A University of Stirling academic has been appointed to provide expert advice to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC).
Dr Paul Rigby, a social work lecturer and a leading authority on child trafficking, was invited to join the IASC’s Advisory Group in order to support its work in encouraging good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences, as well as the identification of victims.
The only member of the group to be based in Scotland, Dr Rigby has previously been involved in several research projects looking at trafficking and exploitation; and published the first empirical report on child trafficking in Scotland in 2009. He has also previously presented evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the development of new trafficking legislation, sits on two Scottish Government Human Trafficking Strategy groups and is a member of the cross-party group on human trafficking.
Dr Rigby said: “As part of the advisory panel I will challenge, provide guidance to and support the Commissioner in the execution of her duties under part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The input from Scotland is important, as we operate under a different legislative framework – the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 – although part 4 of the modern slavery act applies to the whole of the UK.
“With the different expertise on the panel, I hope that we can influence the identification and support of human trafficking victims across the UK, and support policy and practice developments in Scotland.”
Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM is the UK’s current Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, a role created by part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.