December 2nd – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Professor Trevor Burnard

Director of the Wilberforce Institute

University of Hull

T.G.Burnard@hull.ac.uk

On the day the UN sets aside for observance of the International Abolition of Slavery,  Professor Trevor Burnard, Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull, talks about the history of abolition, the numbers of people currently in forced labour, and the need to continue to combat slavery in the UK and around the globe.

The 2nd of December is an auspicious date for it commemorates an important evolution in human history, the acknowledgement that everywhere in the world slavery is illegal. Making slavery illegal globally came very late. Until the late eighteenth century, hardly anyone questioned that slavery was an important, if occasionally distasteful, institution that generally brought important people wealth and influence and often, as in the eighteenth century British and French empires, was a source of national prosperity.

France was the first nation to abolish slavery, in 1794, at the height of the French and Haitian Revolutions and then reintroduced it under Napoleon in 1802, meaning that its final abolition was only in 1848. Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, a hard-fought battle led by both White abolitionists like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson and Black freedom fighters, such as Olaudah Equiano.

 It was a matter of great pride for Britons then and often still that Britain led the way in abolishing the slave trade but it took another generation, until 1838, until slavery was formally abolished in the British Empire and even then slavery continued to exist in British possessions in Africa, South Asia and New Zealand. Nevertheless, as has become clear from protests, especially in the Caribbean, surrounding royal visits and around the relationship of Caribbean nations with Britain, the triumph of emancipation in 1838 obscures the fact that Britain did not give any compensation to emancipated ex-slaves while providing considerable financial help to the people who had owned enslaved people continues to rankle. Demands for reparation for the harm done to people during slavery are increasingly frequent and are enhanced by growing knowledge of just how much British wealth was based upon the labour of African-descended enslaved people, growing sugar and other tropical crops in atrocious conditions.

The reparations movement, gaining momentum in the Caribbean, Africa and elsewhere, and which connects to increasing claims about considering colonialism and the damages of climate change and how they affect the Global South, makes one realise that the historical legacies of slavery remain an important social and political concern. And these political controversies connect us to the reality that slavery, however we define it, whether as coerced labour or human trafficking or sexual exploitation continues to be a growing modern problem.

The number of people in forms of forced labour that amount to slavery is greater now than the numbers who were in slavery when European and American nations abolished slavery in the nineteenth century. It is more also than when nations in Africa and the Middle East formally abolished slavery in the last third of the twentieth century. Fortunately, the number of slaves in the world population of 2022, at around 0.7 percent, is lower than at the height of slavery, around 1800, when perhaps 5 percent of the world population was enslaved. But the numbers of people in forms of enslavement today remain huge and are increasing.

Britain and a few other places have instituted a Modern Slavery Act to try and combat this scourge, with 12,717 potential victims of modern slavery identified in Britain in 2021. The largest number of people identified as subject to slavery in Britain are British nationals, showing that as in the eighteenth century, slavery is not something happening elsewhere but is happening here as well. On this day of commemoration of something that was a signal advance in human history – the abolition of slavery and its transformation into being everywhere a crime – we need to remember just how much work we need to do to make slavery not just illegal but truly a thing of the past.

The boxes are pictured in Hull’s Whitefriargate. Picture: Sean Spencer/Hull News & Pictures

The Ecology of Bondage: Writing the History of Water and Slavery in the Atlantic World 

Laura Birkinshaw and Fred Bricknell

PhD students, Centre for Water Cultures

University of Hull

F.J.Bricknell-2021@hull.ac.uk

L.K.Birkinshaw-2019@hull.ac.uk

A significant amount of historiographic attention has been devoted to the ways in which European imperialism and colonialism fundamentally and irrevocably transformed the global environment. The suite of ideas and practices which typified colonial attitudes toward physical landscape, flora, fauna, and ecological processes continue to influence our behaviour in the twenty-first century. This reality has led ecofeminist scholars Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing to propose a qualification for the increasingly widespread concept of an ‘Anthropocene epoch’ defined by the radical changes which human societies have wrought on the natural world. They posit instead that we are currently living in the ‘Plantationocene epoch’: an era defined by the consequences of an economic system which transported plants, microbes, animals and people all around the globe and transformed to unrecognisability entire ecosystems throughout the Americas, Asia and Africa.

It remains the case, though, that there have so far been few academic inquiries into the environmental history of the most infamous sites of plantation agriculture: the slave societies of the Caribbean and mainland North and South America between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Two landmark works published earlier this year seek to redress the lack of overarching studies on the environmental history of plantation slavery and the regions where it flourished. David Silkenat’s Scars on the Land: An Environmental History of Slavery in the American South (Oxford, 2022) describes how ‘slavery more than nature’ created the Southern United States as a discrete ecological zone through the transformations wrought by flood, deforestation and a host of other environmental catastrophes. In Sea and Land: An Environmental History of the Caribbean (Oxford, 2022), Philip D. Morgan, J.R. McNeill, Matthew Mulcahy and Stuart B. Schwartz synthesise decades of research to create a holistic overview of the Caribbean environment before, during and after slavery. We can only hope that these will be looked back upon as the first of many works which represent an environmental turn in the history of Atlantic slavery.

Water sits at the root of almost all environmental processes, and has therefore been a key factor in historical development,  though it is often difficult to disentangle and isolate its impact in historical sources.  However, despite the often-unacknowledged role of water in histories detailing the development of the transatlantic slave trade, the prevalence and importance of water in the establishment and maintenance of the trade, and its direct impact on those both willingly and forcibly involved in the trade, cannot be overstated.  Water not only ensured survival (through its consumption), but facilitated the triangular trade and economic prosperity for its benefactors.  Water played a fundamental role in all aspects of enslaved people’s lives, and in the transatlantic slave trade as a whole.  From the unwilling conveyance of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas, known as the Middle Passage, to the success of plantation societies, where water was crucial for crops such as sugar, to the transportation of goods from the Americas to Europe, water facilitated the economic growth and success of maritime ports on both sides of the Atlantic.

