Dr. Kevin Bales

Dr. Kevin Bales is Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the University of Nottingham and co-founder of Free the Slaves. His Pulitzer-nominated book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy was named one of “100 World-Changing Discoveries” by the Association of British Universities in 2006. The film based on Disposable People, which he co-wrote, won a Peabody Award and two Emmy Awards. Bales has advised the US, British, Irish, Norwegian, and Nepali governments, as well as the ECOWAS Community, on slavery and human trafficking policy. In 2005 he published Understanding Global Slavery, an edited collection of Bales’ academic articles.

Following the publication of Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves (2007), Bales was invited to address the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Paris. After reading Ending Slavery, President Clinton told the plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative: “It tells you that it is a problem we can solve, and here’s how to do it.” In 2011, Ending Slavery won the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Promoting World Order.

In 2008, with Zoe Trodd, he published To Plead Our Own Cause: Personal Stories by Today’s Slaves; and with seven Magnum photographers, Documenting Disposable People: Contemporary Global Slavery. In 2009, with Ron Soodalter, published The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today. He is currently writing on the relationship between slavery and environmental destruction; building a global slavery index with Monti Datta and, with Jody Sarich, a book exploring forced marriage worldwide.

Dr. Mohamed Y. Mattar

Dr. Mohamed Y. Mattar’s professional expertise is in comparative and international law, especially international human rights law. Recognized as an international expert on anti-trafficking legislation, Dr. Mattar has worked over 15 years in more than 75 countries, including countries in the Middle East, to promote state compliance with international human rights standards and to advise governments on drafting, implementing, and enforcing anti-trafficking legislation and related human rights laws. Dr. Mattar leads the work of The Protection Project on trafficking in persons; clinical education; corporate social responsibility; legal reform; the promotion of religious dialogue; enhancing civil society capacity; and human rights education.

Dr. Mattar has testified in the United States on the status of human trafficking around the world at various Congressional Hearings, including the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission; the Helsinki Committee for Security and Cooperation; the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness; the House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights; and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights. He also testified before the Russian Duma, the Mexican Senate, as well as the Egyptian Parliament. He has served as a member of numerous United Nations expert groups, as well as an expert advisor to the League of Arab States. He drafted the Inter-Parlimentarian Handbook on the Appropriate Responses to the Problem of Trafficking in Persons.

Dr. Mattar teaches courses on International Trafficking in Persons; Corporate Social Responsibility; International Contract Law; Comparative Contract Law; Contract Drafting Techniques; Investment and Trade Laws of the Middle East; Islamic Law; Introduction to the American Legal System; International Business and Human Rights; International Arbitration; and International Human Rights: Theory and Practice. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Protection Project Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society. He is currently Clinical Professor of Law at Qatar University of Law, teaching courses on Labor Law, Legal Ethics and Legal clinics in the bachelor’s in law program and International Construction Contracts in the Master in Private Law. He is also Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs.

Cory Smith

Cory Smith has been a long time advocate for vulnerable populations by protecting human rights, immigrant rights, civil rights and civil liberties through federal legislation, appropriations and executive branch measures. Currently Cory works for the private foundation Humanity United (HU) established by the Omidyars who founded E-bay.   HU seeks to end mass atrocities and modern day slavery by investing in NGOs in the U.S. and abroad.

Cory served as the Executive Director and Advocacy Director for Enough, a project to end genocide and mass atrocities at the Center for American Progress and was the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CCIR), the campaign that led efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system.  He also served as Legislative Counsel for Human Rights First in Washington, DC and  as a Policy Analyst at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest and most diverse civil rights coaltion.

