Lunch Hour Lecture | What lies behind the “Muslim grooming gangs” crisis?
06 December 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm
Ella Cockbain examines the history and impacts of the dominant narrative around “grooming gangs”, exposing the dodgy data, hidden agendas and convenient omissions involved.
This event is free.
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About the Lecture:
For over a decade, the UK has seen an intense focus on “Muslim grooming gangs”. On the one hand, perpetrators have caused very real and significant harms that demand a solid response. On the other, the threat of child sexual exploitation has been actively racialised in ways that are deliberate, misleading and very damaging. In this talk, Dr Ella Cockbain examines the history and impacts of the dominant narrative around “grooming gangs”, exposing the dodgy data, hidden agendas and convenient omissions involved. She considers who has benefitted and who has been harmed by the ways this crisis has been constructed, rendering some issues hyper-visible while obscuring wider problems in child protection. Confronting the realities of child sexual exploitation/abuse, she argues, requires an urgent refocusing of attention, increased resources, and concerted pushback against misinformation, racist stereotypes and self-serving interests in this space.
This Autumn, we bring you a Lunch Hour Lecture Series to showcase how UCL research transforms lives.
About the Speaker
Dr Ella Cockbain
Associate Professor in Security and Crime Science at UCL
Dr Ella Cockbain is an Associate Professor in Security and Crime Science at UCL, and a visiting research fellow at Leiden University. Her research focuses primarily on human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and labour abuses. She is committed to nuanced, evidence-informed and context-sensitive responses to these complex social phenomena. She is the former co-chair of the UK’s Modern Slavery Strategy and Implementation Group on prevention, and a current member. A previous ‘Future Research Leaders’ fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Ella currently leads two major studies: one focusing on human trafficking, the other on labour market abuses (with Dr Chris Pósch, co-lead). Ella also heads up the Research Group on Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Exploitation at UCL.