Alexander Gordon, ‘Plan of the Government Lands in the Colony of Demerara’, 1823 (The National Archives, Kew, MR 1/941)

From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century West Africa was known as the ‘White Man’s Grave’ due to high mortality rates amongst Europeans. Swampy, marshland areas in West Africa provided ideal conditions for both the mosquito Aedes aegypti and the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum – twin vectors of yellow fever and malaria, two of the largest culprits of European fatalities in the transatlantic slave trade – to thrive. This fear of disease motivated Europeans to establish plantations in the Americas, and to transport enslaved Africans across the Atlantic to work on these plantations. Africans’ seeming ability to withstand diseases which proved fatal to Europeans – due to previous infection during childhood, thus granting resistance, in the case of malaria, and life-long immunity from yellow fever, unbeknownst to Europeans at the time – was used as a justification for their enslavement.

Drought and rates of rainfall in Africa could exert a huge influence on the number of Africans enslaved and transported across the Atlantic.  Drought often led to greater interethnic conflict and violence, contributing to higher rates of African enslavement and increased numbers of slaves being exported.  Furthermore, drought, rainfall and crop success in Atlantic Africa were key factors in the timing of slaving voyages and could affect the mortality rate of captives transported across the ocean. 

Simultaneously, water performed a crucial role on land by dictating the location of plantations and the colonies in which they existed, their prosperity or failure, and the health of those kept in bondage within them. Sugarcane, the premier crop of the British Caribbean, requires vast quantities of water to ensure its survival and the presence of so much water on the sugar plantations of the Caribbean provided an ideal environment for disease vectors like mosquitoes (carriers of malaria and yellow fever), as well as waterborne pathogens such as dysentery.

Not only did water facilitate the transatlantic slave trade, and impact on the daily lives and lived experiences of those in the trade, it also shaped the development of green-blue areas (land lying within 100km of the coast) on both sides of the Atlantic.  From the ports where slaves were departed from, to maritime cities such as Liverpool and Bristol water allowed a number of actors to benefit from the commerce in goods and people through jobs, investment, profit and the consumption of goods produced in the trade.  The impact is visible on the landscapes of these places from barracoons where slaves were held, to hospital stations or lazarettos where enslaved people were treated, to the infrastructure and architecture of port cities in Britain where the wealth and prosperity gained from the trade was spent.

Advertisment in the South Carolina Gazette, 16 August 1773 (courtesy of Charleston County Public Library)

Laura’s research focuses upon the prevalence, and impact, of disease in the transatlantic slave trade.  From the inception of that trade, disease threatened the health and well-being of everyone involved, resulting in high mortality rates amongst enslaved Africans and Europeans alike, during both the legal and illegal periods of the trade.  Laura’s work explores the transmission of disease in green-blue spaces such as barracoons, slave factories and lazarettos, and emphasizes the significance of water in the transmission of diseases such as yellow fever, malaria and dysentery.  Additionally, her work explores how the spread of disease was prevented, or curtailed, through methods such as the white-washing of vessels, and through the utilization of maritime quarantines.  Her work will also explore the lived experience of disease, particularly of the enslaved, and how disease was treated by medical practitioners, focusing on green-blue spaces such as ports areas, and on the slave voyages of the Middle Passage. Her research hopes to add to the existing historiography on the production and dissemination of medical knowledge as a result of the transatlantic slave trade.  She seeks to shed new light on how Indigenous and enslaved Africans’ botanical and medicinal knowledge contributed to developments in European medical understanding in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Fred’s research explores the environmental history of slavery and its legacies in one part of the plantation Americas: the colony of British Guiana (present-day Guyana). His work emphasises the role played by both fresh and salt water in the creation of a plantation society, the transformation of the natural environment, and the survival and resistance of enslaved people and indentured labour migrants in the nineteenth century. Standing apart from Britain’s other Caribbean colonies geographically, culturally and ecologically, British Guiana represents an important and under-studied place. His research hopes to reveal how water influenced almost every facet of life in British Guiana, and was a space and substance contested by the people kept in bondage there, both before and after the formal abolition of slavery. A plantation system novel in the history of the British Empire shaped, and was shaped by, the volatile natural hydrology of the region, and the watery environment conditioned a particularly brutal labour regime even by the standards of the nineteenth-century Caribbean. Fred shows how enslaved people and their descendants found themselves at the sharp end of ecological crises from drought (which sharply increased the burden of labour without any form of concession or increased provision from white colonists) to flood (to which enslaved and free African-Guianese communities were always at most acute risk). Enslaved people of African descent and indentured labourers from all over the world frequently found themselves living at the margins of survival, but a few were able to deploy their skill as aquatic labourers to find ways of subverting the plantation system or escaping it altogether.

Laura and Fred will both be presenting their research as part of the inaugural Centre for Water Cultures Conference on 7 December 2022. Held on the University of Hull campus, the conference, which is open to the public, will include a range of papers from different disciplinary backgrounds demonstrating the myriad ways in which water has influenced human societies and cultures from the earliest times to the present day.

My PhD Data Collection Journey: Field Trip to Malawi  

Mavuto Kambochola Banda

PhD student, Living with the Consequences of Slavery Cluster

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

M.K.BANDA-2020@hull.ac.uk

Data collection is a critical part of primary research. In my study of the impact of child labour bans in Malawi’s agriculture on the lived experiences of children, their families and communities, it was necessary to meet the people involved. In this blog, I will take you through my field data collection journey.

Planning the trip

After getting research ethics approval from the University of Hull’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, the next step was getting research ethics clearance in Malawi. For someone studying at a foreign institution to be able to carry out research in Malawi, there are two options to follow in order to get ethics approval before collecting data. The first option is applying for and getting ethics clearance through the National Commission of Science and Technology where a relevant committee depending on your area of study looks into your application and provides feedback. On the other hand, one can also get research ethics clearance through a local research institution such as universities and organisations. I followed the second option and was attached to the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST)’s Center for Innovation and Industrial Research (CIIR). I applied for research ethics clearance from the MUST Research Ethics Committee (MUSTREC), and I got my ethics clearance approval early in January 2022. I have learnt a lot about academic and administrative processes that must be followed when conducting research in a different country from your where your institution is based.

My six months stay at MUST is memorable as I was exposed to valuable research and collaborations within the CIIR. What excited me most was that research the CIIR is skewed towards industry challenges in key sectors of the Malawian and regional economy in agriculture, health and education sectors among others. The set up at the CIIR is identical to my parent institute, the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation  at the University of Hull. The Wilberforce Institute is well known for its research on historical and contemporary slavery and in recent years, has developed interests in researching children’s exploitation, working closely with practitioners in these sectors. Apart from providing me with an office space and internet connection, I was involved in developing the academic progress monitoring system for postgraduate students under the CIIR and in reviewing MUST’s postgraduate handbook. I gained valuable skills through my involvement in these activities, and I am grateful to the staff in the CIIR and MUST at large for their support during my stay there.

