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Focus on

Who we are

Founded in 2013, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) is a research and policy organisation with a vision of a world free from all forms of labour exploitation, including forced labour and human trafficking.

Our mission is to end labour exploitation by challenging and transforming the systems and structures that make workers vulnerable to abuse. 

  • We believe all workers should be able to exercise their rights in practice.
  • We believe workers’ rights should be enforced and protected independently of considerations around immigration status.
  • We believe there should be structures in place to prevent and address all forms of exploitation – from the apparently ‘minor’ to the most serious – not least because once rights begin to be eroded this opens the door to more severe exploitation.
  • We believe a country’s legal protections for workers are of benefit to all and they should be enforced and accessible, not weakened or eroded.
  • We believe exploitation not only negatively affects workers but has hidden costs for everyone as it is unsustainable and undercuts decent work.
  • We believe research and policy solutions should be informed by workers and those with lived experiences of the issues and work to amplify their concerns.
  • We believe collaboration and joint working is key to securing effective change.

Our values


We believe in equality and recognise the role of intersectionality – the layers of discrimination and systemic oppression that create vulnerabilities and disadvantage.  


We explore, probe, and approach challenges with creativity.


We operate with thoroughness, rigour and reliability in how we use information to evidence the need for change. 


Everything we do is aimed at achieving a more just society.


We strive to remain accountable towards those affected by labour exploitation, whose safety, wellbeing and voice are central to our work.