What do we know about preventing and responding to modern slavery in South Asia? 

​April 2019

Miriam Light, Evidence Broker, Department for International Development (DFID), London │ m-light@dfid.gov.uk 


Photo: Anna Dubuis/DFID


The Asia Pacific region has the highest numbers of both slavery and child labour victims in the world. Although there is a growing body of research and evaluations on specific sub-sectors and interest in the worst forms of labour exploitation, there has not yet been a systematic scoping of studies that would help policymakers understand ‘what works’ to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. 

To address this gap and draw together studies about interventions to reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in South Asia, the Department for International Development (DIFD) commissioned an Evidence Map to identify evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to tackle modern slavery in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

The Modern Slavery Evidence Map provides an outline of where evidence is concentrated and where it is missing by mapping out existing and ongoing impact evaluations and observational studies exploring different types of modern slavery interventions and outcomes for specific target populations (survivors, employers, landlords, services providers, criminal justice officials) and at different levels (individual, community, state). There is also a supporting report which includes an overview of the evidence map methodology and findings.



A child working at a brick kiln in Afghanistan. © ILO


Related resources

Evidence Map:

https://www.gov.uk/dfid-research-outputs/modern-slavery-prevention-and-responses-in-south-asia-an-evidence-map