Field work

After getting all the required clearance and I began talking to stakeholders on the ground to start planning field data collection trips. I first engaged with the Ministry of Labour who were so helpful and gave me contacts for district labour officers of Thyolo, Mulanje and Zomba Districts where I planned to engage the communities living around commercial tea and tobacco estates. The next stage was to visit the labour offices of each of these districts. My engagement with the labour officers was so enlightening and informed my selection of communities and other stakeholders I needed to talk to.

The highlight of this engagement with district labour officers was at Thyolo District Council. When I met the labour officer for Thyolo, I was informed and invited to the scheduled District Child Labour Committee (DCLC) meeting. To say I got valuable tips on the fight against child labour in the districts might be an understatement. The DCLC meeting drew together all stakeholders in anti-child labour programmes in the district including representatives from the district labour office, district social welfare office, district gender office, district agriculture office, the judiciary, district education office, district youth office, youth organisations, traditional leaders and the NGOs community among others. With the level and clarity of information I got from the meeting, I felt that I gained all I needed to know about child labour in the district, from programmes on the ground, and challenges and steps being taken to ensure all children are protected in the district. Coming at the start of my field data collection, the DCLC meeting energised me and re-invigorated my purpose. It reminded me why it is so important to research about the lived experiences of children, families and communities after children were banned from working in the commercial tea and tobacco estates.

From the district councils, I went straight onto the ground to meet local leaders starting with traditional authorities (T/As), then group village heads (GVH) and then village heads where potential respondents were to be drawn from. Overall, I managed to match or exceed the research targets I had set myself. I had planned to reach 120 survey respondents, I managed to reach 132. On focus group discussions, I had planned to conduct 18 and achieved 18. Finally, on interviews, I conducted 29 interviews out of the 30 I had planned.

Challenges

Let me sign out by highlighting some of the challenges faced during data collection. The biggest challenge was access to research funds. Before traveling to Malawi, I had arranged with my bank to get access to my bank account while in Malawi. Unfortunately, this was not possible, and as I could not access the funds this delayed my field work as I needed the funds to pay field research assistants. The university finance department and my supervisors were so helpful in rectifying the financial hiccup. Another delay of field data collection occurred when some areas became inaccessible by road after tropical cyclone Ana brought heavy rains early in 2022. And as if these setbacks were not enough, I got sick with chicken pox and lost almost 3 weeks research time. Nevertheless, as I now go through the processing of my data, I am so happy with the volume and diversity of the data I have.

Image: Tea estate road in south eastern Malawi             Source: Mavuto Banda

Richard Dunn, Sugar and Slaves, at Fifty Years 

Professor Trevor Burnard

Wilberforce Professor of Slavery and Emancipation and Director

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

T.G.Burnard@hull.ac.uk

Following a workshop earlier this year on Richard Dunn’s Sugar and Slaves, first published in 1972, contributors reproduced their talks for a special issue in the eminent early American history journal, Early American Studies, which has just been published. This blog by Professor  Burnard was written to accompany it.  

Historians are surprisingly poor at honoring the works of the historians who went before them.  We are focused on the present, at least when we consider historiographical trends. We tend to relegate historical masterpieces to distant memory. The historical amnesia about the great historians of the recent past has become even more pronounced as we have moved into the twenty first century and as we have dropped from our reading lists many books that have a twentieth century imprint. Books published before 2000 seem, to us and to our students, just old and out of date.

I remember well a manifestation of this love of the immediate in the historians we read in discussions over dinner in Curacao in the 2010s with Mary and Richard Dunn, Alison Games, Rod McDonald and Michelle Craig McDonald. Mary amused us all by teasing Richard over a comment made at the conference proceedings that day at the Association of Caribbean Historians by an early career scholar, educated mostly in the twenty first century, that Richard was a prominent twentieth century historian of the West Indies, a comment that seemed to suggest that Richard’s scholarship had all been done in the distant past. The speaker was referring, of course, to Richard’s 1972 masterpiece, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713, which is the subject of this blog.

Richard Dunn

Of course, Mary’s teasing, while very funny, was utterly misplaced. Richard was far from being an historian whose work had been written so long ago that it was no longer au courant. He was an adventurous and forward-thinking historian whose work on the Caribbean is as vital in the third decade of the twenty first century as it had been in the eighth decade of the twentieth century. It is easy to imagine, however, a Richard Dunn whose scholarship might have developed in much more conventional grooves than it eventually did. He had been trained in seventeenth-century Anglo-American history at Harvard and Princeton. In his first decade or so as a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, he had written books on traditional topics, such as New England Puritans and the religious wars of Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One would have guessed in the mid-1960s that he would have continued in the same way that he started his historical career. Indeed, that seemed to be the case when he embarked upon a project (never completed, though it did inspire some outstanding essays along the way) to write about the Glorious Revolution of 1689-90 in a transatlantic context.

But Richard got waylaid by a document that he had come across, somewhat accidentally, at what was then called the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane, London. That document stopped any movement to conventional historical scholarship dead in its tracks. This document  was a census of Barbados in 1680. It showed how the transition a generation before to sugar and African chattel slavery had led in Barbados to the growth of the wealthiest ruling class in seventeenth century English America. The long-term result of this discovery, which led to his book on the Glorious Revolution to be put on a permanent back-burner, was the publication of one of the great masterpieces of early American history, written in a protean age of historical writing on seventeenth-century North America. Sugar and Slaves is one of the standout monographs of social history in the time when social and economic historians utilizing techniques drawn from French and British scholarship were transforming the landscape of early American historiography. Richard established, among many other findings, that historians writing on seventeenth century English America had to include Barbados in their accounts, along with more familiar stories drawn from Virginia, Massachusetts, and the Ohio Valley borderlands. It was an opening salvo in the conceptualization of a wider idea of early America, encapsulated nowadays in the commonly used hashtag #VastEarlyAmerica.

The impact of Sugar and Slaves was immediate and lasting. In my opinion, it ranks with Eric Williams’ Capitalism and Slavery (1944), Richard Pares, A West India Fortune (1950) and Elsa Goveia’s Slave Society in the British Leeward Islands (1965) as the most significant book on the early English Caribbean in the middle years of the twentieth century.

