Evidence to Action: Increasing the Impact of Research to Mobilize Efforts against Forced Labor

Project Duration:
December 2019
December 2022
Funding and Year:

This project will promote increased use of forced labor research in policy and programmatic decision-making to help eliminate forced labor around the world. The project will support achievement of this objective by increasing knowledge through robust research on forced labor in the textile and garment sector and engaging decision makers and stakeholders to use this knowledge to take actions against forced labor.

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The Problem

The Global Estimates of Modern Slavery provide broad information about the scale and distribution of forced labor. But they also highlight the need for targeted, sector and country-specific data that can inform policy design and stakeholders’ actions to combat forced labor. To date, high-quality research on forced labor has been hindered by significant practical and methodological challenges. Moreover, research on forced labor can be expensive and requires strong on-the-ground presence. Additionally, research on sensitive topics concerning highly vulnerable populations requires robust ethical considerations and protocols. As a result, existing research on forced labor tends to be sparse and fragmented, making it difficult to compile and compare. Research and data have thus often played a limited role in informing design of effective interventions to prevent and address forced labor and other forms of modern slavery.

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Our Strategy

This project responds to the need to develop robust and replicable approaches to collecting and analyzing data on forced labor, as the basis for building evidence-based interventions. Building on the International Conference of Labor Statisticians’ Guidelines Concerning the Measurement of Forced Labor, the project will provide significant new information regarding the prevalence and causes of forced labor within the garment and associated textile sectors of Argentina and Mauritius.

In addition, the project will 

  • build the capacity of national research institutions, government, and civil society organizations to undertake and use research to prevent, identify, and combat forced labor; 
  • provide globally relevant examples and assessment of tools for the investigation of forced labor; and 
  • catalyze a broad group of stakeholders to act on the research findings, making the link from data to policy.
Grantee: International Labor Organization (ILO)
Implementing Partners: NORC at University of Chicago, Verité Inc.
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843
Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)