This is the world's largest archive of modern slavery survivor narratives. Across more than a million words spoken or written by survivors of modern slavery, we can see why slavery persists in particular hotspots, analyse patterns in trafficking routes, identify vulnerabilities, understand more about the challenges survivors face in liberation, and discover new antislavery solutions. These narratives offer the chance to systematically design new antislavery strategies based on the experiences, ideas and solutions of enslaved people themselves.
The database is searchable by country, name, theme, and narrative date. Narratives can be viewed in list or map form. A short introduction provides context to each narrative. Narrative provenance appears after the main narrative text.
For ideas on how to use this database, please see our accompanying guide.
Project Lead: Zoe Trodd. Team Members: Andrea Nicholson, Lauren Eglen, Rosemary Pearce, Olivia Wright.
Project Funders: AHRC Antislavery Usable Past grant (2014-19), ESRC/AHRC PaCCS Modern Slavery: Meaning and Measurement grant (2016-19), and AHRC-GCRF Antislavery Knowledge Network grant (2017-2021).
For any queries about the collection please contact: email@example.com. If you wish to cite a particular narrative, please acknowledge the survivor’s name, the provenance of the narrative and cite: Voices Database, the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham.
Maria Suarez marks the turning-point in her decades-long journey from slavery to freedom as the moment when a bird knocked at her window. She had no idea she about to be freed, but when the bird came she knew that she “was going to have some good news.” She waited, and minutes later officials…
Miguel’s narrative marks a clear turning-point when he knew he could remain in bondage no longer: “A week before Easter it happened.” He told other workers: “Now is our time to leave.” Miguel had arrived in the US from Mexico in 2001, and ended up as a slave in a labor camp run by the…