top of page

About the Midlands ARC

The Midlands ARC (Antislavery Research Collaboration) creates a centre of gravity for antislavery research and knowledge exchange in the region

The Midlands is home to a high concentration of researchers who work on modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, labour exploitation and related issues. Until recently, these individuals were largely disconnected from one another, yet the Midlands has the potential to be an antislavery powerhouse.

The Midlands ARC brings together the expertise of academic partners from across the Midlands to drive forward research that advances the field. By working across traditional academic boundaries and higher education institutions to tackle this global challenge, Midlands ARC collaborations will enable a greater volume of high-quality research around modern slavery. 

Together we are a collective voice from the region, joining forces to attract research investment and to have a louder and more powerful collective voice in modern slavery research and policy. 

By working together, we can also take the region as a test-case for research innovations, as the Midlands is a site for all known forms of slavery in the UK, whether in the garment sector of Leicester or the agricultural sector of Lincolnshire; and has many of the vulnerability and resilience factors for slavery in the UK writ large. We envisage testing new antislavery techniques and approaches here in the Midlands for global application. 

In this work, the Midlands ARC will benefit from the strong presence in the Midlands of some of the countries’ most active antislavery stakeholders. Among other organisations and individuals, the Midlands is home to:

  • The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the UK’s foremost investigative agency for labour exploitation; 

  • Experian, which has used its expertise to build a data tool with Midlands researchers that starts to map local vulnerability to slavery; 

  • The British Geological Survey, which has satellite data processing capabilities that can be used to map sites of slavery; 

  • The first three UK cities to officially declare their intent to become slavery-free cities; 

  • The East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC), which includes a priority area on modern slavery as part of its Serious Organised Crime strand; 

  • The Adavu Project, which offers longer-term support for adult survivors; 

  • Survivor Alliance, a global network of over 200 slavery survivor leaders; 

  • One of the initial six pilot dioceses for the Clewer Initiative’s antislavery work;

  • The current United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery:

  • Alex Norris MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights, and Joint Secretary to the APPG on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.

Steering Committee


Vernon Coaker

Member of the House of Lords


Vicky Brotherton

Rights Lab, UoN

Visit their profile here


Dave Walsh

De Montfort University

Visit their profile here


Anneke Love

Rights Lab, University of Nottingham

Visit their profile here


Kreseda Smith

Harper Adams University

Visit their profile here

I Chapsos photo.jpg

Ioannis Chapsos

Coventry University

Visit their profile here


Andy Newton

Nottingham Trent University

Visit their profile here

Laura Pajon.jpg

Laura Pajón

De Montfort University

Visit their profile here

bimal 1.jpg

Bimal Aurora

Aston University

Visit their profile here


Rich Pickford

Nottingham Trent University

Visit their profile here


Giovanna Frisso

University of Lincoln

Visit their profile here


Alok Choudhary

Loughborough University

Visit their profile here


Barbie Nash

Nottingham Trent University

Visit their profile here

Vidu photo_edited.jpg

Vidu Badigannavar

Aston University

Visit their profile here

bottom of page