Founded in 2006, the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation is one of the world’s leading research centres working towards the end of labour exploitation and slavery worldwide.
A unique strength of the institute's work is our understanding of historic issues and of how lessons from the past can influence modern-day campaigns and policy making.
The institute is located next door to the Wilberforce House Museum, the birthplace of William Wilberforce in 1759. Wilberforce dedicated most of his life to the abolition of slavery. His struggle led to the passing of the Slave Trade Act in 1807 and the Slavery Emancipation Act in 1833. The story behind his fight to eradicate slavery remains as relevant as ever today.
The International Labour Organisation estimates that there are at least 21 million victims of slavery in the world today. That figure includes 13,000 in the UK. We are helping to tackle this global problem head on.
The Wilberforce Institute draws on the work of experts in the humanities, law and social sciences. Our internationally recognised research and practice gives leaders and communities the tools to help shape a better future.
We partner with others to provide a lead in the community and in government - informing policy, practice and public participation at local, national and international levels.
We played a major role in shaping the UK Government's 2015 Modern Slavery Act. As a result of the Act, all UK companies with a turnover of more than £36 million must report annually on the steps they've taken to ensure that modern slavery isn’t occurring in their supply chain.
The Wilberforce Institute is now working with businesses and front-line organisations (including healthcare providers, job centres and the police force) to help check their supply chains for forms of slavery.