Global slavery expert is honoured by Prince Charles

Kevin Bales INvestiture
07 Jul 2017 00:15:00.000

Professor Kevin Bales — a leading figure in the anti-slavery movement —has been appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. 

The honour is recognition for work he has done and continues to do as part of the Human Rights Research Beacon at the University of Nottingham.

The honour comes just ahead of £200m the University is investing in research, some of which will help the fight against modern slavery.

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Professor Bales accepted the honour at Buckingham Palace for his ‘service to the global antislavery movement.’

The Order of St Michael and St George is awarded to people who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and also can be awarded for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs. The Order is the sixth most senior in the British Honours System.

Professor Bales has advised numerous governments and UN on trafficking and slavery policy. He has directed and managed voluntary initiatives and foundations, and has brought together the business community to rid their supply chains of slave labour.

Desmond Tutu has said of his research: “Today we finally have the means to bring millions of slaves to freedom.”

Bill Clinton has called his research a roadmap for slavery’s end.Now he has joined a group of scholars and experts at the University of Nottingham to take the fight against modern slavery to the next stage. 

The University of Nottingham is investing £200 million in the future of its research — picking out six beacons of excellence of which the Rights Lab is one. 

There are 46 million people enslaved around the world today. Yet we are at a tipping point: here is now a global political commitment to ending slavery by 2030. To help achieve this aim, the Rights Lab is delivering the world’s first truly large-scale research agenda for ending slavery.

Professor Todd Landman, Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “The School of Politics and International Relations, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the University are thrilled with Professor Kevin Bales receiving a New Year’s Honours for his lifetime work on studying and combating slavery.

“Professor Bales is a world leading authority on contemporary slavery, is leading our educational programmes on contemporary slavery, and is our Rights Lab research director. His global connections and commitment to this important and timely issue are exceptionally strong and hugely inspirational to our staff, students and stakeholders.”

Now home to the world’s leading expert on contemporary slavery and a team of more than 100 Rights Lab staff members, the University is delivering cutting-edge research to tackle one of the great human rights issues of our age.

Discover the full story behind the team’s exciting and world-changing research.

To discover more visit our world.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

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…


Story credits


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

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

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