Cory has written for the Washington Post and appeared in articles in the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, and Associated Press among others. Recent publications include the Not on Our Watch Christian CompanionDarfur Catholic Companion and Discussion Guide and Faithful Against Torture. He holds a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law (2000) is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Stephen M. Apatow

Stephen M. Apatow is president and founder of the UN NGO Humanitarian Resource Institute. Programs include the Humanitarian University Consortium that serves as an international community of scholars, a bridge between Humanitarian Resource Institute and the international academic community, a think tank in support of the United Nations programs and the promotion of higher learning through both traditional and distance education. He is also the founder of the United Nations Arts Initiative, connecting educators and artists, who have the innovation, creativity and connection to the grassroots level in 193 UN member countries. Arts Integration Into Education focuses on prioritized humanitarian emergencies and relief operations through direct participation with strategic planning, critical analysis, expert think tank development for background discussions, peer reviewed data compilation and communications that engage decision makers and audiences in a target demographic. In 2011, he established H-II OPSEC Expeditionary Operations, to provide defense support for humanitarian and security emergencies, currently beyond the capabilities of governmental, UN, NGO and relief organizations.

Helen Burrows

Helen Burrows is a human rights lawyer and international justice reform practitioner. Over the past 20 years, she has advised and collaborated with governments and justice sectors in 50 countries to address human and civil rights violations. She holds Masters degrees in International Law, Anthropology and Development, and is committed to the development of the rule of law globally; delivering justice, dignity and respect to all.

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a specialist in human trafficking and slavery, with nearly 17 years’ experience in the field. As Managing Director for the Monash University Trafficking and Slavery Research Group, Heather is responsible for for building partnerships with industry to inform, document and strengthen corporate responses to contemporary forms of slavery. She has worked internationally across a range of areas, including survivor support, management, capacity building, policy and research. Heather was a consultant on trafficking for the US Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Centre and has advised governments, multi-stakeholder networks and business on developing victim-centred responses that go beyond minimum standards to achieving practical and measurable positive change. Heather holds a Master of Science in Social Work with a focus in International Social Welfare from Columbia University.

Victor Ochen

Victor Ochen is the Director and Founder of African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), a victims-led peace movement that he established in 2005 in Northern Uganda. Victor founded AYINET in the trail of destruction experienced by victims of mass atrocities during the 20-years armed conflict in Uganda. His organization has developed an approach to peacebuilding where notions of peace and justice are not just by proxy, but have been applied practically, tangibly, and meaningfully to restore the dignity of thousands of war victims. Through his leadership, over 21,000 victims have been provided intensive reconstructive medical/surgical rehabilitation, tens of thousands provided trauma healing and communities resettled and reconciled. 

Victor has worked tirelessly with youth from conflict-affected populations, such as Uganda, DRC Congo, South Sudan, and Somalia. In 2017, he convinced over 1500 militia South-Sudanese youths staying in the bush to abandon the battlefield and come to live as refugees in Uganda.  AYINET has so far built the African Regional Youth Peace Solidarity Network. In 2007, AYINET became the first implementing partner to the ICC Trust Fund for Victims. and led the set-up of surgical camps for reconstructive medical repairs for victims of attacks, abductions, and mutilations. 

Victor has been a mediator in South-Sudan, Central Africa, Nigeria, and Congo DRC. He is a member of the Advisory Group to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a UN Global Ambassador for Peace and Justice – representing Global Goal 16. Victor is also a lead consultant to the African Union on the role of Youth in Peace and Security where he represents East and the Horn of Africa. 

Victor’s work has been recognised through several awards, such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s African Young Leader Award. 

AYINET is establishing a new platform to work towards lasting peace in Africa— the African Peace Academy. The academy will educate and train youth to become leaders in their respective communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This pan-African Peace Academy will be a permanent infrastructure for peace in Africa. 

Emma Christopher

Emma Christopher is a Scientia Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is the author of Freedom in White and Black, which was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2018. She previously wrote A Merciless Place, which won both the Kay Daniels and Ernest Scott prizes, and Slave Ship Sailors and their Captive Cargoes. She is the co-editor, with Marcus Rediker and Cassandra Pybus, of Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World. She is also a documentary filmmaker and is the director, producer and researcher of They Are We, which won five Best Documentary Awards, and was the United Nations’ Remembrance of Slavery film 2015. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the film as “an inspiration a victory over slavery”.

Sarah Jewell

Sarah Jewell is the director of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa-USA, which was founded by Leymah Gbowee (2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Liberian peace activist) to raise the next generation of peacebuilders and democratic leaders in West Africa. The Foundation focuses on international advocacy and grantmaking to Liberia. Sarah is an experienced policy advisor and advocate with a particular interest in women’s rights, youth affairs, and social justice. She is from Australia and has professional experience in the non-profit sector as well as in the Australian civil service. Before joining Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa-USA, Sarah was the National Policy and Research Director of Anglicare Australia, which is a network of over 30 social service agencies across Australia.

