ScHARR Mini Master Class in Health Research - Dr Liz Such - A public health approach to modern slavery and human trafficking. What is it and (why) is it needed?
From Andy Tattersall
A public health approach to modern slavery and human trafficking. What is it and (why) is it needed?
Dr Liz Such
NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow
Modern slavery is a serious crime that includes human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and forced criminal activity. The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 brought it into sharp focus and, with it, a host of policy responses. These have largely focussed on detecting the crime and bringing perpetrators to justice. This criminal justice approach has many critics. Like other areas of serious crime such as violence against women and girls, applying the law through the police and justice system is considered only part of the answer.
This masterclass explores an alternative: a public health approach to modern slavery. It reports a series of research studies from 2016-2021 that examine what the approach is and where it might add value to existing perspectives. In particular, it looks the potential of a public health approach to the field of preventing modern slavery by applying some of the principles of public health. It also asks difficult questions about how such a perspective might succeed where others have failed, about who should take ownership of it and how it might be mobilised.
NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow and Research Fellow (ScHARR, University of Sheffield)
Liz is a public health researcher at the University of Sheffield. She has worked in different research and policy roles that have focused on understanding and reducing social inequalities. She is currently an NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow and specialises in how knowledge is mobilised for policy that promotes health equity. Her research also focuses on under-represented and marginalised populations, especially minority ethnic and migrant populations and people who are subject to exploitation and trafficking. She works for the systems science public health prevention consortium SIPHER and the UK Black and ethnic minority Anti-Slavery Network (BASNET).