On the 5 December 2018, CCARHT Director Dr Pemberton Ford attended a hastily convened group of international scholars and students in London to explore
how higher education can contribute more effectively in the fight for resistance to Human Trafficking.
As one of eight around the table for a thematic discussion on what more universities can do to address the critical issue of Human Trafficking through research and policy formulation, how this work contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and what part the ACU (Association of Commonwealth Universities) can play, it was a joy to explore with fellow academics from the University of Sussex, University College London, the University of Durham, and Kings College London, what is already underway in the field of research, and the learning and exchange already well established through the annual CCARHT summer symposium.
The ACU welcomed HRH The Duchess of Sussex’s attendance, and interest in the various areas that were discussed at the event (including Peace and Reconciliation and the challenge of Climate change). It was great to have the Duchess’ attention around the topics discussed, and the ACU is hoping that HRH The Duchess of Sussex’s involvement in and championing of higher education causes, will be instrumental in raising the profile and resourcing in Higher Education elaboration in understanding of these issues globally. It was an encouragement for all those around the table to discuss, however briefly, with HRH The Duchess of Sussex, the areas of most concern in their distinct disciplines and specialisms convened around Human Trafficking and global migration challenges.
A summary of the discussion on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery as generated by the Chair of the counter human trafficking table, is as follows
Human trafficking and modern slavery
The role of universities
International human trafficking is now a more prominent area of academic focus – and a truly interdisciplinary issue – but it is a global challenge and responsibility for tackling it lies with civil society. Several research centres have been established at universities to build knowledge and inform policy in this area, which includes the pioneering work of CCARHT. Universities also need to work more closely with front-line agencies addressing human trafficking and modern slavery to share their learning. Universities can inform policy with accurate intelligence, and inter disciplinarily framed responses, to help shape civil society opinion.
CCARHT welcomes the role of the ACU announced at the convened forum that they will through the network of the Commonwealth Universities for which they are the convening organisation:
- Promote international collaboration to maximise the impact of research and communicate evidence in this area – for example, through the ACU Peace and Reconciliation policy network. This network is led by the University of Melbourne and has over 60 institutions across the Commonwealth involved.
This is an area which CCARHT will be seeking to co-operate closely with the ACU, to build on the extensive international network already built in Europe, the North Americas, Africa and Asia of those working in the Academy on various aspects of countering and understanding the dynamics of Human Trafficking.
• Ensure that this subject is given due prominence at all Commonwealth education-related opportunities.
A wonderfully positive note to sign off 2018, which saw CCARHT partnering for the first time with the University of Palermo to co-deliver and sponsor some bursaries for participants at the twelfth symposium on Migration and Human Rights.
The wonderfully successful CCARHT Summer Symposium in Cambridge ‘The five Ts of Trafficking’ received panellists with a huge range of experiences and expertise addressing within a stellar range of over 35 presentations, the Yazidi genocide, the Rohingya enforced exile, the battle for the rights to life in the Mediterranean, and the impact of Blockchain and Tech as potential game changers for law enforcement in the struggle to keep pace with the Organised Crime profiting from Human Trafficking in Europe and Globally.
CCARHT looks forward to 2019 and onward discussion with the ACU to develop some sponsored bursaries for the CCARHT Summer Symposium 2019 ( July 1st – 5th 2019 senior symposium July 8th – 12th Research summer school with masterclasses). The 2019 CCARHT Symposium will be responding to the several Rs of Trafficking and places will be open for seizing in January – so warm up your sponsorship for this coming season’s work in Cambridge.
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