Global slavery expert joins Nottingham

 Antislavery 445
08 Sep 2016 12:26:34.230

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A world-renowned expert on contemporary slavery has joined The University of Nottingham as a lead researcher in the world’s largest group of Rights and Justice Scholars.

Kevin Bales will be joining Nottingham’s School of Politics and International Relations as Professor of Contemporary Slavery. He joins the University from the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull.

Professor Bales is a leading figure in the anti-slavery movement and has advised the US, British, Irish, Norwegian and Nepali governments on trafficking and slavery policy.

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Inspirational leadership

His book ‘Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy’ has been published in 10 languages and was named one of the ‘100 World-Changing Discoveries’ by the Association of British Universities. The film version won a Peabody and two Emmys. 

The University of Nottingham is home to the world’s largest group of rights and justice scholars – 700 staff members, 300 postgraduate students and 22 research centres across all five of its faculties – giving the University a unique ability to tackle global challenges.

Professor Zoe Trodd, Co-Director of Nottingham’s Research Priority Area (RPA), in rights and Justice (alongside Professor Aoife Nolan), said: “There are 46 million slaves alive today, but the new goal of the UN and the international community is to end slavery once and for all by 2030. At The University of Nottingham we have a large team of scholars working to help make that happen, providing a platform of tools and methods that we call The Freedom Blueprint.

“In Professor Kevin Bales we now have the world's leading expert on contemporary slavery at the heart of our team, catalysing our work. We only know that there are 46 million slaves because of Kevin, and we only have a global and influential antislavery movement because of his sustained commitment and inspirational leadership over the past 20 years. The University is now a beacon for contemporary slavery research - the global centre for antislavery strategies. We are beyond thrilled that he has joined us and we can't wait to work with him on ending slavery."

Tackling global challenges

Professor Bales joins Nottingham at an exciting time for the University, where slavery is top of its agenda. In October 2016, the University will launch the world’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on contemporary slavery—a free four-week online course aimed at 40,000+ learners called “Ending Slavery: Strategies for Contemporary Global Abolition.

The University will also be launching the first ever distance MA degree that will train antislavery workers on the practise of liberation in September 2017.

Professor Todd Landman, Pro-Vice Chancellor Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “‘The Faculty of Social Sciences is delighted to welcome Professor Kevin Bales. His work is highly inter-disciplinary and innovative and is on an issue of global significance, where Nottingham’s global university provides a suitable and dynamic research and educational environment. He is leading a number of new initiatives such as a new MOOC on combating slavery, the development of a new MA programme, and large research projects on the measurement, analysis and impact of contemporary slavery in the world today.”

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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.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


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Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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