1st April 2019

Business and Human Rights Knowledge Group

As part of our Business and Human Rights Knowledge Group series of 2019, Advocates for International Development is delighted to invite you to a panel discussion:

Modern SlaveryAct Four Year Anniversary: AReport Card

1 April 2019, 18.00 to 19.30

Ashurst LLP

Broadwalk House, Appold St, London EC2A 2AG


The UK Government is ‘committed to stamping out’ Modern Slavery and claims it is ‘leading the fight’. Does the rhetoric match reality? And what role can legal professionals play?

March 2019 sees the four-year anniversary of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act. The Act saw the UK as one of the first jurisdictions to require companies to report on their efforts to ensure that slavery and human trafficking doesn’t exist in their business or supply chains. Other countries have followed or will follow suit, with legislation in place in Australia, and developments in Hong Kong and Canada.

Four years on, we have the opportunity to reflect on the success (and failures) of this bold initiative. This Knowledge Group event, in partnership between Advocates for International Development (A4ID) and Ashurst LLP, will take a ‘report card’ of the government response to date. Join this panel debate with global experts on Modern Slavery to discuss the adequacy of the UK’s response, how to build a victim-centric approach to enforcement, and where we should go next.


  • Parosha Chandran is the UK’s leading anti-slavery lawyer and she has been practicing at the Bar of England and Wales for 21 years. She is an award-winning human rights barrister and a leader at the Bar in the fields of human rights, human trafficking, forced labour and labour exploitation, immigration, trafficking-related criminal appeals and public law. Parosha Chandran is a human rights barrister based in London and a world-leading expert on the law relating to human trafficking for the UN, Council of Europe and OSCE. She represents adult and child victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and has set critical legal trafficking precedents in the asylum, slavery, criminal non-punishment, civil and public law contexts. She has contributed to key international legal guidance on trafficking, provides judicial training and has advised on legislation including the Modern Slavery Act 2015. She has received many honours for her work including the Trafficking in Persons Hero Award 2015 from John Kerry. She is a Legal Advisor to Parliament’s Modern Slavery Project which supports Commonwealth States in improving their trafficking and modern slavery laws. She is the General Editor of the leading textbook, “Human Trafficking Handbook: Recognising Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery in the UK” (LexisNexis, 2011). In 2018 she received the distinction of being appointed the first Professor of Modern Slavery Law at King’s College London.
  • Catherine Meredith is a human rights and public law specialist with particular expertise in trafficking, immigration and asylum including immigration detention. She has been involved test case litigation at all levels of the UK courts and both the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU. She has advised UN agencies, the Council of Europe and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in developing best practice and practitioner standards in the areas of trafficking, asylum and human rights. Prior to coming to the Bar, she worked with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Committee on Refugees); UNHCR; the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe); and the Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights Unit. She has published widely and frequently advises on public policy issues, public consultations, and lobbying on legislative issues (e.g. torts and victim support under the Modern Slavery Act, FGM in the Serious Crime Bill, legal aid and LASPO). She has lectured within the UK and across Europe (including Russia and Turkey); and has been a guest lecturer on international human rights law and EU law, on masters programmes at Essex, London South Bank and Queen Mary universities. She previously taught public law at Kings College London.
  • Caroline Robinson, Chief Executive, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX). Caroline Robinson has been working to combat human trafficking for over a decade. She co-founded Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) in 2012 and serves as its Chief Executive. Under her stewardship FLEX has become a globally renowned charity working to prevent human trafficking for labour exploitation. Over the past six years Caroline has delivered detailed input to a wide range of parliamentary committees and Government advisory bodies on human trafficking related legislation including: the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Immigration Act 2016 and most recently the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. In 2015, she founded the Labour Exploitation Advisory Group, a network of ten grassroots organisations that has shaped policy on labour exploitation in the UK. Previously Caroline led international policy advocacy for the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women where she founded the global peer review journal, the Anti-Trafficking Review, now on its twelfth issue. She has served as a Senior Advisor on Defence and Foreign Affairs in the UK Parliament and worked for the United Nations, supporting female parliamentarians in the Afghan Parliament. She has an MA in Development Studies with distinction and serves on the Editorial Board of the Anti-Trafficking Review Journal.

The event will be followed by refreshments.


Previous Sessions

The Relevance of Business and Human Rights to Professional Ethics

Tuesday 18th September 2018 from 5.30 to 7.15pm

 White & Case LLP

5 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1DW

The Business and Human Rights (BHR) agenda has moved from aspiration to compliance. Clients are beginning to expect full-service law firms to advise on human rights issues. Some leading firms now have dedicated human rights experts; many do not.

To what extent should all lawyers have a base knowledge in identifying human rights issues? Should lawyers take account of, and advise on, human rights issues in practice areas – project finance, banking, M&A, construction etc – that traditionally had little to do with human rights? Could missing a key human rights issue be the subject of a professional complaint?

The first event of the A4ID BHR Knowledge Group series will explore the effect of the BHR agenda on every lawyer, and what must be done to stay ahead of the curve.

This event will explore the following areas

  • Onboarding: Who needs to know the BHR framework, and what should be the base level of competence in this area?
  • Issue spotting: Where and what issues may arise in various practice areas?
  • Consequences of failure: What can happen to clients who don’t address human rights issues? What are the consequences for firms and individual practitioners?
  • What to do now:  What guidance is out there? How can lawyers upskill in this area? How can a firm make a culture shift to a human-rights aware practice?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Nicole Bigby, Partner and Director of Risk at BLP. Nicole is an expert in strategically aligned risk management, regulatory compliance, governance approaches and business integrity leadership.
  • Anna Triponel, Advisor, Triponel Consulting. Anna works directly advising companies, lawyers, investors and business associations on how to put the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights into practice.
  • Sophia Adams-Bhatti, Director of Legal and Regulatory Policy, The Law Society of England and Wales.
  • Clare Connellan (moderating), Partner, White & Case. Clare leads the firm’s Business & Human Rights Interest Group and is consulted in relation to issues such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Modern Slavery Act, as well as business and human rights training.