Dr Alicia Heys

Dr Alicia Heys

Lecturer in Modern Slavery

Faculty and Department

  • Institutes
  • Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation

Qualifications

  • BSocSc (University of Manchester)
  • MA (University of Manchester)
  • PhD / DPhil (University of Hull)
  • FHEA

Summary

Alicia is a Lecturer in Modern Slavery at the Wilberforce Institute where she researches issues of policy, agency and representation. She has conducted in depth research into the relationship between conflict and human trafficking, with a monograph published by Oxford University Press on the topic.

Alicia is a research fellow for the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre where she leads a workstream looking at the legal enforcement of modern slavery.

Alicia is particularly interested in bridging the gap between academia and practice, working with practitioners to shape and share her research. She is Chair of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership and was principal investigator for an AHRC funded project developing training workshops for front line practitioners on responding to modern slavery.

Alicia supervises PhD students looking at issues of modern slavery, exploitation, and exploitative migration.

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Book

From Conflict to Modern Slavery: The Drivers and the Deterrents

Heys, A. (2023). From Conflict to Modern Slavery: The Drivers and the Deterrents. Oxford University Press

Journal Article

Bearing Witness: Contemporary Slave Narratives and the Global Antislavery Movement, by Andrea Nicholson, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2022, xix, 233 pp., £75 (Hardback), ISBN 9781316510803

Heys, A. (in press). Bearing Witness: Contemporary Slave Narratives and the Global Antislavery Movement, by Andrea Nicholson, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2022, xix, 233 pp., £75 (Hardback), ISBN 9781316510803. Slavery & Abolition, 44(3), 577-579. https://doi.org/10.1080/0144039X.2023.2239015

The UK's statutory defence for victims of modern slavery and its narrow understanding of victimhood

Heys, A. (in press). The UK's statutory defence for victims of modern slavery and its narrow understanding of victimhood. Journal of Criminal Law, https://doi.org/10.1177/00220183231179181

A Review Of Modern Slavery In Britain Understanding The Unique Experience Of British Victims And Why It Matters

Kidd, A., Barlow, C., Murphy, C., & McKee, A. (2022). A Review Of Modern Slavery In Britain Understanding The Unique Experience Of British Victims And Why It Matters. Journal of Victimology and Victim Justice, 5(1), 54–70. https://doi.org/10.1177/25166069221117190

Report

Identifying Pathways to Support British Victims of Modern Slavery towards Safety and Recovery: A Scoping Study

Heys, A., Barlow, C., Murphy, C., Wilkinson, S., & Gleich, L. (2022). Identifying Pathways to Support British Victims of Modern Slavery towards Safety and Recovery: A Scoping Study. Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre

Research interests

Modern slavery

Human trafficking

Supply chains and labour exploitation

Conflict and exploitation

National Referral Mechanism

Practitioner responses to modern slavery

Organised crime

Lead investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

HIKE: Proactive Policing in Modern Slavery

Funder

AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Grant

£2,184.00

Started

1 October 2023

Status

Ongoing

Project

Modern Slavery Partnerships workshops

Funder

AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Grant

£23,259.00

Started

1 February 2020

Status

Complete

Project

Identifying pathways to support British victims of modern slavery towards safety and recovery: A scoping study

Funder

AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Grant

£12,232.00

Started

1 September 2021

Status

Complete

Co-investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Evaluation of Humberside Serious & Organised Crime Community Coordinator (SOC CC)

Funder

Home Office

Grant

£11,000.00

Started

23 November 2020

Status

Complete

Postgraduate supervision

Modern Slavery

Human Trafficking

Child Criminal Exploitation

National Referral Mechanism

Modern Slavery Act

Legal Enforcement of Modern Slavery

Labour Exploitation in Business Supply Chains

Partnership Responses to Modern Slavery

Awards and prizes

Rising Star Award

2023

Winner of 2023 Rising Star Award at the University of Hull

High Sheriff's Award

2018

Alicia has received a High Sheriff’s award in recognition of great and valuable services to the community in relation to her work on modern slavery.

Top 100 Modern Slavery Influencers

2018

In 2018, Alicia was recognised as one of the UK's Top 100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers.

Committee/Steering group role

Chair of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership

2020

Academic Advisory Board, UK National Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group

2020

Conference organisation

Voicing the Journeys: Modern Slavery and Migration

2023

Anti-Slavery Day Modern Slavery Workshop

2019

A conference hosting 60 front line practitioners across Humberside. The conference involved participants working through a theoretical scenario of modern slavery in the local area in order to identify potential gaps and set actions in order to overcome them.

