Symposium on Contemporary Slavery with Kevin Bales on 8 November – CANCELLED

The Discipline of Development Studies of the University of Helsinki cordially invites you to attend a public symposium on contemporary slavery. The symposium begins with a Public Lecture by Professor Kevin Bales on ‘“Unlocking the Science of Slavery”.

Kevin Bales is Professor of Contemporary Slavery in the School of Politics & International Relations, Nottingham University, UK, and Co-Founder of the NGO Free the Slaves, the US Sister organization of Anti-Slavery International. Bales’ book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy published in 1999, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and has now been published in ten other languages. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called it “a well-researched, scholarly and deeply disturbing expose of modern slavery”. In 2008 Kevin Bales was invited to address the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Paris, and to join in the planning of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative. In 2006 his work was named one of the top “100 World-Changing Discoveries” by the Association of British Universities. The documentary based on his work, which he co-wrote, Slavery: A Global Investigation, won the Peabody Award for 2000 and two Emmy Awards in 2002. He was awarded the Laura Smith Davenport Human Rights Award in 2005; the Judith Sargeant Murray Award for Human Rights in 2004; and the Human Rights Award of the University of Alberta in 2003, and in 2007 his book, Ending Slavery, won the 2011 $100,000 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Promoting World Order. Bales was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, by Loyola University Chicago, in 2010, and a Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa University of Nottingham, 2015. More about Professor Bales can be found here: []

The programme begins at 2pm sharp. After a brief introduction, Professor Bales will give a public lecture, followed by a 45-minute panel discussion, with panelists Terhi Tafari, senior adviser, National Assistance System for Victims of Trafficking, Venla Roth, Senior Officer, Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings/ Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, and Anniina Jokinen, an expert on trafficking who worked at the Task force on trafficking in human beings at the Council of the Baltic Sea States and is now with The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control. University of Helsinki Professor Barry Gills will chair the event and introduce Professor Bales, whose lecture will provide the global context for the subsequent panel discussion centred on the problem of modern slavery in Finland.

This event is particularly timely and important because, contrary to common perceptions, slavery did not end in the 19th century. It is estimated that contemporary slavery harms more than 40 million people around the world and, although widespread, the prevalence of modern slavery in modern Finland is not well understood.

All are cordially invited without any need for registration!

Additional Details:
Date: November 8, 2018
Venue: Tiedekulma/Think Corner, 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 4,
Time: 2-4pm
Refreshments: Organic Coffee and Fair Trade Tea will be served from 16:00 to 16:45.




Direct all enquiries to Professor Barry Gills (

Organising Committee:
Barry Gills, Mira Käkӧnen, Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Eija Ranta, and Anna Salmivaara.