A new initiative to make Nottingham a slavery-free city will be announced at a public debate on Friday 18 November.
Abolishing modern slavery is at the centre of the Prime Minister Teresa May’s personal policy agenda. The Government has mainly focussed on the implications for foreign policy, trade and development, and police enforcement.
However, slavery in the UK is mainly encountered and addressed at a local level, and relatively little attention is given on the community-based opportunities to prevent slavery and recognise and help the ‘slave next door’.
Over the next two years, Nottingham will work to become the world’s first official slavery-free city.
On Friday 18 November, Dr Alison Gardner, along with Professor Kevin Bales (the world’s leading expert on contemporary slavery), from The University of Nottingham and Andrea Nicholson from Nottingham Trent University, will lead a public discussion on ‘making Nottingham slavery-free’.
Experts from law enforcement, civil society and local government, including the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, Paddy Tipping, will also be joining the debate, which will focus on the potential for locally-based action in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to address modern slavery.
Paddy Tipping will also be reflecting on his recently-published Modern Slavery Profile and action-plan.
Raising public awareness
Dr Gardner is leading the ‘slavery-free communities’ initiative at The University of Nottingham, and says: “Tackling slavery at a local level starts from the principle that local civic leadership can play a critical role in addressing slavery including raising public awareness, providing training for frontline staff, promoting slavery-free procurement, and co-ordinating voluntary-sector support services. Communities can also provide vital resources and intelligence in helping to prevent and uncover slavery, and to support local victims.”
The main aim of the evening is to initiate an interactive and an ongoing discussion between academics, policymakers and the public, to understand how slavery is currently experienced in and around Nottingham, and to seek new community-based solutions to addressing this global challenge.
46 million slaves alive today
Professor Zoe Trodd, who co-directs the Research Priority Area in Rights and Justice at The University of Nottingham, said “There are 46 million slaves alive today, including 13,000 in the UK. Last month, Kevin, Alison and I, alongside Professor Todd Landman, presented in Westminster about our plans for ending slavery in Nottingham and around the world, and we’re excited to now share ideas with the Nottingham community on Friday.
“We recognise the importance of local as well as global action. In many ways, local taskforces are even more effective than national taskforces. We are thrilled to partner with Nottinghamshire Police, local government, the Gangmaster Licencing Authority, and the voluntary and community sector to help make the rebel city of Nottingham a slavery-free city too!”
The event is being hosted by The University of Nottingham’s Research Priority Area in Rights and Justice, the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at The University of Nottingham, and the Centre for Conflict, Rights and Justice at Nottingham Trent University, in collaboration with the exhibition Journey to Justice: Nottingham.
It is free and open to all, but registration is recommended here.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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