Conference presentation

The Modern Slavery Footprint in the Transition to Renewable Energy

2023

Supporting British Victims of Modern Slavery towards Safety and Recovery

2023

Keynote speaker: Identifying pathways to support British victims of modern slavery towards safety and recovery

2022

s45 of the Modern Slavery Act

2022

Responding to Victims of Trafficking who Commit Crimes

2022

Voices of the Enslaved: British National Survivors’ Experiences in Britain

2022

Debt Bondage as Incarceration

2021

Unavoidable Exploitation? How Conflict Drives Human Trafficking

2019

This paper was presented at 'Project Solebay' conference at St Mary's University, organised by Trilateral Research. It focused on the drivers of human trafficking in conflict and post-conflict situations in order to understand the conflict-specific vulnerabilities that put people most at risk. May 2019.

Empty Gestures and System Testers: Government Hypocrisy in the Face of Modern Slavery

2019

This paper was presented at St Mary's Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery at St Mary's University. Based on findings from in-depth interviews with individuals who have experienced ‘modern slavery’, or who have been placed at risk by government systems, this paper examined the underlying hypocrisy of a government that, on one hand, claims to ‘lead the way in defeating modern slavery’ and, on the other, puts people at direct risk of exploitation. May 2019.

Economic Exploitation: A Comparative Case Study of the Cost of Human Smuggling

2019

This paper was presented at the Economic History Society Conference, Queen's University, Belfast 2019. It was based on case studies of individuals who hired smugglers and discussed how individual wealth can impact on the likelihood of a situation of smuggling becoming one of trafficking. March 2019.

Practical Approaches to Modern Slavery Victim Care

2019

This conference was based around Victim Care Pathways regarding modern slavery, held at the University of Hull. The presentation provided a case study example of a large scale case of modern slavery in the local area in order to encourage practitioners to identify the steps they would need to take to provide the best victim care. March 2019.

The Policy Responses to Modern Slavery and their Implementation in Light of Immigration Policy

2019

A paper on the hypocrisy of a government claiming to prioritise modern slavery whilst simultaneously implementing policies that increase risk of modern slavery. This paper focuses on the UK asylum system and the hostile environment. This was presented at the 'Critical Perspectives on Modern Slavery: Law, Policy and Society' conference at the Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull. October 2019.

Consultancy/Industry advisory role

Advisor to UNICEF and Child Helpline International

2023

Training developed and delivered for helpline counsellors working with children from Ukraine on the specific risks of trafficking facing Ukrainian children. Training delivered in Bulgaria and Poland

External examiner role

MRes An Exploration of the deficiencies in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 from an operational victim-centred perspective

2023

External Reviewer

2022

External reviewer for revalidation of MA Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery, Migration and Organised crime course at St Mary's University, Twickenham

Funder panel member

Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre Peer Review College

2022

Government advisory role

Home Office Peer Reveiwer

2022

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

Member of Confederation of British Industry's Young Leaders Network

2020 - 2022

The network is aimed at under 35s, and ensures prospective leaders’ voices are heard when shaping the business community of the future. Alicia promotes both the work of the Wilberforce Institute and the wider University as part of her role, joining some of the most exciting young talent in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Other

Modern Slavery in Green Energy: BBC Radio Humberside Eco Time Show

2023

Shortlisted for BBC3 New Generation Thinkers

2021 - 2021

BBC Free Thinking

2020

Guest speaker on the BBC Free Thinking show, talking about modern slavery and using workshops to bridge the gap between academia and practice.

Freedom Talks: Modern Day Slavery Panelist 2019

2019

A panellist at the Freedom Festival Freedom Talk, in conversation on labour exploitation.

Freedom Talks: In Conversation with Guardian Investigative Journalist Annie Kelly

2019

Panel discussion with award-winning human rights journalist and editor of the Guardian’s Modern-day slavery in focus series Annie Kelly

Freedom Talks: Modern Day Slavery Panelist 2017

2017

Alicia was a panelist at Hull's Freedom Festival's Freedom Talk in 2017 where she provided an overview of the issues of modern slavery and human trafficking locally, nationally and internationally.

Guest on BBC 4's The Listening Project

2017

Guest speaker on BBC 4's The Listening Project talking about how my interest in modern slavery grew and what my work involves.

Vice Chair of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership

2016 - 2020

Alicia has been the Vice Chair of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership since 2016. The Partnership is a strategic forum of front line organisations across Humberside dedicated to tackling all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking.

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