1973 edition

No other book in the last fifty years, I believe, has approached it in influence, historical esteem and in writerly verve, although Vincent Brown’s 2021 Tacky’s Revolt has won enough prizes to suggest it might join Dunn’s work in the pantheon of great works on the history of the British Caribbean during slavery.

I had been a fellow at the (then) Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies in 1986-7 before taking up a position at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. In was in 1986 when I first met Richard who was the director of the center where I was a fellow. Alison Games, now of Georgetown University, had been a student of Richard Dunn, working on a dissertation, later an important book, on migration patterns in the early seventeenth-century English Atlantic. Barbados had featured prominently in her dissertation and I had begun while at Mona extensive work into the Jamaican archives which led to scholarship on that island. Over the years, we had moved from being deferential students to becoming respectful colleagues of Richard. We had always valued very highly Sugar and Slaves, both as a source of empirical information and as a model of how to write about the early English Atlantic world.

It seemed to us that the fifty years’ anniversary of the publication of Sugar and Slaves was an appropriate time to evaluate it and its influence over time. Thus, we organized a workshop in June 2021 with speakers from Europe and North America who ranged in status from graduate students to emeritus professors. That workshop led to a special issue in the eminent early American history journal, Early American Studies, published alongside the publication of this blog, in the fall of 2022. I’d like to thank the new editors of EAS, Rose Beiler and Judith Ridner, for their enthusiastic support of our initiative to consider the arguments in Sugar and Slaves after 50 years.The workshop, which was done online, was sponsored by the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull and by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the latter through the generous leadership of Daniel Richter.

The fact of the conference being online had advantages and disadvantages. It required less organization than a conference in person and cost very little to put on. There was some organization, however, and I’d like to thank Laura Spero and Amy Baxter-Bellamy of the McNeil Center for the many things they did to ensure that the workshop went well – which it did. Doing it virtually allowed for much greater participation than would have been likely for an in -person conference. The total attendance was around 150 people with about 80 people present at each session. On the other hand, we missed the chance to socialize and network with friends, new and old. A stimulating session would be followed by the dispiriting experience of a solitary lunch or dinner.

Alison and I were delighted by what happened at the workshop. It was satisfying on both a personal and an intellectual level. Personally, a highlight of the conference was that Richard was able to attend – he listened attentively to every paper. Richard, aged nearly 93 at the time of the workshop, was not in great physical health and indeed he died relatively soon after the workshop, in January 2022. But if struggling physically he was in great shape mentally and he gave a fascinating and moving speech at the end of the workshop which placed Sugar and Slaves in historical context; outlined some of his thinking behind writing the book; and, most interestingly, outlined how this book had shaped his research for his other important book on the British Caribbean (and the American South) which was A Tale of Two Plantations (2014).

On an intellectual level, the workshop and the ensuing special issue demonstrated both the lasting power of Sugar and Slaves as a mid-twentieth century historical masterpiece and also the ways in which, in part due to its influence, the themes that Richard developed have evolved and transformed over time. As Richard noted, the scholarship on this period of English Caribbean history is notably denser and richer than had been the case when he started his work. Our introduction to the special issue outlines some of the ways in which scholarship on the topics that Richard Dunn brought to historical attention in 1972 has changed over time.

A special feature of the workshop was a session in which close colleagues of Richard – Sir Hilary Beckles, Roseanne Adderly, Roderick McDonald and Nicholas Canny – reflected on Sugar and Slaves and what it meant to them and also on how Richard himself had shaped how they looked at early Caribbean history.

2000 edition

Two of these reminiscences are included with this blog as separate blog posts. For me, the opportunity to do homage to a great book, written by a wonderful historian, was the highlight of both the workshop and the special issue that this blog draws attention to.The best way to acknowledge a mentor and colleague, I believe, is to take seriously his or her work. This is what Alison and I have tried to do here for Sugar and Slaves, a book that retains its power and vitality, even fifty years after it was first published.

Shakespeare and the language of slavery

Dr Judith Spicksley

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

Judith.Spicksley@hull.ac.uk

In this blog, commissioned by the Folger Shakespeare Library earlier this year, and reworked for this platform, Dr Judith Spicksley argues that Shakespeare’s use of the term ‘slavery’ can tell us a great deal about what the term meant at the turn of the seventeenth century, and what we can take from it today.

During my virtual fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library last year, I examined the growth of the language of slavery in early modern England, and more specifically, the use of that language in the works of William Shakespeare.  The research forms part of my broader reassessment of the use of the terms ‘slave’ and ‘slavery’ by modern historians to describe institutions of subjection in the past. In searching through a concordance of Shakespeare’s plays and poems I found 163 references to ‘slave’ and 3 to ‘bondslave’, but there were only 5 occasions in all of his works in which he used the term ‘slavery’, even though four of his plays were set in Ancient Rome.

Much of this can be explained by the fact that ‘slavery’ was a relatively new term. Derived from the medieval Latin term sclavus, the English term ‘slave’ has been around since the end of the thirteenth century, when it was used to describe a captive in the absolute power of his or her captor. Already by then it was associated with the misuse or abuse of power. But the first examples of the term ‘slavery’ are not found until much later – they only emerge in the sixteenth century. The earliest example I have found so far is not a literal usage either, but a figurative one, dating to 1542 in a pamphlet by the Protestant reformer, Thomas Becon (A comfortable epistle too Goddes faythfull people in Englande).  There is no sense at this point that he is talking about the institution of slavery as currently understood.  In extending the root ‘slave’ by adding the ‘ery’ suffix Becon was creating a term that referred to the condition in which the ‘slave’ existed, not his status as chattel, and this condition was clearly ignominious. Becon’s aim was to demonstrate the absolute power of the Lord, who could transform the various negative conditions of people’s lives into their positive counterparts – sorrow into joy, darkness into light, death into life, and ‘slavery’ into honour.

In his 1551 translation of Thomas More’s Utopia (A fruteful and pleasant worke of the beste state of a publyque weale and of the newe yle called Utopia) Ralphe Robinson drew on the same portrayal of ‘slavery’ as a base condition, linking it in this case to menial forms of labour. For Robinson, ‘slavery’ represented a type of noxious and miserable work – ‘all vyle seruice all slauerie and drudgerye, with all laboursome toyle and busines’ – fit only for those at the lowest social level.

