Personal profile

Research interests

Pankhuri is a Research Associate in the School of Management at the University of Bath working on a 4-year UKRI project to interrogate the meaning of dignity in supply chains in India and the UK’s garment and IT industries. She completed her PhD in Sociology from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. With over a decade of field and research experience working with marginalised workers, unions, government ministries, international and domestic humanitarian agencies, her research focuses on the: 1) critique of the anti-trafficking discourse and intervention; 2) use of multi-sited ethnography to study the lived experience of law and; 3) the impact of labour reforms at the intersection of migration and state bureaucracy. As a result of her interdisciplinary research and activism across a global network of scholars and practitioners committed to the study of labour rights, her expertise has been sought by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the UN Women South Asia Office, and others on a consultancy basis and her research has been supported by grants from the UK Home Office, J.N. Tata Endowment, Aga Khan Foundation, British Federation of Women Graduates, Socio-Legal Studies Association, to name a few. Pankhuri's research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Anti-Trafficking Review and Social Change and on public-facing platforms such as the Sociological Review, OpenDemocracy and Futures of Work. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Sociology, Doctor of Philosophy, Journeys to freedom? Post-Rescue Ethnography of Bonded Labourers and Sex Workers in India, University of Bristol

14 Sept 201713 Sept 2021

Award Date: 17 Dec 2021

Development Studies, Master in Science, School of Oriental and African Studies

14 Sept 201515 Sept 2016

Award Date: 16 Sept 2016

External positions

Co-Convenor of the study group, Slavery and Modern Slavery, British Sociological Association

2022 → …

Advisory Board Member, ERC funded project, Modern Marronage: The Practice and Pursuit of Freedom, University of Bristol

2021 → …


  • ethnography
  • research methods
  • bureaucracy
  • temporality
  • migration
  • Trafficking
  • slavery
  • labour
  • work
  • gender
  • sex work


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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