Online conference: Harnessing UK trade and investment to address modern slavery
15-16 November 2022, 11am (UK time).
Organiser: the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham.
The Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham would like to invite you to an online conference on Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Indo-Pacific Modern Slavery Risks. The conference is part of the project funded by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC).
Current legal and policy arrangements addressing modern slavery in supply chains include forced labour import bans, labour clauses in trade deals and investment arbitration mechanisms. However, we need to understand better how and if these work to protect people and businesses against risks of modern slavery.
This research will aim to inform academic debates in economic, international political economy and international trade law by creating a policy research network on ‘Trade and Investment and Modern Slavery.’
This online conference is designed to bring together researchers, policymakers, businesses and civil society to share latest research and to develop policy thinking. It will include representatives from across the board to discuss how trade and investment are linked to modern slavery and what steps can be taken to protect potential victims in the Indo-Pacific. The conference will be designed to lay the groundwork for creating a network of scholars and practitioners to work on these issues after the project is complete.
Agenda (all times in GMT)
Tuesday 15 November
Session 1. 11.00: Introduction and Welcome
- Professor Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM, Rights Lab Professor of Practice in Modern Slavery Policy, University of Nottingham, and former UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner. Co-Investigator, Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks.
- Project Overview: Dr. Timothy Masiko, Assistant Professor in Law, University of Nottingham, and Principal Investigator, Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks.
- Project Remarks: Catherine Turner, Director of Advocacy and Programmes, Anti Slavery International
- Professor Alex Balch, Director of Research, Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, and Professor of Politics, University of Liverpool
- Keynote one: Dr. James Cockayne, Anti-slavery Commissioner for New South Wales, and former Rights Lab Professor in Politics and International Relations.
Arguing that modern slavery is a system failure, Dr Cockayne uses responses to Xinjiang forced labour to consider how trade and investment can address modern slavery in an era of Great Power systemic competition. Research led by the University of Nottingham, the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and Anti-Slavery International will produce evidence and analysis of the role of trade and investment in the Indo-Pacific to manage risks of modern slavery.
Session 2. 12.30: Panel: the role of import bans in addressing modern slavery risk
- Anna Cavazzini, German Member of the European Parliament and key supporter of the need for forced labour bans in the EU market
- Eric Choy, Executive Director for Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Andrew Patrick, UK Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy
Session 3. 14.00: Keynote two
- Professor Todd Landman, Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham, and Director, Rights Lab. Co-Investigator, Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks.
- Professor Facundo Albornoz Crespo, Rights Lab Professor of Economics, University of Nottingham, and Co-Investigator, Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks.
Session 4. 15.00: Panel: Import bans in practice including a case study of the impact of a ban on Top Glove
- Rosey Hurst, Founder and Managing Director, IMPACTT
- Melissa Cheoh Hooi Gaik, Director and Financial Controller, Top Glove Corporation Bhd. This session will present the case study of Top Glove’s import ban imposed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in July 2020
- Anasuya Syam, Human Rights and Trade Policy Advisor, The Human Trafficking Legal Center
16.15: End of day one.
Session 1: 11.00: Panel: 3. How finance and investment can reduce modern slavery risks, with a focus on role of stock exchanges
- Andy Shen, Government & Multilateral Organisations Lead, Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST)
- Nareerat Santhayati, Deputy vice president, Sustainable Development Department, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). Nareerat will be sharing a video presentation addressing SET’s perspective on why the Exchange promotes human rights protection and anti-modern slavery, as well as touching upon the key challenges that Thai companies are facing on these issues.
- Serena Grant, Head of Business Engagement, Walk Free. A discussion about the ground-breaking collaboration between Walk Free, Finance and Slavery and Trafficking and the Stock Exchange of Thailand to strengthen modern slavery risk management amongst Thai businesses and promote sustainable investment in the Thai investment community.
- Dr. Jason Pandya-Wood, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. Co-Investigator, Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks.
Session 2: 13.00: Panel: 4. The collaborative power of investors
- Peter Hugh Smith, Chief Executive, CCLA. CCLA Investment Management leads Find it, Fix it, Prevent it, a collaborative engagement programme to encourage investors to take modern slavery risks seriously.
- Kate Turner, Deputy Global Head of Responsible Investment, First Sentier Investors and chair of IAST APAC. An overview of the work of Investors against Slavery and Trafficking Asia Pacific which is a collaboration of 37 investment companies with £4.5 trillion under their management
Session 3: 14.00: Paper presentation and discussion
- Dr. Katrina Peake, Rights Lab Research Fellow in Trade and Decent Work, University of Nottingham. Working on the Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks project. Dr Peake will argue that the EU’s approach to trade and investment in countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Vietnam could be applied to the UK’s trade and investment policies in Thailand.
- Dr Erin O’Brien, Associate Professor and ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology. Dr O’Brien will discuss her work on the mobilisation of shareholders and pension fund members to catalyse action on modern slavery and her conceptualising this as a form of political participation.
- Dr. Sabina Lawreniuk, Rights Lab Nottingham Research Fellow in Gender, Activism and the Garment Industry, University of Nottingham.
Session 4: 15.00. Conference reflections and next steps
- Jasmine O'Connor, Chief Executive, Anti-Slavery International
- Dr. Katarina Schwarz, Rights Lab Associate Director and Principal Research Fellow in Antislavery Law and Policy, University of Nottingham
- Dr. Timothy Masiko, Assistant Professor in Law, University of Nottingham, and Principal Investigator, Harnessing UK Trade and Investment to Address Modern Slavery Risks.