ILO and IOM join forces to bridge the research-to-policy gap in child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking

Project Description

A new USDOL-funded ILO project From Research to Action: Using Knowledge to Accelerate Progress in the Elimination of Child Labour and Forced Labour aims at accelerating the use of rigorous research by policymakers and practitioners in support of efforts to tackle child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking around the world, in close collaboration with IOM.


To date, the global struggle against child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking has been hampered by a lack of critical and accessible research on effective policies and strategies and how they can be applied in different contexts. Policymakers and practitioners, who are in a position to make decisions, may not be aware of the available critical research, may not be able to access it, or may not be able to apply it effectively to their own situation. On the other hand, research may not be fully applicable to the needs of policymakers or may not be communicated or presented in a manner that is accessible to policymakers and other potential users.

Project Objectives

(1) To increase policymakers and practitioners’ interaction with rigorous research, evaluation studies, research tools, and other relevant data needed to address child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking internationally.

To do this, the project will address critical factors that prevent effective research, policies and strategies from being widely disseminated and applied. Some activities include building a Policy Interactive Guidance tool, developing annotated bibliographies, and data mapping.

(2) To increase researchers’ understanding of the questions and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to inform policy and programme efforts to eliminate child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking.

The project will identify knowledge gaps and develop both global and country-level research agendas. The research agenda process will be guided by an International Advisory Board (IAB), including but not limited to technical experts from the USDOL, UN agencies, Alliance 8.7 Pathfinder country representatives, and the academic community.

(3) To improve the capacity of researchers to study child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking issues.

The project will develop a massive open online course (MOOC) and promote the integration of course modules into ongoing university programmes.

(4) To increase the number of rigorous studies on child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking carried out by skilled, multidisciplinary, policy-oriented researchers.

The project will award research grants and fellowships to promote long-term collaboration with skilled researchers from a variety of disciplines.