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Dr Carole Murphy

Acting Director, Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse (BCRSEA)

Dr Carole Murphy

About Research

Tel: 020 8240 4205


Carole Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in the Criminology and Sociology programme and the MA Human Trafficking, Migration and Organised Crime. Following the completion of her PhD in 2014, Carole established the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery in 2015 and is currently Acting Director and Research Lead.

The MA in Human Trafficking, Migration and Organised Crime, launched in 2017 has proven attractive to international, European and home students alike from a variety of backgrounds, including experienced practitioners and recent graduates with an interest in modern slavery and human trafficking. The MA is unique worldwide, offering students a comprehensive and broad overview of key issues in understanding modern slavery and human trafficking and exploring intersections with migration and organised crime. Guest speakers on the MA include professional practitioners from policing, policy, law, NGOs and criminal justice.

Research expertise includes focuses on improving survivor pathways and outcomes by identifying gaps in support. Her report A Game of Chance?: Long-term support for Survivors of Modern Slavery launched in the Houses of Parliament with an introduction by Lord McColl in June 2018 and has proven influential across the UK. It contributed to the development of a professional practice module offered as a CPD/MA module in St. Mary’s University (link to module on short courses). Carole has developed expertise in conducting evaluations of services within the sector, supporting service providers in identifying good practice and developing a model of service delivery with survivors at the centre.

Carole is committed to raising public awareness about contemporary forms of slavery and exploitation. Recognised nationally as an expert in the field of modern slavery and human trafficking, she is regularly invited to speak on this subject to a wide range of audiences and media outlets. Recent media engagement includes an interview on BBC Breakfast, and expert comment for the Times Higher Education Supplement.

PhD Supervision

  • Social media-based research of public opinion and press coverage on irregular migrants in the United Kingdom, 2015-2018
  • Protecting children in the Philippines who are sexually exploited: evidence of frontline responses from the NGO context
  • Understanding Sexual gender-based violence on females in IDP camps in Northern Nigeria: State response for legal redress
  • An Analysis of London’s Youth’s Knowledge and Perceptions of Modern Slavery: Are UK Anti-Trafficking Awareness-Raising Strategies Effectively Educating Young People?


Areas of research supervision

  • Modern slavery
  • Human trafficking
  • Exploitation abuse (domestic, sexual, other)
  • Gender-based violence
  • Addiction

Research profile

Human trafficking and modern slavery; migration and representation; stigmatised identities; social problems, inequalities, addiction and health/mental health issues.

Publications (recent)

Academic conference papers (selected) 

  • 2019 ‘Addiction, Mental Health and Human Trafficking’, Society for the Study of Addiction Annual Conference
  • 2018 ‘Rivers of Blood, Sea of Bodies: Media, Migration and Human Trafficking’, Slavery: Past, Present and Future, University of Indianapolis, Berlin
  • 2017 ‘Surviving trafficking, Encountering Stigma’, Victims of Human Trafficking: A multidisciplinary problematization of a category, UCL London
  • 2017 ‘Forced Migration and Trafficking: Punishment and Stigma’, Forced Migration and Global Citizenship in Social Care Practice Today, Anglia Ruskin University
  • 2016 ‘Passports, Papers and Punishment: Status, Stigma and the State’, 10th North South Criminology Conference, Maynooth University, Ireland
  • 2015 ‘Criminal Exploitation of Romanian Children in the UK: A Case study, Forced Criminal Exploitation Consultation Event at St. Mary’s University

Invited speaker

  • 2020 Virtual International Conference on Assisting and Protecting Survivors of Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Forced Labour, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Policy and Evidence Centre, 15–16 September 2020
  • 2020 'Human Rights in the 21st Century' conference, The Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull September 2020 (subject to Covid-19 changes).
  • 2020 Invited to chair The National Conference on Combatting Modern Slavery and Supporting Victims out of Exploitation. Government Events.
  • 2019 Invited to chair The National Conference on Combatting Modern Slavery and Supporting Victims out of Exploitation. This conference brings together some of the top experts in the UK from policing, policy and practice.
  • 2018 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Caritas Justice and Care event for secondary students, St Mary’s University
  • 2018 Global Sustainability Network: Gaps in Long term Support for victims of human trafficking and the need for further evidence, Lambeth Palace
  • 2018 International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, Victim Support and Media Representations, London
  • 2018 Security and Risk Consultancy (SAR): Organised Crime and Human Trafficking, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2018 University Women’s Club: Hidden in Plain Sight: Modern Slavery in the UK
  • 2018 Christ the King Sixth Form College: Hidden in Plain Sight: Modern Slavery in the UK
  • 2018 National Board of Catholic Woman Annual Conference: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: Raising Awareness
  • 2017 Chair: Public Policy Exchange conference: Combating Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Developing a Stronger Multi-Agency Response for the Identification and Support for Victims of Trafficking London
  • 2017 Bakhita House ‘The role of Psychological Capital in supporting victims of trafficking’. Presentation for staff training, London
  • 2017 HERA (Her Equality Rights and Autonomy) Mentoring Training, Imperial Business School, ‘Surviving trafficking: The role of Recovery Capital in dealing with trauma’. Presentation to mentors, London
  • 2017 University of Vienna ‘Rivers of Blood, Sea of Bodies: An analysis of recent media coverage of migration and trafficking on the High Seas’ lecture to staff and students
  • 2017 Cambridge University ‘Slavery past and present’, lecture to students on module entitled ‘Being Human: Ancient & Modern Perspectives’, Classics Faculty
  • 2016 Chair: Public Policy Exchange conference: Combating Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Developing a Stronger Multi-Agency Response for the Identification and Support for Victims of Trafficking, London
  • 2016 HERA, Mentoring Training, Imperial Business School, London, ‘Recovery Capital applied to ‘Recovery’ from Human Trafficking/Modern Slavery’

Advisory appointments

  • 2018- 2021 Member of the Project Executive Board (PEB) for the “Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Ireland” project, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, and Santa Marta Group.
  • 2016 to present Trustee Women at the Well (W@W) 54-55 Birkenhead Street, London, WC1H88B

Evaluations and consultancy

2016-2020 Project Coordinator:  

  • Rahab Project, Evaluation of service and project outcomes
  • ‘Mapping gaps in long-term support for victims of trafficking in the UK’, Funded project
  • Housing for Women, Evaluation of Replace service for survivors of trafficking
  • Snowdrop, Evaluation of service and project outcomes
  • Bakhita House, Evaluation of service and project outcomes
  • Housing for Women, Evaluation of two services: Replace and Reunite (2016)

2014-2015 Research consultant: European Policing of human trafficking and modern slavery research project at EUROPOL with The Centre for Social Justice.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact our Press Office Team by emailling