The Definition of Slavery: Contemporary Relevance and Legal Certainty

  • Jean Allain (Participant)

Impact: Societial Impact


Allain’s research on the legal definition of slavery has transformed the concept of slavery from being seen primarily as a historical phenomenon to being a tool of relevance in dealing with contemporary exploitive practices. As a result, courts, particularly the Australian Supreme Court (known as the High Court of Australia), have applied the law of slavery where previously they did not; and leading NGOs now use Allain’s work as the basis of their understanding of slavery in their lobbying efforts, in mobilizing public opinion, and in providing direct services to affected people.
Furthermore, Allain’s research is the foundation upon which an initiative, which has raised in excess of $2 billion to address contemporary slavery, is based. This private/public funding initiative which is designed to ‘eradicate slavery in one generation’ is utilising Allain’s research as the baseline as to what constitutes contemporary slavery for its funding allocation for governments and NGOs in their anti-slavery work.
Impact statusOngoing
Category of impactSocietial Impact