But the term ‘slavery’ really came into its own as a critique of abusive or illegitimate forms of power. Europe underwent a major fracturing of religious and political authority in the early modern period, so it’s perhaps not surprising to find that the language of slavery provided the perfect vehicle for the airing of religious and political grievances, sometimes brought together in one text. If we look, for example, at Robert Crowley’s The Way to Wealth Wherein is Plainly Taught a most Present Remedy for Sedicion (1550), we can see that the author turned to ‘slavery’ to criticise the actions of rack-renting landlords who were oppressing their tenants. But as a good Puritan, the connection between ‘slavery’ and popery was never far from his mind. He argued strenuously that by not addressing this issue of tyrannical landlords at home English men would risk being ‘brought to the lyke slauery that the french men are in’.

If we now turn to the five contexts in which ‘slavery’ appears in Shakespeare’s works, we can see that the Bard also introduced the term when he was intent on providing a critique of power.  

A Shakespeare First Folio, courtesy of The Folger Shakespeare Library at https://www.folger.edu/shakespeare/first-folio

We perhaps get closest to the understanding of slavery as we imagine it in Othello, in which the eponymous hero is taken captive by the ‘insolent foe’ and sold into ‘slavery’ (Othello I. iii). As the sale of people as commodities was condemned in the Old and New Testaments, I take this use of ‘insolent’ to indicate that the foe was contemptuous of rightful authority, making the seizure arbitrary and unjust (Amos 3:6; Revelation 18:13). Moreover, the context draws on a major element in the semantic framing of the ‘slave’ in the early modern period – as a commodity that was to be bought and sold. John Hawkins is on record as having seized Africans for no other reason than to sell them for profit in the Americas, and by this time details of his activities were already available in print.

A second case of ‘slavery’ that also has biblical signposts appears in The Tempest. Here it is the absolute power wielded by the sorcerer Prospero that is under discussion. The shipwrecked Ferdinand, ordered by Prospero to pile up logs, describes the task as his ‘wooden slavery’, a classic reference to the fate of the Gibeonites, whose punishment involved performing the lowliest of tasks as ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ in perpetuity (Tempest, III. i; Joshua 9). 

The other three uses are all figurative examples, reflecting the huge conceptual power that ‘slavery’ had come to wield. In Henry VI Part II, Jack Cade uses the metaphor of ‘slavery’ to highlight the oppression of peasants living under the tyranny of a self-serving nobility (Henry VI, Part II, IV. Viii). The term also appears in Henry VIII – thought to have been a collaboration between Shakespeare and John Fletcher – in Act II, scene 2 (a section believed to have been written by Shakespeare). Here the author employed the metaphor, in one of its very popular manifestations, in relation to subjection to a Catholic ruler – the Duke of Suffolk hopes to be freed from his ‘slavery’ to the French king. The final appearance of the term is in Sonnet 133, where the themes are those of a painful and tortuous relationship, in which the speaker is berating the actions of a cruel lover. It is love itself that is here the absolute and arbitrary master of the lover’s fate.

So why is understanding Shakespeare’s use of the term ‘slavery’ important? First it means we have to think again about the development of language – terms have their own histories that change over time. In Shakespeare’s day ‘slavery’ was a social condition rather than a social status; it was only later that the term came to represent the institution of chattelhood we recognise today.

Nevertheless the elements that have become embedded in the institution following abolition – coercion, absolute subjection and arbitrary power – were all prefigured in Shakespeare’s use of the term. What this suggests is something fundamental for the historiography of the institution of slavery as we know it – it has not been around for thousands of years. ‘Slavery’, emerging in the sixteenth century as a condition of drudgery, and a measure of absolute and arbitrary power, is less than five hundred years old.  

British Nationals – The Hidden Victims of Modern Slavery

Dr Craig Barlow

Independent Forensic Social Work Consultant & Criminologist

Honorary Research Fellow, Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

cbarlow@craigbarlow.co.uk

September saw the completion, publication and launch of an important scoping study addressing the experiences of British victims of modern slavery and their pathways to safety and recovery.  The research was led by Dr Carole Murphy at The Bakhita Centre, St Mary’s University, Twickenham in partnership with Louise Gleich at Justice and Care. Dr Alicia Heys, modern slavery lecturer at the Wilberforce Institute, and Dr Craig Barlow, Independent Forensic Social Work Consultant & Criminologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute, were co-investigators on the twelve month project. The project was commissioned by the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre (MSPEC).

The Project

Currently, British nationals represent the highest number of referrals from one nationality into the National Referral Mechanism [NRM] with year-on-year increases rising from 90 in 2013 to 3,952 in 2021. The percentage of referrals that are British nationals has also risen each year from 2016 until 2020. In 2021, although the actual number had risen again, the percentage had dropped slightly: last year, British nationals accounted for nearly a third of all potential victims (31%). The largest proportion of these referrals in 2021 was for criminal exploitation involving children, representing 55% of all referrals of British nationals, with the majority exploited in criminal activities such as ‘county lines’.

Despite this rise no comprehensive study has been conducted on their specific vulnerabilities or to identify their specific recovery needs. That which exists has been largely focused on criminal exploitation and the ‘county lines’ phenomenon or sexual exploitation. The project sought to begin to fill this gap.

Research Objectives

  • Understand the experiences of British nationals who have been trafficked
  • Identify gaps in support needs provided for British survivors
  • Compare with findings from other groups
  • Develop coherent responses to the specific needs of British Nationals
  • Provide an evidence base for improved grass-roots delivery of support for British survivors
  • Provide an evidence base to influence policy on the support needs of British survivors

The project resulted in a series of publications, conferences and events culminating in the final report, launched at the House of Lords, and hosted by Lord McColl, on September 6, 2022.

Publications and Conference Papers

The literature review for this project was adapted for a journal article  and published  at the beginning of September:  A Review of Modern Slavery in Britain: Understanding the Unique Experience of British Victims and Why it Matters – Alicia Heys, Craig Barlow, Carole Murphy, Amy McKee, 2022 (sagepub.com)

As part of the research, Craig undertook a critical review of the current criminal and civil legislation and justice system in the UK and presented some of the findings of this review in a paper at the British Society of Criminology’s annual conference hosted by Surrey University on June 29. His paper ‘British Victims of Modern Slavery: Journeys into Criminal Exploitation and Alternative Interventions’ critiqued the current legal and policy response to the criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults, building on his doctoral research and recent work published with Alicia Keys, Simon Green and Beth Derby.

