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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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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