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St Mary’s Appoints New Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery

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St Mary’s Appoints New Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery

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St Mary’s University, Twickenham is delighted to announce the appointment of Sir Tom Phillips KCMG as the new Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery (CSMS).

Sir Tom, who takes up his role on Tuesday 2 October, was Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies from 2014-18 and during his previous diplomatic career served as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2010-12), Ambassador to Israel (2006-10) and High Commissioner to Uganda (2000-02).

The Centre was established in 2015 to respond to the increased awareness of the growing scale of human trafficking and slavery across the globe – in 2014, the Home Office estimated there were 10,000-13,000 potential victims of modern slavery exploited in the UK alone.

The Centre is part of The Archbishop of Westminster, and Chancellor of St Mary’s, Cardinal Vincent Nichol’s initiative to combat slavery and trafficking along with Bakhita House, a London- based safe house for trafficked women, and the Santa Marta group for co-ordination with law enforcement, NGOs and governments.

The Centre’s role is to support this initiative with relevant research which will feed into anti-human trafficking policy at the highest level.

Sir Tom said of his appointment, “I am very excited by the opportunity to work as Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery at St Mary’s. I have seen for myself the human cost of slavery and human trafficking in many parts of the world. It is a rebuke to us all that this problem continues, including the UK.

“I believe the Centre can play an important role in supporting Cardinal Nichol’s initiative, the Santa Marta Group, and in helping to build on the UK’s historic leadership role in spearheading the international effort. I look forward to working with all the relevant government and non-government stakeholders to ensure that the Centre makes a timely and effective contribution to research and policy development.”

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences at St Mary’s Karen Sanders, said, “I am delighted to welcome Sir Tom to St Mary’s. He is very well-respected and will bring vast amounts of experience to the University, helping us to expand and further develop our Centre which does such important research to help inform government policy.”

Visiting Professor at St Mary’s, and former Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, said, “I would like to welcome Sir Tom Phillips to the post of Director at St Mary’s Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery. His extensive and wide-ranging experience brings a unique and exciting opportunity to expand and further enhance the success already achieved by the Centre. I very much look forward to working with Sir Tom and his team in the coming months and years to collaborate in eradicating this vile trade in human lives.”

Sir Tom, who is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge; an Honorary Fellow and member of the Advisory Board of the Changing Character of War Programme, Oxford University; a member of RAND Europe’s Council of Advisors and a member of the Council of the Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund, has also worked an International Adviser to the Prince’s Charities’ International Sustainability Unit and as adviser to the business intelligence company GPW Ltd.

Find out more about St Mary’s CSMS on the University’s website.

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