The Team

We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers interrogating forced marriage through a modern slavery lens. Based in the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab and the University of Birmingham’s School of Mathematics, we work at the intersection of theory, practice and policy to help drive efforts to enact evidence-based action towards ending forced marriage by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Helen McCabe

Associate Professor in Political Theory.

Dr. Helen McCabe leads the Rights Lab’s work on forced marriage, as part of its Law and Policy Programme. Her research background is in the history of political thought, including early feminist analyses of marriage.

In January 2020 Dr McCabe became an AHRC Early Careers Researcher Leadership Fellow, and since November 2020 has been Principal Investigator on an ESRC-funded COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant investigating the impact of the global pandemic on forced marriage in the UK. She also works with researchers in Kenya on a GCRF-funded project working with survivors of human trafficking on using techniques from ethical story-telling and participatory photography to inform anti-trafficking work in the region.

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Lauren Eglen

Rights Lab Research Fellow in Modern Slavery, Gender and Feminist Approaches

Dr Lauren Eglen works as part of the Rights Lab’s Law and Policy programme. With a research background in the history of race, gender, and social movements, she takes an intersectional feminist approach to her research on modern slavery and human trafficking. Lauren is interested in feminist activism against modern slavery and all forms of VAWG, how gender inequality intersects with other global challenges to shape experiences of modern slavery, and the use of participatory research methods. At the Rights Lab she has worked to build our database of modern slavery survivor narratives: Voices, and has worked on research projects on forced marriage, and survivor empowerment through participatory artistic methods. She has also worked with leading national charity Karma Nirvana to create a new national working definition of honour based abuse.

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Rowland Seymour

Assistant Professor in Mathematics

Dr Rowland Seymour

Rowland Seymour in an Assistant Professor in Mathematics. His research interests are in computational statistics and Bayesian nonparametrics. Rowland has developed models for a wide range of applications including human rights abuses and outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Rowland is a member of the Mathematical Biology and Healthcare Group, the Applied and Computational Statistics Group, the Institute of Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI, and the Institute for Global Innovation. Rowland has received funding for his research from ESPRC, the Nuffield Foundation and the International Justice Mission.

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Rebecca Brown

Rights Lab Research Assistant and PhD Candidate


Rebecca Brown is a Research Assistant at the Rights Lab’s work on forced marriage, as part of its Law and Policy Programme. Her research background is in modern slavery and human trafficking policy. Her PhD is titled “The Politics of Anti-Slavery Governance: the UK and Australia in Comparative Perspective”, exploring the genesis of how The UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) and the Australian MSA (2018) came to successful fruition, and to what degree their policy processes are comparable.

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The Forced Marriage research team has also included Dr Hannah Baumeister, Dr Rumana Hashem, Hannah Coggins and Fiona Collins-Taylor.

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