Polina Smiragina-Ingelström

Polina is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney and a visiting scholar at the Criminology Department at Stockholm University. Her doctoral research investigates the causes and consequences of the invisibility of male victims of human trafficking. Polina is also affiliated with the Danish Institute in Stockholm (DIS), where she is a lecturer in Human Trafficking and the Sex Trade and a lead researcher on a project on illicit organ trade at the department of Justice and Human Rights.

Before commencing her academic career Polina was a migrant counsellor and a reintegration assistant at the UN Migration (IOM) mission in Russia. She was engaged in providing direct assistance to migrants in distress including victims of human trafficking and exploitation; and assistance in voluntary return and reintegration of Russian nationals in an irregular situation abroad.

Throughout her career, Polina has made monitoring, preventative and research fieldtrips to various countries in Europe and Asia, including Chechnya, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia; and Nam Dich and Hanoi in Vietnam.

Dr James Cockayne

Dr James Cockayne is Director of the Centre for Policy Research at United Nations University in New York, a thinktank mandated by the UN General Assembly. While directing UNU-CPR, James helped stand up and ran the Secretariat of the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, convened by the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands, and Prof Mohammed Yunus, the Nobel laureate. James also built and leads Delta 8.7, the global online knowledge platform on what works to end modern slavery – part of Alliance 8.7, currently chaired by France. He also leads policy research work on due process in UN sanctions; and on cyber, AI and global governance. Dr Cockayne has a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London, law degrees with honours from New York University and the University of Sydney, and a University Medal in Government and Public Administration from the University of Sydney.

Chloe Setter

Chloe is the Senior Advisor on Anti-Trafficking at Lumos Foundation, the international children’s charity set up by the author J.K. Rowling to tackle the issue of children living in institutional care. In her role, she leads the organisation’s efforts to tackle child trafficking in the context of orphanages, working with governments, global institutions and business to influence policy and practice that helps to protect children from the harms of institutionalisation, trafficking and orphanage tourism.

Chloe is a leading expert on the trafficking of children, having spent nearly a decade with the international anti-slavery charity, ECPAT UK. She has authored many influential reports and managed international anti-trafficking programmes. A member of the Home Office’s multi-agency expert identification panels, she regularly provides evidence to Parliamentary Committees, expert bodies and the courts. She set up and chaired the first dedicated child trafficking group for the UK Government and also for the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner in the UK.

Debbie Ariyo

Debbie is a recognised expert in forced migration, human trafficking and modern slavery with a focus on Africa and the UK. She is CEO of AFRUCA, a UK charity she founded in 2001 to address child trafficking and provide services to help rehabilitate and support victims. She also founded and chairs the UK Black and Minority Ethnic Anti-Slavery Network (BASNET), that works to promote racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the UK anti-slavery space.

Debbie has served in many anti-trafficking and child safeguarding advisory and non-executive roles. These include membership of the UK government’s Modern Slavery Strategy Working Groups on Children and Victim Support, non-executive Board Member of the (defunct) UK Independent Safeguarding Authority, member, UK Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group of Experts, and technical expert and advisor on various research and intervention projects on human trafficking from Nigeria to Europe. She has served as a guest lecturer at UK universities, addressing students on different aspects of human trafficking and forced migration from Africa to Europe. She is an independent court witness providing expert advice on UK immigration country of origin risk of return asylum cases. She has written for sector publications including “Open Democracy”, and her articles have featured in newspapers in the UK and a number of African countries.

Debbie sits on the Boards of charities including the EU funded and Brussels based Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT). She has served as an expert contributor at high-level international anti-trafficking forums. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. As a 2019 Churchill Fellow, she produced a research report exploring community engagement models in protecting child victims of human trafficking. Debbie holds an Executive Master degree in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Master degree in Urban Policy from University of North London and a Bachelor degree in French Education from University of Benin in Nigeria. In 2011, Debbie was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire medal for her charitable work with children.