We followed this up with two conference papers in The Netherlands, at the fifth global meeting of the Slavery Past, Present & Future Conference at Webster University, Leiden. We were joined by Professor Simon Green who presented a paper with Craig focusing on child trafficking and criminal exploitation while Alicia and Carole presented early findings from the British Nationals project.

The Final Report

Identifying Pathways to Support British Victims of Modern Slavery towards Safety and Recovery: A Scoping Study  surveyed and interviewed over 50 professionals working with people affected by modern slavery, as well as interviewing seven survivors, to paint a complex picture of systemic barriers creating social and economic vulnerabilities in relation to modern slavery. The lack of awareness amongst services to intervene early and protect British nationals from exploitation was a key feature.

Carole Murphy said, “Our research shows that there’s a huge gap in knowledge about the potential for British nationals to be exploited in modern slavery. This lack of knowledge and understanding results in them not being offered the same support as other people…[British nationals] are commonly failed by the authorities, facing what one respondent in this study referred to as ‘a cycle of closed doors’.

“What sets British citizens affected by modern slavery apart from other potential victims is that they have regularly come into contact with social services, schools and education institutions, mental and physical health professionals even before their exploitation starts. Despite this, agencies that are designed to support them regularly miss opportunities to protect them from being exploited.”

Moving Forward

The report recommends implementing a public health approach to modern slavery to prioritise prevention and early identification of British nationals, including reviewing legislative protections for survivors. At regional and local levels, the report proposes implementing community awareness and resilience programmes and developing multi-agency modern slavery partnerships.

It also advises providing training to frontline professionals likely to encounter potential victims of modern slavery, specifically addressing the experience of modern slavery for British nationals.

Furthermore, it recommends integrating the approach to supporting people who have experienced modern slavery, including improved communication between services provided through the NRM and local authorities, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service in cases of criminal exploitation.

The Impact of the Climate Crisis on Modern Slavery

Megan White

Modern Slavery Partner Administrator,

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

Megan.White@hull.ac.uk

Globally, endeavours have been made for the prevention and eradication of modern slavery. Target 8.7 of the UN’s current Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] aiming to ‘end modern slavery and human trafficking’ and the G7 financial minister’s recent joint statement condemning the exploitation of people in global supply chains highlight this. Nonetheless, the International Labour Organisation has estimated that just under 50 million people are trapped in modern slavery in 2021. It is well established that global supply chains are hubs for the international exploitation of people. The NGO, Anti-Slavery International, for instance has reported that 16 million people are currently exploited in the private sector with links to supply chains. Exploitation is a common feature at all stages in production, from harvesting the initial raw materials to manufacturing and shipping.

The growing challenge of the climate crisis adds an additional layer of complexity to modern slavery and human trafficking globally. Environmental degradation, loss of land, security and livelihoods are set to push millions of people into vulnerable situations that risk exploitation. Moreover, for those already at risk of exploitation, the climate crisis will only add to their vulnerability. Heat waves, earthquakes, extreme flooding and wildfires are just some of the consequences of the ongoing climate crisis. Most often the poorest members of society from low-income countries are impacted disproportionately because of the limited national disaster relief capacity of the State, and the fact that many individuals rely on optimal climate conditions to support their livelihoods. Primarily this is seen in the agricultural sector. As a direct result of this, climate catastrophes will force individuals into situations of desperation, posing an increased risk for them to become vulnerable to exploitation.

This is a universal challenge that the international community needs to address. The joint report produced by the International Institute for Environment and Development and Anti-Slavery International in 2021 cements this, finding that drought in North Ghana has forced migration to cities, and upon reaching these cities, individuals were at higher risk of modern slavery, particularly debt bondage, trafficking and sexual exploitation. Moreover, the 2016 report of the International Organisation for Migration [IOM] revealed that in India, exploiters tend to recruit before the harvest season or in periods of drought as these are often the hardest time periods for agricultural workers, ensuring advantage can be taken of them at the peak of their vulnerability.

These brief examples demonstrate that climate change is already exacerbating modern slavery, acting as a driver for vulnerability. On an international level the IOM has stressed the importance of understanding the ‘hidden’ consequences of the climate crisis, and that it goes far beyond extreme weather conditions. Considering this, responses to modern slavery must include the impact of climate change, particularly in areas with poor governance and insufficient national protections established for potential climate migrants.

However, a lack of corporate social responsibility, the prospect of being involved in a 150 billion dollar economy and a huge consumer demand from the West underscore a lack of willingness by exploiters to amend the appalling human rights violations in modern slavery. This is further compounded by the sophisticated recruitment strategies and desperate situations of vulnerability which foster ideal conditions to help facilitate modern slavery.

International Law prohibits modern slavery, with some forms of slavery even prosecuted as crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court. However, clear gaps remain in protections against those subjected to modern slavery, as demonstrated by the examples and statistics outlined previously. Enforcement of norms is unclear, and because of the various components of modern slavery, UN bodies, human rights regulators and other international systems are fragmented, leading to inefficiencies. This is further exacerbated and complicated by the challenges brought on through climate change. Although modern slavery is a feature of the SDGs for 2030, in part due to the UK government launching an international campaign to raise awareness of this issue, many parties seem uninterested and unwilling to initiate change to prevent the exploitation and commodification of people, particularly when the demand is so high in this multi-billion dollar industry.

On a more local level, the University of Hull’s 2030 agenda is focused on carving out a more equitable and sustainable world, by addressing inequalities and injustices including exploitation. Moreover, the expertise of the Wilberforce Institute has been utilised by organisations to map out the risks associated with labour and human rights violations by large corporations in their supply chains. The Institute also remains at the forefront of delivering knowledge and conducting research on modern slavery within the UK. However, as Vice Chancellor Professor Dave Petley reflected on last week in his blog for Anti-Slavery Day, there is still much to do.

Telling Stories of the Hidden Colonial Histories of Our Geological Institutions

Dr Munira Raji

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Geography, Geology & Environment

University of Hull

m.raji-idowu@hull.ac.uk

The ‘Decolonising UK Earth Science pedagogy – from the hidden histories of our geological institutions to inclusive curricula‘ project focuses on exploring the unrecognised knowledge upon which the foundational institutions of Earth Science are built and how this legacy creates modern-day inequity in our discipline. It aims to begin dismantling this inequity by taking a decolonising Earth Science pedagogy and curriculum approach. The project brings a number of institutions together: the University of Hull (Geology and the Wilberforce Institute); the University of Leeds; Queen’s University of Belfast; Sheffield Hallam University; the British Geological Survey; the Geological Society of London; and the Royal Geographical Society.

