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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Oumoulkhér Mint Mahmoud was born into slavery in Mauritania. Her daughter Selek’ha escaped and returned with the human rights organization SOS Slaves, to seek the release of Oumoulkhér. But Oumoulkhér initially refused to leave her master, and it was only when Selek’ha began to cry, in…
Selek’ha Mint Ahmed Lebeid was born into slavery in Mauritania. She escaped in 2000 at the age of 20 after she reached a turning-point and realized she was a slave: “I felt my situation was wrong. I saw how others lived.” One day she started walking and didn’t stop until she was free. Then,…