School of Politics and International Relations

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Amelia Watkins-Smith

ESRC DTP PhD Student and Rights Lab Research Associate,



Amelia Watkins-Smith is a PhD student researching the trafficking of women and girls from Myanmar to China for the purpose of forced marriage and childbearing. She holds an ESRC DTP Studentship for this work and is supervised by Professor Kevin Bales and Dr Helen McCabe. The full project details are available on the UKRI website here.

Amelia also holds an MA in Social Science Research (Distinction), MA in Slavery and Liberation (Distinction), and BA in Social Policy and Sociology (First Class) from the University of Nottingham. She graduated top of her year at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and has won several prizes for academic excellence.

Amelia completed a PhD placement with the UK Government Open Innovation Team; a cross-government unit that works with academics to generate analysis and ideas for policy. Here she contributed to a publicly available research report and was consequently invited back to do additional freelance work for the team.

As an undergraduate, Amelia was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Medal for her work directing the Rights Lab's Reading Programme, engaging over 20,000 people in learning activities about modern slavery. She developed this into a research project, collaborating with the Modern Slavery Working Group to generate a 'Slavery-Free Campus Blueprint' that is now being implemented across the University. The full report is available here. Amelia has since briefed the Cabinet Office on this work, and the blueprint has been adopted by several other universities in the UK and overseas.

Amelia also has extensive experience as a Rights Lab research fellow, and as a volunteer support worker for NGOs tackling violence against women and girls.

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