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  • Author or Editor: Mike Dottridge x
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Human trafficking has risen up the policy and legislative agendas of many countries during the past two decades following the UN Trafficking Protocol. Known forms of harm from anti-trafficking efforts have been described as ‘collateral damage’ – a term which describes the dangers of anti-trafficking measures having adverse impacts on the rights and freedoms of people. That these types of harms exist within work to protect people experiencing human trafficking is a key consideration when conducting research. This chapter looks at the ethics of conducting research into human trafficking and/or ‘modern slavery’. The chapter questions whether the principle of ‘do no harm’ is sufficient to guide researchers through these sometimes polemical and often contentious research environments. Given that power imbalances are built into responses to people who are trafficked, it is suggested that the concept of ‘harm’ be broadly interpreted from the outset of research. It is also suggested that social stigma, and the possibility that research might reify this, be understood within research processes and that the framing of trafficking research needs to include sensitivity towards regularly used negative terminology. To explore this, the chapter tracks the development of a ‘living’ Ethical Protocol developed for a two-year study looking at human trafficking from Albania, Nigeria, and Vietnam to the UK. Conceptual approaches, methodology, procedural ethics, existing ethical guidelines, ethics in practice, looking beyond the principle of ‘do no harm’, the context in which research takes place, and wider considerations of the use of research are then outlined.

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The chapter summarises key developments in the monitoring and evaluation of anti-trafficking and anti-slavery laws, policies, projects and practice since the beginning of the 21st century. It explains why monitoring and evaluation are important, distinguishing between monitoring that consists of collecting statistics, and evaluations that assess whether expected standards have been met. It presents a typology of three categories of monitoring. The authors emphasise the importance of uncovering the effects of anti-trafficking practice on trafficking victims (‘survivors’), but note that, until recently, government officials seemed to avoid seeking this feedback. The role of international monitoring bodies, such as the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) and national-level monitoring by a government-appointed (but independent) rapporteur is described. A series of evaluations are illustrated, noting the importance of assessing the effects of assistance on individuals, as well as assessing an individual organisation’s performance. The chapter concludes by documenting how a lack of investment in monitoring and evaluation has undermined the effectiveness of attempts to improve anti-trafficking work. Despite the monitoring activities of countless regional and international organisations operating in Europe, national anti-trafficking and anti-slavery systems have been slow to make necessary improvements.

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