Understanding human trafficking and modern slavery in Greater Manchester 

Project overview

Human trafficking and modern slavery are crimes with considerable individual and societal effects. The lack of comprehensive data hinders the ability of stakeholders, including local authorities, to gain actionable insights into the domain; affecting their ability to solve and combat these crimes and support victims. It’s time to change this. 

Project Honeycomb is an intelligence led approach to combating this issue across Greater Manchester. It will enable the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to take action on data that is spread across different organisations, integrate disparate information sources and make the best possible use of the data while respecting best legal and ethical practice. The project will transform dispersed data into comprehensive data assets to better understand key actors and drivers of modern slavery and exploitation. Novel insights will inform evidence-based policymaking and the design of effective awareness and prevention campaigns. 

The project will use Trilateral’s sociotech approach in data protection, privacy, ethics and explainable AI, along with the University of Manchester’s research methods, ethical processes and expertise to gain a true insight into human trafficking and modern slavery. Inspired by Manchester’s symbol of the bee and the robust structure of honeycomb, the project will form a strong response through collaboration and the connection of people and data.

Expected outcomes

  • Fully engaged stakeholders 
  • Better data capture and analysis 
  • Data sharing agreements across organisations 
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) models that generate insights from victim stories  
  • Enhanced understanding of trends and patterns of modern slavery in Greater Manchester 
  • Development of campaigns that combat these crimes 

Applications and benefits

Through Project Honeycomb, it is expected that victim protection and pathways will be improved, and prevention efforts will become more intelligent. This will be achieved with various data sharing and analysis activities across stakeholder groups in Greater Manchester. 

Ultimately, the production of data sharing agreements and streamlined analysis will ensure a robust approach to these crimes. Enabling a long-term approach to gathering intelligence will provide much deeper insight into this crime, which can often be under reported, or misrepresented.  

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about this project, or our work in this critical area, please contact Dr Julia Muraszkiewicz

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