It was during the late eighteenth century that many of the principles, theories, laws and practices that shape the (Western) academic discipline of Earth Science were established (Sangwan, 1993). Geology emerged as a specialised branch of science in the colonial state, playing an important role in locating the mineral resources that were needed to fuel growing industrial societies. The foundations of the field, and the institutions that arose during this time, benefitted from, and perpetuated, resource extraction and the knowledge it required, and were essential tools for imperial development and expansion (Rogers et al., 2022). This project will examine the integral role British geologists played in the quest for industrialisation and the expansion of British colonial rule in Africa and India from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. Exploitable deposits of coal, copper, iron, and limestone’s essential smelting flux were vital for the long-term development of steamship lines, railways, and industry, for example. Mineral surveys thus became potent tools in the hands of the colonising British and ensured that geologists worked hand in hand with the most powerful organisations for colonial exploitation.

Left Image: Surveyor and locals panning for gold in alluvial workings. Right Image: Surveyor in dugout canoe. Images downloaded from the British Geological Survey, E.O. Teale photograph collection ©NERC. (Source: Special collections/ E.O. Teale photograph collection 1900s-1930s (mostly Africa))


Geologists recruited through the Colonial Office in London played a significant role in identifying which territories were resourceful. The first Colonial Mineral Surveys started in Southern and Northern Nigeria and Nyasaland between 1906-1909, and the first Colonial Geological Survey was established on the Gold Coast in 1913. At the end of the First World War, the British government promoted and intensified geological surveys in several African territories of the Empire – Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in 1918, Tanzania in 1925 and Kenya in 1933. Some geologists were heralded for their pioneering discoveries. Sir Albert Ernest Kitson (Fellow of the Geological Society of London, Principal mineral surveyor in Southern Nigeria and Director of the Gold Coast Geological Survey) is credited with the discovery of economically significant deposits of coal in Southern Nigeria and manganese, diamonds, and bauxite in the Gold Coast.

Illustrative photographs of Mineral Survey party with Nigerian locals. Images taken from Southern Nigeria: Some Considerations of Its Structure, People, and Natural History by Albert Ernest Kitson, 1913. Source: The Geographical Journal, January 1913, Vol. 41, No. 1 (January 1913), pp. 16-34. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1778485

Local people were used as guides, carriers, labourers, and camp guides in menial jobs that did not pay for their geological expertise, even though our investigations have revealed some local knowledge was cited in reports and publications. However, the first Nigerian to be employed as a geologist in the Colonial Geological Surveys was Okezie, C.N. (BSc), who was not appointed until 1954.

In addition, though local use of these resources may have been extensive, opportunities for the indigenous population to benefit from them were often brought to an end under colonial rule. Following discoveries of gold (the Witwatersrand gold field) and coal (in the Transvaal and the neighbouring Natal colony), 75,500 British citizens migrated to South Africa in search of mineral wealth, and there was a rapid demand for native lands. The result was The Natives Land Act of 1913, which reserved most of the land for White ownership, and forced many Black farmers and landowners to work as wage labourers on land that had previously been under their control. In 1930, after the British geologist, Major John D. Pollet had reported the discovery of diamonds in Sierra Leone, digging for minerals by native Sierra Leoneans was made illegal.

Other colonising European powers practised the use of geology for colonial expansion in Africa and the exploitation of its mineral resources. The Hidden Histories project aims to explore these themes further, uncovering untold stories of using Earth Sciences as a tool of exploitation. It will reveal how local guides and intermediaries underpinned the activities of the colonial surveys and hopes to identify specific instances of where and how local and indigenous geological knowledge was exploited during colonial exploratory surveys and in the construction of the modern discipline of Earth Science. In addition, we aim to make explicit the exclusion of different minority groups in geological exploration and knowledge production. This will support the first part of our project – to decolonise the Earth Science curriculum as it is taught in the UK. The second part will be to develop open-access educational resources that academics can incorporate into their programmes on these themes. A project website with our findings and decolonisation resources is coming soon – watch this space!

Revisiting seafood supply chains with Waitrose

Cristina Talens

Director of Modern Slavery Risk Assessments

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

c.talens@hull.ac.uk

For over 15 years, Waitrose has had a strategy in place for the responsible sourcing of wild-caught and farmed fish. The retailer has placed great emphasis on ensuring they sell only high quality products sourced from known and approved farms (Waitrose’s supply chain information can be found on the Ocean Disclosure Project website). However, these farms (and fisheries) are located across the world and include some high-risk countries with regards to human rights abuses. Some of them have been widely reported in the press, with headlines focussing predominantly on seafood supply chains in south-east Asia and Central and Latin America. Examples include incredibly long working hours which have led to workers allegedly consuming drugs, such as amphetamines, just to keep going.

In March 2019, Waitrose commissioned the Wilberforce Institute to map out the risks associated with labour and human rights in their seafood supply chains for prawns, scallops, mussels, squid, ray, herring milts and clams amongst others.

The Wilberforce Institute conducted a desk review and interviewed HR personnel and managers from 11 seafood companies in Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Peru and Vietnam. The aim of this was to understand worker recruitment and management practices and consider the risk that modern slavery and labour exploitation could take place. The 11 sites covered a workforce of 8900 permanent workers and 1100 temporary workers employed on farms, hatcheries and feeding centres.

The interviews provided Waitrose, and their direct UK based suppliers, with an overview of the specific labour and human rights risks affecting the selected seafood supply chains. Below is a summary of the findings which were based entirely on information provided by site managers:

Gender: 95% of the workforce identified on farms and hatcheries and feeding centres were male. It was therefore considered that in the scenarios being assessed, men were at a much higher risk of human rights abuses than women. One of the reasons given for the gender disparity was that farms and hatcheries are remotely located and the tasks performed by workers are more physically demanding. It is notable that at the packhouse, the gender ratio changes with women representing 50% of the workforce. Packhouses are located nearer to local communities and the work is less physical.

Recruitment methods: Most sites appear to use labour agencies for the purpose of recruiting workers, but not for managing them.

