Annual CCARHT Thomas Clarkson Lecture

The Inaugural Annual CCARHT Thomas Clarkson Lecture

Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking, Contemporary Chattelage: What’s in a Name?

The Conversants

Ambassador C. de Baca served in the Administration of President Barack Obama as Ambassador at Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (2009-2014), and as the Director of the Office for Sex Offender Monitoring Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (2015-2017). Now retired from government service, he is a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and a Senior Fellow of Modern Slavery at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Centre for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Speaks to ‘Modern Slavery’ and its legislative roots in the last one hundred and fifty years of US history.

Caroline Haughey QC is widely regarded as one of the leading legal experts in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in the UK.  Caroline prosecuted the first case of modern slavery in the UK,  ( R-v- SK) Caroline was subsequently involved in advising the all parliamentary group on a proposed bill,  gave evidence before the parliamentary committee and was subsequently involved in the drafting of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  She has prosecuted a number of firsts under the new Act – the first prosecution in child sex exploitation,  first child labour exploitation,  first victimless prosecution,  and the first interim Slavery Trafficking Restriction Orders prosecution .  A recent Panorama programme followed her work on Operation Fort, which has been the largest labour exploitation and trafficking case in Europe to date.

Caroline spoke about the work of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and explored the significance of Human Trafficking in international criminal legislation & intervention.

Dr Simon Stockley is a Director of the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking, (CCARHT), the Deputy Director of the Accelerate program based in the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation and Senior Faculty lecturer in Management Practice at the Judge Business School.  Before coming to Cambridge, Simon was the Director of the award-winning MBA at Imperial College and established the break-through work of HERA (Her Equal Rights and Autonomy) – which was one of the first bespoke programmes of entrepreneurial education targeting female survivors of trafficking for sexual exploitation to be provided in the UK.

Simon as the third conversant of the evening, raising a novel category in the discourse of Contemporary Chattelage recently mobilized by CCARHT as another useful lens to consider the pervasive exploitation which underpins our thinking and engagement with Modern Slavery, and Human Trafficking. 

Dr. Carrie Pemberton-Ford, Executive Director of CCARHT

Director of the Centre and developing the research programs and projects which the Centre pursues is Dr. Pemberton Ford who established the Centre in 2008, and has been building its affiliate network over the last 10 years. A popular speaker, (Ted X University of Cambridge 2018),  and prolific author, with numerous policy evaluation and strategic direction papers submitted to a range of enforcement, International, Governmental and non-governmental Organisations,  Dr. Ford lectures widely in the UK and internationally.

Revd. Mark Oakley, Dean of St. Johns


Having overall responsibility for the life of the Chapel and its community: For the conduct of worship, the work of the Choir and for the oversight of pastoral care within the College community.

Mark is is the author of a number of publications Among other duties, he is also responsible, as secretary to the Livings committee, for the presentation of the clergy to 40 parishes in the Church of England with which the College has long historic connections. During this lecture, Mark will open with a book of condolences for the 39 who lost their lives at Gray’s, Essex.

The evening’s discussion facilitated a deeper understanding of which terms do what work.  We looked forward to a deeper analysis of the systemic challenges existing in globalization and the way neo-liberalism now does business, the harvesting of human misery by ‘traders’, ‘traffickers’ and opportunists, and the fragility of rights protection for a new generation of peoples ‘on the move’.  We looked forward to a fresh exposure to the dynamics of ‘how slavery works’, how one form of slave trade was dismantled two hundred years ago in the wake of the Applied Research and effective parliamentary lobbying of Thomas Clarkson and the Anti Slavery coalition of which he was a vital member.

In the light of the recent Thurrock tragedy, where 39 lives have been lost ‘in transportation’, the thinking of Thomas Clarkson, the fierce advocacy of his colleague Granville Sharpe, and our contemporary advocates for Justice, deeply committed to the rule of Law and the supreme duty to uphold respect for human rights and above all the right to life, were both welcome and salient.

We explored with Caroline Haughey, one of the leading QC’s prosecuting labour exploitation in the UK and Europe today, the work underway in law courts and audit trails to resist human trafficking and forms of slave like practices, and we considered how commoditization of people, comprehensively de-grades supply chains across sectors where ‘chattelage’ flourishes unprotected by constraining laws and ‘civilising’ respect-filled practices. In this powerful event those working on the interface of justice and policy, reflected on the meaning of words, and their impact in this arena.