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23 March, 2018

at Scottish Parliament 

About   Programme   

This event has now concluded. A recording of the live stream is available for viewing.

On 23 March 2018 UN House Scotland will hold a conference on ‘Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Scotland: Raising Awareness; Strengthening Collaboration; Breaking the Chains’. During the event we will host high-profile speakers including Scottish policymakers, NGOs, academics, law enforcement, public and private sector organisations.

The one-day event will be focussed on raising awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery, building new and strengthening existing partnerships to make Scotland slavery free.

The attendees of the event will have the opportunity to hear the address of key note speakers, listen to the presentations delivered by subject matter experts and join expert-led workshops and discussions.

40.3 million people were in modern slavery at any given time in 2016. Women, men and children are exploited in all corners of the world for forced labour, commercial sex, and domestic work. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.

Modern slavery is a growing problem not only in distant countries, but also in Britain. Although slavery was abolished nearly 200 years ago, in 2016 alone there was 3,805 potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking reported in the United Kingdom.



In 2015, world leaders within the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide global development and stimulate action in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.  Sustainable Development Goal 8 calls on the world to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”

The conference is supported by Christina McKelvie MSP and will be held at the Scottish Parliament.

* Please note: The programme below provides an overview of topics that will be discussed during the event. The programme and the list of guest speakers are not final and will be updated in due course.



Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Scotland: Setting the Scene


Key note speakers:

Ash Denham , MSP, Co-Convener of the Cross Party Group on Human Trafficking

Kevin Hyland, OBEUK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Alison McGregor, CEO, HSBC Scotland

Kevin Bales, CMG, Professor of Contemporary Slavery, University of Nottingham

Key note speakers will provide an overview of human trafficking and modern slavery problem from the Scottish perspective and discuss the best responses to tackle it.

Session 1:
Multiagency responses to Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Scotland
Session 2:
Sharing best practices in victims’ identification and support
Session 3:
The role of Scotland’s private sector in the fight against Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
Confirmed Speakers:

Peter Hope-Jones

Human Trafficking Unit, Scottish Government

John Merralls

Senior Operations Manager, Migrant Help UK


Stuart Houston

Detective Superintendent National Human Trafficking Unit, Police Scotland

Scottish policymakers, law enforcement agencies and NGOs supporting survivors of modern slavery will discuss how the existing multi-stakeholder partnerships operate in Scotland to collaboratively fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.

Confirmed Speakers:

Bronagh Andrew, Director,

 Trafficking  Awareness Raising Alliance


The Right Reverend Derek Browning, Moderator, Church of Scotland

Dr. Lucina Hackman

Senior Lecturer, Leverhulme Center for Forensics Science, University of Dundee

NGOs, faith organisations and science will come together to demonstrate how each of them provides help and support to the victims of human trafficking and modern slavery in Scotland.

Confirmed Speakers:

Jonathan Groom, Head of Engagement-Financial Crime Threat Mitigation, HSBC

Alison Scowen, Senior Public Affairs Manager, 

The Co-Operative Group

Dr. Alison Gardner, Assistant Professor, Rights Lab-University of Nottingham

Financial institutions, retail businesses and academia will share their pioneering contributions to the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.

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