Support the
Henry Jackson

Our work is only possible through the generosity of private philanthropy. Find out how you can support our mission and can contribute to our work.

Members' log in
April 17, 2018

The Devil in the Details: Evaluating policy responses to modern slavery and trafficking

Henry Jackson Society

Date: 13:00 – 14:00, Tuesday 17th April 2018


Committee Room G, The House of Lords, London,  SW1A 0AA
Please note you will need to enter Parliament via Black Rod Garden Entrance.


Professor Joel Quirk 
Modern Slavery Expert

To register your interest, or for any further information, please email, stating clearly whether you are a member of HJS and the title of the event above.

Please note that you will need to receive a confirmation email to be able to attend the event.


The last three decades have been marked by increasing awareness and investment regarding the global challenges associated with human trafficking and modern slavery.  While the broad case for action against injustice commands widespread support, there remain lots of devils in the details when it comes to formulating and evaluating responses.

One increasingly prominent challenge is the ever increasing range of practices which have been described as forms of modern slavery, creating an multi-pronged agenda that attempts to simultaneously target, amongst other examples, wartime captivity in Nigeria, supply chain workers in Indonesia, and the abuse of migrant domestic workers in the UK. Other examples, such as wartime sexual violence and forced and early marriage, have attributes that require quite different modes of intervention and engagement. Equally importantly, the exceptional status we commonly ascribe to slavery can also to create an informal separation between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ cases. When slavery is the threshold against which all other categories of abuse are measured, then systems of exploitation viewed as ‘bad but not all that bad’ can appear as unremarkable or even desirable.

By kind invitation of The Rt. Hon The Lord Alton of Liverpool KCSG KCMCO, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to welcome you to an event with Professor Joel Quirk, as he attempts to analyse the policy responses to modern slavery and trafficking.

Joel Quirk is a Professor of Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His research focuses on slavery and abolition, human mobility and human rights, global governance and human rights activism, and the history and politics of sub-Saharan Africa. Recent works include The Anti-Slavery Project (Penn, 2011), Mobility Makes States (Penn, 2015), and Contemporary Slavery (Cornell, 2018). He is a current member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project and the Yale Working Group on Modern Slavery.