FLEX builds knowledge about labour exploitation. By drawing together experiences of at-risk and affected people and consulting with policymakers and practitioners, our papers and events enhance understanding of the key drivers and solutions to this abuse.

Key focus areas for knowledge-building have included:

1. Prevention

We know that strong labour protections for all workers, regardless of status, are the first line of defence against exploitation. We build decision-makers' and public understanding of how lower level labour abuses connect along a continuum to exploitation. Examples include:

This in-depth report drew on historical and international examples of how guestworker visas can create vulnerability to abuse and exploitation.

This paper, produced with the Labour Exploitation Advisory Group, demonstrates the links between labour abuses and exploitation, showing how lower level abuses can and do develop into more extreme exploitation.​

2. Victim Identification and Support

Victim-centred and rights-based approaches to identification and support are crucial for enabling trafficked persons to rebuild their lives and to prevent retrafficking. FLEX has built knowledge and awareness amongst practitioners and decision-makers on a range of key topics, including:

3. Gender

Women face specific problems in the workplace and represent a high proportion of workers within at-risk sectors, such as cleaning, catering and hospitality. We approach all our work with gender-awareness front and centre and also seek to build specific knowledge on how women may be affected by labour abuse and exploitation.