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A full freedom: contemporary survivors' definitions of slavery

Nicholson, Andrea; Dang, Minh; Trodd, Zoe


Andrea Nicholson

Minh Dang

Zoe Trodd


This article examines key debates on the legal definition of slavery from the perspective of survivors. This group has previously been excluded from the debates on slavery definitions. Drawing on new interviews we have conducted with survivors, and an analysis of hundreds of historical and contemporary slave narratives, the article resolves this critical oversight. Our analysis maps survivors’ ideas onto existing definitions and we argue that a survivor-informed definition can expand our understanding of the nature of slavery and therefore shape antislavery policies and practise.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Journal Human Rights Law Review
Print ISSN 1461-7781
Electronic ISSN 1744-1021
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 4
Pages 689–704
Institution Citation Nicholson, A., Dang, M., & Trodd, Z. (2018). A full freedom: contemporary survivors' definitions of slavery. Human Rights Law Review, 18(4), 689–704. doi:10.1093/hrlr/ngy032
Keywords Contemporary slavery; Narratives; Testimonies; Interviews; Definitions; Law; Wellbeing; Human rights
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