Slavery expert joins ranks of pioneering university institute

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The University of Hull has announced that a leading legal scholar on issues of human trafficking and modern slavery will join a team of its researchers.

Professor Jean Allain is one of the world’s leading experts on the law in relation to slavery and is joining the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation as professor of Public International Law on a part-time basis.

The researchers hope that his legal expertise in international, historical and modern day slavery will further strengthen the work of the Institute.

Professor John Oldfield, director of the institute, said: “Jean is a dynamic and internationally-recognised figure who has revolutionised contemporary slavery studies globally.

“His expertise will help bolster our work in tackling slavery which remains unfinished business in the UK and across the globe.

“In Britain alone there is an estimated 13,000 people trapped in modern day slavery today.

“We are proud to welcome him to our team of experts.”

Widely published across both sides of the Atlantic, Professor Allain is also a special adviser to Anti-Slavery International and has provided legal expertise in high-profile slavery court cases.

He said: “I am delighted to join the Wilberforce Institute and formalise the links I’ve enjoyed for over a decade with this vibrant community of like-minded scholars.”

The institute was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 for its “transformational” research into historical and contemporary slavery and it works on a wide range of projects with partners from around the world.

Academics at the Institute took a major role in shaping the UK’s Modern Slavery Act, which was passed by Parliament in March 2015. All UK companies with a turnover of more than £36m, are now required to report annually on the steps they have taken to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place within their supply chain.