Dr Ruth Van Dyke has been a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery, now the Bakhita Centre on Research in Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse since June 2017. Previously she was a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at London South Bank University. She regularly undertakes research and evaluation projects for the Centre, most recently working with sector partners to produce the Child Trafficking Standards. She was co-acting Director of the Bakhita Centre from January 2021- January 2022.
She has been undertaking research on human trafficking and modern slavery since 2009. Initial research was undertaken on behalf of Capital Humano y Social Alternativo, an NGO working on human trafficking in Lima, Peru. This research entailed investigating the trafficking of people from the Andean community to Europe. The findings were included in The Prelude to Human Trafficking: Vulnerable spaces for Andean migrants in the European Union.
Since 2013 Ruth’s research has focused on investigating the competencies necessary for police to tackle human trafficking, the police response to modern slavery and partnership working. The findings from this research have been disseminated in reports to the Metropolitan Police Service, training for police officers, conference papers and journal articles.
She was a member of the Expert Reference Group for the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary’s 2016-17 inspection of police force responses to modern slavery.
More recently, Ruth has engaged in evaluations of modern slavery initiatives. These include the Victim Navigator Programme for Justice and Care and an organisational evaluation of STOP THE TRAFFIK. A recent report What Looks Promising for Tackling Modern Slavery: a review of practice-based research, drew on research conducted by affiliates of the Bakhita Centre. Ruth contributed the following chapter ‘The United Kingdom response to modern slavery: law, policy and politics’, in The Modern Slavery Agenda, edited by Gary Craig, Alex Balch, Hannah Lewis and Louise Waite.