Project investigator Kevin Bales receives honorary degree

The University of Nottingham has awarded Kevin Bales an honorary doctorate, in recognition of his leadership of the global antislavery movement.


For the last 20 years, Professor Bales has led a movement in response to the enslavement of nearly 36 million people worldwide. His breakthrough research redefined our understanding of modern slavery, and formed the basis for many new laws, policy initiatives and campaigns. Universities UK has named his work one of the 100 world-changing discoveries of the past 50 years, praising his arguments that inspired new policies.

He has advised the United Nations, the European Parliament, and numerous national governments, worked with businesses to address slavery in their supply chains, founded and directed an antislavery NGO, worked as the primary academic advisor to the Walk Free Foundation and as a trustee of Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights organization. He has received the Grawemeyer Prize for the Promotion of World Order, the Davenport Human Rights Award, the Premio Viareggio for services to humanity, a Peabody Award, and two Emmys for a film that he co-wrote, based on his Pulitzer-nominated book Disposable People, which itself is published in 11 languages.

The citation at the graduation ceremony, delivered by Professor Zoe Trodd, concluded: “He is an outstanding example to those graduating today, for his courage, vision and determination – for his pioneering life of purpose.” You can read a press release about this year’s honorary graduates.

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