It examined what has been tried and shown promise in prevention programmes, projects and initiatives.
It concluded that a ‘whole systems’ approach to modern slavery prevention is required which is informed by people with lived experience and includes intervening before harm occurs, intervening early and treating harms after they have occurred.
The report outlines five key pathways to prevention and 25 types of interventions. The pathways include:
- enabling all people to have access to the fundamental things in life e.g. basic financial resources, a secure and safe home, access to essential services, dignity and rights
- promoting literacy and building understanding of exploitation, harms and rights among victims, survivors, people at risk, statutory and non-statutory agencies and the public, as well as the skills to take action at personal, community or organisational levels.
- building individual and community control, power, resilience and opportunities to thrive, particularly among people and communities at risk and those who had already been exploited.
- impeding, disrupting and deterring perpetration e.g. through law enforcement practices or initiatives for early detection.
- building partnerships and the pooling of resources enhances the preventative response - local anti-slavery partnerships or networks are a good example of this
The researchers spoke to many people working in the counter-slavery sector as well as survivors of exploitation. As they reflected on these conversations and reviewed literature, they landed on a new definition of prevention which they believe has not been previously articulated: “Prevention is an on-going process of avoiding and minimising exploitation and harm. This can be achieved by intervening before harm occurs, by intervening early and by treating harms. It also includes action to prevent re-exploitation and re-trafficking. Prevention includes enabling people to exercise choice and control over their lives and to thrive.”