policy responses to modern slavery more effective; and
- take a distinctively human rights-based approach to tackling modern slavery.
- Proposals for full economic costs of up to £150,000 for a period of up to 6 months may be submitted. Please note that because this is a rapid response funding call, all projects funded through this route must end by 31st March 2021. Given the evolving context and significant policy interest in real-time information, researchers will be expected to report on initial findings at the midway point.
- Interdisciplinary boundary-crossing proposals are welcomed, including those that cross arts, humanities, social sciences (AHSS) and STEM. Where proposals extend beyond AHRC’s and ESRC’s remits, they should ensure that they bring the distinctive arts, humanities, or social science research expertise, concepts, ideas and/or approaches centrally into the development of relevant cross-disciplinary fields.
- The principal investigator must meet standard AHRC eligibility criteria and awards will be made to a UK research organisation eligible to receive AHRC funding. Co-Investigators and Project Partners, which can also include businesses, NGOs, charities, government agencies, etc and International co-investigators may be included.
- Indeed, it is expected that Project Partners will be sought from those non-academic stakeholders with a direct interest in the research/policy outputs. They recognise that cost can be a barrier to inclusion for organisations, particularly NGOs and charities; therefore, non-academic Co-Investigators and Project Partners may be funded at 100% fEC, provided that these costs are no greater than 30% of the total cost of the award.
For more information, visit https://ahrc.ukri.org/funding/apply-for-funding/current-opportunities/modern-slavery-policy-and-evidence-centre-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-modern-slavery/