What is the Stolen Lives Project?

‘Stolen Lives’ is a collaborative, open-educational project, bringing together academics, musicians, artists and educationalists.  It aims to raise awareness of modern-day slavery, human trafficking and trans-global child labour issues, thereby helping to inform todays’ (and tomorrow’s) anti-slavery campaigners by providing them with an engaging vibrant tool to help the fight against modern slavery.

Although the 17 songs and narratives are freely available to you under Creative Commons*, we ask you to join our community and express your interest in this project. We want to see how far these resources travel and extend the message about modern day slavery!  


We are pleased to announce an exclusive partnership with NASUWT, which will help keep all resources free for all to use. 

All work on this site is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Project Aim

Behind the project is a serious intent, namely to use music and images to promote awareness of modern-day slavery and – just as important – the pressing need to do something about it. Nineteenth-century abolitionists were well aware of the power of music to persuade and inform: indeed, anti-slavery songs were an important part of their opinion-building activities, particularly in the United States.  The same is true of images, whether Wedgwood’s famous image of the kneeling slave, or the cross section of the slave ship ‘Brookes’. ‘Stolen Lives’ follows in the same tradition.  Put simply, our aim is to use music and images to inform public opinion and, in the process, create a sense of moral repugnance against modern-day slavery and for slavery in all its forms.

We should never underestimate the power of such aids to change attitudes and impact on policy and policymakers. 

As William Wilberforce so memorably put it:

‘You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know’.

How to use these resources

‘Stolen Lives’ is a collection of 17 songs and narratives designed to have multiple uses. We anticipate that the resources will not only be of use to schoolteachers, especially those teaching at Key Stage 3 (ages 11 - 14) and Key Stage 4 (ages 14 – 16), but also to youth groups, museums, music and dance groups, and churches and faith groups. The project is also interactive. We hope that users will post their own performances or interpretations of the material we have put together, allowing for a much broader sharing of ideas and practice. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Click on the "IDEAS" box for tips on using Stolen Lives resources in secondary schools - and beyond!

Click on "PLANNING" to access suggested running order and length of individual pieces.

Click on "RESOURCES" to access the unique songs and narratives that make up this project. 

What can I do? 

If you want to get involved in the modern anti-slavery movement and to make your influence felt, here are some useful links and resources:

Click HERE to purchase a DVD from Stolen Lives

Click HERE to donate to Stolen Lives

Anti-Slavery Internationalwww.antislavery.org

Ethical Trading Initiativewww.ethicaltrade.org

Fairtrade Foundation: www.fairtrade.org.uk


Free the Slaveswww.freetheslaves.net

Human Rights Watchhttp://www.hrw.org

Migrants’ Rights Networkwww.migrantsrights.org.uk

Croydon Community Against Trafficking http://theccat.com/

Stop the Traffikwww.stopthetraffik.org

Walk Freewww.walkfreefoundation.org

Contemporary Slavery Teachers' Resource: 

Global Slavery Index: 

Legacies of British Slave Ownership: 

Slate Academy, The History of American Slavery
(subscription may be required):


Slave Trade Database: 

Slavery Images - University of Virginia:

The Anti-Slavery Usable Past:

Stay Informed

This introductory video opened Trust Women 2013 plenary on rooting out slavery in supply chains Slavery is all around us.It's been linked to the supply chains of everyday products, from shoes and bags to matches and soccer balls. It lurks in many of the commodities that fuel the global economy: cocoa, coffee, precious metals...

In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales (co-investigator on the Stolen Lives project) explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research -- and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now. http://www.ted.com