It is estimated that some 40 million persons are enslaved across the world in hereditary forms of slavery, debt bondage, state-sponsored forced labor, enslavement into commercial sexual exploitation, or forced marriage. The breadth and size of this threat to human security, plus recent studies illuminating the extent and form of contemporary slavery, has prompted public and private stakeholders to act. Notably, in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Target 8.7 of which calls upon all nation states to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”
Given a growing interest in the nature and role of contemporary slavery within armed conflict, coupled with the paucity of academic research, the authors, operating within the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, developed a coding process that would identify when and how state and non-state actors have used enslavement within modern conflicts. The coding of enslavement began with an analysis of all recorded armed conflicts from 1989 to 2016 in the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCPD). Using the UCPD data, the research team systematically searched online and other records to find instances of enslavement, conflict-by-conflict, and year-by-year, ranging from the use of child soldiers, forced marriage, forced labor, and human trafficking. This coding exercise is the first systematic and large-scale inquiry into various types of enslavement within modern armed conflicts. We seek to share these data so that others may explore, analyse, and develop this area of inquiry. We invite suggestions as to how these data may be improved. And we welcome the use of these data to explore more critically and systemically when and how slavery is a tool of modern warfare.
The Contemporary Slavery in Armed Conflict dataset is housed at the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham UK. A team headed by Kevin Bales and Monti Datta compiled and verified the data. The project was support by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and by the Rights Lab. The project is ongoing, new and enlarged versions of the data will be published in this website when they are completed. An Archive of all versions will be retained on this website.
The Codebook for the CSAC dataset may be downloaded from the DATASET downloads page of this website. A discussion and description of the dataset can be found in the WORKING PAPER "Contemporary Slavery in Armed Conflicts: Introducing the CSAC Dataset, 1989-2016" on the DATASET download page.
A discussion and description of the dataset can be found in the WORKING PAPER "Contemporary Slavery in Armed Conflicts: Introducing the CSAC Dataset, 1989-2016" on the DATASET download page.