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PhD research | Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse

Embedded in the Centre are four PhD students, carrying out research in various topics including gender-based violence in IDP camps in Nigeria, sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines, youth’s perceptions of modern slavery and media discourses on irregular migrants in the UK.

PhD students

Deanna McPherson
Female Traffickers – Perpetrators, Offenders and/or Victims: How female traffickers evolve

Deanna is presently a PhD student at St Mary’s University studying the victimology of female traffickers.

She is an Anti-Human Trafficking Clinician, Advocate and Activist. Deanna began learning about human trafficking in 2008 and has spent the past several years increasing her knowledge and researching trafficking issues whilst working with and for survivors on their mental health and well-being.

She has contributed to this field working in non-profit organizations, volunteering as a Board member, chairing coalition committees and has delivered multiple presentations for over a decade.  

Deanna received her Master’s in Social Work in 2014 in Anti-Human Trafficking at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and her Master’s in Public Health in International Community Health Education in 2001 from New York University.

Deanna has contributed to Sex Trafficking in the United States: Theory, Research, Policy, and Practice New York: Columbia University Press. 

Amy Plummer
The framing of and reception to modern slavery awareness campaigns on social media platforms

Amy is a PhD Politics and Social Policy student at St. Mary’s University.

Her research is focused on the way modern slavery is framed within social media awareness campaigns and how social media users receive and react to this information.  Originally from Portland, Oregon, USA, Amy graduated from Portland State University with a BA International Studies (European Studies). 

She then moved to London where she earned an MA Human Rights at Birkbeck University and an MA Woman and Child Abuse at London Metropolitan University where her theses focused on modern slavery survivor services in the UK and digital technology’s effect on the exploitation and disruption of trafficking for sexual exploitation, respectively.  

Her research interests include modern slavery and human trafficking communications, government and non-profit work around modern slavery, and survivor services.  

Muinat Mustapha
Sexual and Gender Based Violence Against Females in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Northeast Nigeria

Muinat is a year 2 research student of Law and social policy at St Marys University, under the supervision of Dr Carole Murphy.

A member of the Nigerian Bar Association, she holds a bachelor’s degree in law as well as a Master’s degree in law.

Masters dissertation Title: A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Violence in Nigeria, the UK and South Africa.

She is currently researching on sexual gender-based violence on females in IDP camps in Northern Nigeria. She has worked as a solicitor in law firms in Nigeria and also worked in NGOs.

Her interest is on the elimination of discrimination against females and all forms of misogynistic attitude. Her research focuses on the reason for the pervasiveness of gender-based violence despite various existing legislations to curb the menace.

Muinat oversees the coordination of the welfare, protection and empowerment of female internally displaced persons and indigent women at Positive Aid Initiative for Women and Children (PAIWAC) an NGO in Nigeria. Sensitization on education of the girl child is also an activity Muinat engages in at the grassroot level.