UCL Faculty of Laws


In-person | Taking Stock of Efforts to Combat Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

19 February 2024, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

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This event is organised by the UCL Human Rights Institute

Event Information

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UCL Laws


UCL Faculty of Laws (Moot Court)
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens

About this event

Modern slavery and human trafficking continue to be thriving enterprises, despite years of effort to combat growth and harms. With the launch of the Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, questions must be asked of the successes and failures of previous endeavours to address these practices and the need for new initiatives. What are the potentials of a new Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in bringing about significant and lasting change? What can we learn from previous attempts to combat modern slavery and human trafficking? If a new approach is needed, what should this involve, and how timely is this new Commission? This event will bring together prominent scholars and activists working in this field to consider both the past and future endeavours to combat modern slavery and human trafficking and to map out the potentials for a new era of abolition.

The Speakers

Urmila Bhoola, Principal Research Fellow on Global Anti-Slavery Justice at the Rights Lab and former UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.
Urmila works as part of the Rights Lab’s Law and Policy Programme at the University of Nottingham, delivering research in international, regional, national, and local antislavery governance, gender, and labour rights. Urmila served two terms as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery (2014-2020), presenting reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, and conducting country visits. Among many notable accomplishments, she has also served as an Acting Judge of the High Court of South Africa and a Judge in the Labour Court of South Africa.

Parosha Chandran, Professor of Practice in Modern Slavery Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London.
Parosha is a human rights barrister (One Pump Court), a specialist in modern slavery law and a world-leading expert on the law relating to human trafficking, including for the United Nations and the Council of Europe. She represents adult and child victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and has set critical legal trafficking precedents with national, regional and global influence in the asylum, slavery, criminal non-punishment, civil and public law contexts.

Marija Jovanović, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the Essex Law School and Human Rights Centre. Member of the Global Commission on Modern Slavery.
Marija’s research focuses on modern slavery and the way this phenomenon interacts with different legal regimes, such as human rights law, criminal law, labour law, immigration law, international trade law, and business regulation. She is the author of State Responsibility for ‘Modern Slavery’ in Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2023). Dr Jovanović is currently leading a research project ‘Survivors of Modern Slavery in Prisons: The Blind Spot of the UK Anti-Slavery Regime’ funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, which investigates the experiences of modern slavery survivors in the UK prisons.

Dr Naomi Lott (Chair), Lecturer in Law at UCL and John Fell Research Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford.
Naomi's research spans three fields of law: children rights; general human rights; modern slavery and human trafficking. In 2023, she published a monograph on 'The Right of the Child to Play: From Conception to Implementation'. This monograph has provided a thorough analysis of the right to play, a previously 'forgotten right'. Naomi recently concluded a project for the ILO and IOM, looking to advance a child rights informed approach to antislavery policy and practice, which involved a systematic evidence review of literature at the intersection of children's rights and modern slavery. This found a significant dearth of meaningful engagement with both fields of study in the literature. Where the two fields of modern slavery and children’s rights have intersected, with meaningful discussion of both topics, it is of considerable value and offers critical insights.

Virginia Mantouvalou, Professor of Human Rights and Labour Law at UCL. 
Virginia’s monograph, Structural Injustice and Workers’ Rights, funded through a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, was published by OUP in 2023. Her latest co-edited book, Structural Injustice and the Law (with Jonathan Wolff), is forthcoming with UCL Press in 2024. She is articles Co-Editor of the Modern Law Review, member of the editorial board of the Stanford Studies in Human Rights, and Co-Editor of the UK Labour Law Blog and the Studies in Law and Social Justice. She is also Chair of the NGO Kalayaan, working on the rights of migrant domestic workers.

Andrew Thompson, Professor of Global and Imperial History and Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Member of the Global Commission on Modern Slavery.
Andrew's research interests span global histories of humanitarianism, human rights and development; the history of modern globalisation and the relationship between globalisation and empire; the effects of empire on British private and public life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently researching international humanitarianism and human rights and the emergence of the modern aid and development sector which forms the subject of his forthcoming work Humanitarianism on Trial: How a global system of aid and development and human rights emerged through the end of empire (OUP). 

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