Modern slavery prevention and responses in South Asia: An evidence map

Modern slavery prevention and responses in South Asia: An evidence map

The Asia Pacific region has the highest numbers of both slavery and child labour victims in the world. Although there is a growing body of research and evaluations on specific sub-sectors and interest in the worst forms of labour exploitation, there has not yet been a systematic scoping or synthesis of studies that would help policymakers understand ‘what works’ to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

While systematic reviews on interventions to reduce prevalence of trafficking, forced or bonded labour or slavery exist, these have not focused on South Asia. In this map and report, the authors have scoped the range of modern slavery interventions and outcomes for specific target populations (survivors, employers, landlords, service providers, criminal justice officials) and at different levels (individual, community, state).

Addressing the following research questions, the aim of this study was to produce an evidence map to support evidence-informed programming on modern slavery:

  • What interventions exist to prevent, mitigate or respond to modern slavery? 
  • Where are interventions clustered, and where are they missing? 
  • Which populations are interventions mostly targeted at (modern slavery survivors, employers, landlords, service providers, criminal justice practitioners)? 

The evidence map provides a visual overview of the availability of evidence for modern slavery interventions. The evidence map highlights gaps and clusters of evidence by mapping out existing and ongoing impact evaluations in modern slavery, and by providing a graphical display based on specific types of evidence and approaches to research.

Useful for academics, practitioners and for informing evidence-based policy-making, the authors suggest that readers use the evidence in this map together with other sources and forms of evidence and knowledge that are available.