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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focusses on the governance of exploitative and so-called 'unfree' labour and in particular the various forms of it targeted for eradication by the Sustainable Development Goals. I conduct ethnographic and participatory action research with people defined as victims of trafficking, slavery, child labour and forced labour, and political anthropological research on the institutions that seek to protect them. My research asks why ‘victims’ are so often excluded from the policy process and tries to make sense of the way that policy-making institutions think, work and navigate their political limitations. I frequently collaborate with the international child protection agency, Terre des Hommes, on participatory action research projects with child migrants, child workers, and street-connected children to develop ground-up responses to their circumstances. I also currently lead an ERC Starting Grant that aims to trial both action research and unconditional cash transfers as potential policy responses to indecent or exploitative work in Hyderabad, India. This project partners with the Indian Network for Basic Income and Dr. Sarath Davala, who co-led the famous Indian basic income trial in Madhya Pradesh. Lastly, I founded and am one of the editors of the Beyond Trafficking and Slavery section at openDemocracy (www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery), which aims to put radical and grassroots commentary on ‘unfree’ or exploitative work and movement into the public domain.


Do get in touch with me if you are interested in these or related topics; I am open to supervising new students.

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WorkFREE ERC Starting Grant Transfer In

Howard, N.


Project: EU Commission

Research Output

Child Trafficking

Howard, N., 2020, (Acceptance date) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies. Burman, E. & Cook, D. (eds.). London: Routledge, 5 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Child Trafficking and Slavery

Howard, N., 2020, (Acceptance date) Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. Montgomery, H. (ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 32 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Human Trafficking

Howard, N., 2020, (Acceptance date) Handbook on the Governance and Politics of Migration. Lenner et al, K. (ed.). New York: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

International Child Protection: Towards Politics and Participation

Howard, N. (ed.) & Okyere, S. (ed.), 2020, (Acceptance date) Palgrave Macmillan.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Organizing for the Future Beyond the Coronacrisis: A UK Perspective

Howard, N., 21 Apr 2020, Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath, 27 p. (Bath Papers in International Development and Wellbeing; no. 62).

Research output: Working paper

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