Researching human trafficking policies and programmes in West Africa

   School of Histories Languages and Cultures

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  Prof Alex Balch  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Human trafficking and ‘modern slavery’ have been identified as among the key priorities in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals but there is a lack of high quality, critical research into the production of evidence in this area, and its uptake by policymakers, particularly in low and middle-income countries. In addition to this, the disappointing results of previous attempts to address trafficking and forced labour suggest a need for creative and innovative methods to improve the ways that laws and policies are conceptualised, developed, implemented and evaluated. Problems identified around existing approaches include the focus on criminal justice measures and metrics which has led to calls for a move towards approaches that foreground human rights, prevention, partnership, and a more community-engaged ethos. There is thus an opportunity – and urgent need - for robust and rigorous research to critically assess the evolution of policy in this area. There is also great potential to enhance impacts, by better informing and influencing legal and policy development.

You will be joining a multi-national team of researchers that are involved in a large-scale project working in several West African countries called APRIES (Africa Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery) funded by the US Department of State and led by the University of Georgia (Athens). The University of Liverpool is a key partner in this project and Professor Balch, from the Department of Politics, is leading the policy-related work. APRIES launched in 2018 and is generating original prevalence data and will be supporting new programmes to tackle child trafficking in West Africa. You will develop and execute a project that draws on the evidence produced by the APRIES team to research how legal and policy frameworks impact on outcomes for communities in West Africa. Your project will be focused, impactful and be conducted in collaboration with others, and in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental partners in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal.

The PhD project is hosted by the Department of Politics in a research-intensive Russell Group university. You would join a vibrant post-graduate environment in a growing department with more than 40 post-graduate students.

Required qualifications/ knowledge:
• Masters in the realm of International Relations / Politics with a high merit, or a distinction mark
• Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods
• Knowledge of human trafficking policies and policy development
• Ability to work independently
• Proficiency in French language
Desirable qualifications/ knowledge
• Knowledge of West Africa, African politics
How to apply
Please send a cover letter, CV, including list of publications (if any), transcript of MA qualification, contact details for two referees to: [Email Address Removed]

Professor Alex Balch ([Email Address Removed]), 0151 794 2653
When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:
• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV
• Details of 2 academic referees

Funding Notes

A three-year studentship is offered, intended to start in January 2020, providing a tax-free stipend at UKRI rates plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.
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