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Modern Slavery – Politics and Policy

Crosby Soroptimists welcomed Professor Alex Balch as their guest speaker at a recent meeting.
Professor Alex Balch and Soroptimist Vesna Levi

Professor Balch works in the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool. His research concerns politics and policy, with a focus on immigration, forced labour and human trafficking.

He has collaborated with the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool on the legacies of slavery and how they may affect modern society. Are we implicated today? Exploitation makes money!

Recently the professor’s team have been researching the concept known as ‘modern slavery’ by engaging with those who have lived experience of exploitation. Findings show, for example, that there is significant regional variance in the meaning and understanding of terms such as ‘modern slavery’ and ‘survivor’. Blanket – insensitive – use can alienate affected communities and negate well-intentioned policies.

He explained to the Soroptimists how his methods of collaboration and partnership work effectively. He feels this process is more successful than the UK Government’s current Modern Slavery strategy which, from his standpoint, doesn’t fit the needs of the countries involved. He is trying to engage with the Government in an attempt to persuade them to revise their approach.

On behalf of SI Crosby, Vesna Levi (Programme Action Officer) presented Professor Balch with a donation which he is passing to the national charity ‘Causeway’. This organisation supports marginalised and vulnerable people who are caught up in cycles of exploitation and crime.