Wilberforce World Freedom Summit

The World Freedom Summit

The University’s fight against modern slavery was the focus of a summit that brought some of the world’s leading anti-slavery campaigners to Hull.

The Wilberforce Institute organised and hosted the first-ever Wilberforce World Freedom Summit: 'Eradicating Contemporary Slavery'.

Speakers from business, the public sector and government focused on contemporary slavery in all its forms and explored ways to end this global atrocity.

There were keynote speeches from the Rt Hon Baroness Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations; Kevin Hyland, the UK’s Independent Slavery Commissioner; and Aidan McQuade, the then Director of Anti-Slavery International.

Other prominent speakers included Humberside Police’s Chief Constable Lee Freeman. And the former President of Ghana, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, returned to the University 10 years after he had officially opened the Wilberforce Institute.

"While the number of those trapped in conditions of modern slavery is shocking, it is heartening to hear at gatherings such as this of the determined and imaginative coordinated action being taken - and which is gaining traction - to fight this issue." The Rt Hon Baroness Scotland
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations

Businesses including Arco and the Co-op Group discussed the vital role of corporate social responsibility with the University’s Christina Talens, who helps retailers to unearth slavery in their supply chains.

The Rt Hon Baroness Scotland said: "While the number of those trapped in modern slavery is shocking, it is heartening to hear at gatherings such as this of the determined and imaginative coordinated action being taken - and which is gaining traction - to fight this issue.”

Professor John Oldfield, Director of the Wilberforce Institute, said: “The summit brought together high-profile people working across wide-ranging themes that are connected with contemporary slavery.

“What is clear from the summit is that there is a need for further exploration through discussion and systematic, methodical research in order to fully understand the nature of the problem.

“The Wilberforce Institute will continue to help the fight against modern-day slavery as a forum for debate and an award-winning research centre.”

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