2 out of 11 sites (12%) reported that they used labour agencies and/or subcontractors in Indonesia and Vietnam at hatcheries and farms in more remotely located areas.

5 out of 11 sites (45%) reported that labour agencies carried out recruitment, but that they directly employ the workers once they arrive on site.

Hours: It was found that there was often a lack of transparency regarding working hours. This, in turn, often translated into a lack of transparency on worker’s wages as it is unclear what hourly wage is being paid and whether overtime premiums are being paid.

2 out of 11 sites (12%) had no transparency on working hours and therefore there was a high possibility that wages were being incorrectly calculated. 

5 out of 11 sites (45%) reported excessive working hours and working days. On one site, workers undertook four weeks of work without a day off.

Accommodation: Hatcheries and farms often house workers. The sites are remotely located and accommodation is provided at 7 of the 11 sites (64%).  These house hundreds of workers at a time and this is where the risk of forced labour is highest. Processing sites tend to be closer to the towns providing better transport links and communication with the outside world.

Loans: It is recognised by the farms that loans can be of benefit where there is no welfare structure to support the most vulnerable. The loan amount must not be more than can be reasonably paid back, as this would create debt bondage. Loans were offered in 7 out of 11 sites (64%).

Worker voice: The effectiveness of current worker voice/feedback mechanisms at the farm sites is questionable.

6 out of 11 sites (55%) reported that they had trade unions in place: 4 of these were in Vietnam and 1 in Indonesia. To date, in Vietnam, there is only one representative organisation of workers, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), however in December 2019 the New Labour Code of Vietnam was passed, for enactment in January 2021. In order to observe Vietnam’s commitments under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and ILO Conventions, the New Labour Code recognises the right of employees to set up their own representative organisations. The 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index rated Indonesia as a 5, which means there is no guarantee of worker rights in the country. There is also evidence that arbitrary arrests of union representatives were made there in 2019.

In South America, there was no trade union representation at any of the farm sites. Ecuador and Honduras were both rated as a 5, which means that there is no guarantee of worker rights, whereas Chile and Peru were only slightly better with a rating of 4, meaning there are systematic violations of rights. Nicaragua did not have a rating.

There has been considerable unrest across South America in recent years, and at one site, workers (who are housed in employer’s accommodation) were not allowed to contact the ‘outside world’, which was considered by the farm management as a safety measure but could also be viewed as a forced labour indicator.

As a result of these risk assessments, Waitrose engaged direct suppliers, sharing the findings of the assessments with them and following up on the individual corrective actions taken at the farm sites. They also issued a call to action for the industry to collaborate on greater transparency within seafood supply chains as the best opportunity to tackle both illegal fishing and human rights abuses within the seafood sector. To this end, Waitrose signed the Environmental Justice Foundation’s 10 point Charter for Transparency in 2019. Waitrose also recognised that there was a clear need for further investigation and research into the human rights risks in seafood supply chains, especially at the hatcheries and farm sites which are often remotely located and appear to be high risk. Industry collaboration is required to conduct and fund risk assessments on sites in the highest risk countries and could be supported by experts on modern slavery such as those at the Wilberforce Institute.

Long Term Support for Survivors of Modern Slavery: The Importance of Modern Slavery Champions Within Organisations

Tuesday 11 October 2022, 08.45am onwards

Aura Innovation Centre,

Meadow Road

Kingston upon Hull

HU13 0GD

The Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull, in collaboration with the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership and national partners invite you to our upcoming free one-day conference ‘Long Term Support for Survivors of Modern Slavery – The Importance of Modern Slavery Champions Within Organisations’.

The Global Slavery Index estimates there are 40.3 million people trapped in some form of slavery around the globe today. In the UK, 12,727 people were officially identified as potential victims of modern slavery in 2021. Slavery and trafficking are crimes punishable by severe penalties, yet the problem remains and is growing. Providing long term support to victims and survivors of slavery and trafficking is vital in helping people make lasting and meaningful recoveries, to avoid further trauma and re-exploitation, and in some cases to support prosecutions against their exploiters. Access to support services for victims of slavery and trafficking in the UK is provided through the National Referral Mechanism [NRM]. People who are referred into the NRM are entitled to a range of support services such as accommodation, financial assistance, counselling, or help accessing legal advice.

However, research shows us that there is a distinct lack of understanding of what support people need once they have exited this provision or indeed why they sometimes choose to decline any offer of support in the first place.

This one-day conference at the Aura Innovation Centre brings together new empirical research findings by leading academics, stories from survivors, and experts working in policing and victim support to explore and discuss the importance of having skilled professionals in key positions within organisations who can work with victims to improve their long-term outcomes.

Over the course of the day, you will hear from our expert academic and professional speakers on their research findings and the real-world strategies they use to engage and safeguard victims with a focus on agency and identity.

You will take part in interactive workshops, working with colleagues to discuss and develop new approaches you can apply in your own organisation. The day will end with a panel session giving you an opportunity to pose questions to our speakers.

Confirmed Speakers

Professor Simon Green and Dr Nicola O’Leary, University of Hull – Reclaiming the Narrative: Victims reframing victimology. Empirical research findings

DC Colin Ward, Modern Slavery Unit, Manchester Police – Safeguarding victims in policing

Richard Eastwood, Justice and Care, embedded in Essex Police – The role of victim navigators

Major Kathy Betteridge, Director Anti Trafficking & Modern Slavery, The Salvation Army – ‘We are not for sale’, the role of the Salvation Army

Jen Nghishitende, University of Hull, PHD research – “Freedom is a constant struggle”: Women’s journeys after modern slavery in the United Kingdom

About the venue

This is a free event hosted by the University of Hull in a unique and state of the art venue. The Aura Innovation Centre is located at the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary, in one of the greenest business parks in the country – Bridgehead in Hessle, East Yorkshire. On track to receive a BREEAM Excellent rating for its design, construction, and materials sourced through local supply chains, the Innovation Centre is in the top 10% of UK new non-domestic buildings. And, with an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate the AIC outperforms most new, similar buildings.

Registration and Dietary Requirements

Click here to register for this free one-day event.

Lunch and refreshments are provided. Vegan and vegetarian options are available but please let us know in advance if you have any specific dietary requirements by emailing our interns Sophie and Megan.

sophie.blanchard@hull.ac.uk

megan.white@hull.ac.uk