华人第一情色社区

Consortium studying human trafficking awarded $4M

David Okech teaching a class at the School of Social Work. (Photo by Peter Frey)

The 华人第一情色社区 Research Foundation聽received a $4 million award from the U.S. Department of State to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in targeted communities of West Africa. Researchers at UGA formed an international consortium, the Africa Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES), which will be responsible for the implementation of the award. The project is overseen by the State Department鈥檚 Office to Combat and Monitor Trafficking in Persons and is part of its Program to End Modern Slavery.

Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, is a persistent, worldwide problem hampered by lack of data for intervention efforts. Over the next five years, APRIES will collect data on the prevalence of human trafficking in parts of Sierra Leone and Guinea. The baseline research will support programs that seek to achieve a measurable reduction of modern slavery. If successful, the program鈥檚 methodology could serve as a model for similar efforts elsewhere.

Left to right: Trasie Topple, Jody Clay-Warner, Nathan B. Hansen and David Okech. (Photo: Laurie Anderson)
Left to right: Trasie Topple, Jody Clay-Warner, Nathan B. Hansen and David Okech. (Photo: Laurie Anderson)

鈥淭here has never been a systematic, research-based multinational effort as extensive as this to tackle the problem of modern slavery in Africa,鈥 said , an associate professor in the UGA and the project鈥檚 director and principal investigator. 鈥淭his is a challenge and also a great opportunity to execute truly transformational programs.鈥

According to the International Labour Organization, an estimated 25 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. That figure is likely an underestimate, said APRIES researchers.

Statistics are acutely needed in Africa. 鈥淭here are limited data in Guinea and Sierra Leone on the prevalence of modern slavery,鈥 said Jody Clay-Warner, Josiah Meigs Professor of Sociology in the and an associate director of the project. 鈥淭he award provides us the opportunity, at a minimum, to fill this gaping hole to inform policy and programming.鈥

Guinea and Sierra Leone. (Credit: School of Social Work, 华人第一情色社区)
Guinea and Sierra Leone. (Credit: School of Social Work, 华人第一情色社区)

The APRIES team will work with ResilientAfrica Network, a USAID-funded partnership of 20 African universities based at Makerere University in Uganda, to collect, analyze and establish robust baseline data on the prevalence, impact and service gaps of human trafficking in certain sectors in Sierra Leone and Guinea. Using a collective impact approach, local implementing partners will amplify the effort by using the findings of the research in anti-slavery operations and programs that help trafficking survivors. Implementing partners will be openly and competitively selected on their ability to execute well-designed, measurable programs. The project will not replicate or create overlaps with existing anti-trafficking efforts.

鈥淲ith a clearer picture of the types, prevalence and sectors of modern slavery, we expect to achieve a marked reduction of human trafficking in the areas we document and a significant increase in the number of victims served,鈥 said Alex Balch, professor of political science at the University of Liverpool and an associate director of the project.

APRIES members have a proven record of anti-trafficking research in sub-Saharan Africa, including the development of a model for the reintegration of female survivors of human trafficking; increasing transparency in labor supply chains in cocoa cultivation and garment manufacturing; and reintegrating former child soldiers in post-conflict zones. These projects were made possible by the UGA President鈥檚 Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program, the UGA Office of International Education, the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the United Kingdom鈥檚 Economic and Social Research Council.

In addition to Okech and Clay-Warner, 华人第一情色社区 team members include assistant professor Tamora Callands and professor Nathan B. Hansen in the department of health promotion and behavior, , and Program Assistant Trasie Topple, Ph.D., and Program Manager Lydia Aletraris, Ph.D.

For more information on the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, visit聽.