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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 today's (and tomorrow’s) anti-slavery campaigners by providing them with an engaging vibrant tool to help the fight against modern slavery

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

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. 

Ideas for using the 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. 

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’

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:


Anti-Slavery Usable Past:

Contemporary Slavery Teachers' Resource:

Croydon Community Against Trafficking

Ethical Trading

Fairtrade Foundation:


Free the

Global Slavery Index:

Human Rights Watch

Hope for Justice:

Legacies of British Slave Ownership:

Migrants’ Rights

Stop the


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

Slave Trade Database:

Slavery Images - University of Virginia:

Unseen UK:


Stay Informed

New Online Resource

Take a free online module with experts on historic and modern slavery.

See the Future Learn website for details.

Video: Modern day slavery

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...

Video: Modern day slavery

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. 

Unchosen uses the power of film to fight modern slavery....

...through events, conferences, training and workshops. Unchosen show the public and frontline professionals how to see Modern Slavery in their community, and take action against it. Unchosen has a wide selection of films and resources that can be used to support events or training visit for further information.