Elizabeth completed a BA in Law and American Studies in 2010 and an MA in Human Rights Globalisation and Justice in 2012 at Keele University. She submitted her PhD thesis ‘The Trafficking of Children; International Law, Modern Slavery and the New Abolitionists’ in 2017 and secured a contract with Palgrave Macmillan for the monograph based upon her doctoral research as part of the ‘Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security Series’.

Elizabeth joined Keele Law School in 2021 as a member staff, having previously held a Lectureship in Contemporary Slavery at the Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull and in the Law Schools of De Montfort University and Staffordshire University. Her passion about human rights and social justice was nurtured through her time as a student at Keele and continued through her contribution to teaching the undergraduate module Law in Action. Elizabeth has been an invited lecturer at Trinity College, University of Cambridge (2019) upon ‘Modern Slavery and Ethics’. In addition to appearing as an invited speaker at the 7th Children’s Rights Research Symposium, Children’s Rights Research at 30: Reflections, Challenges and Opportunities, University of Liverpool (2019).

Elizabeth has been interviewed on local and national radio in the aftermath of the Greys Tragedy in 2019 to discuss modern slavery, trafficking and immigration. Delivering a “tent talk” with the Guardian’s Modern slavery editor Annie Kelly at the Freedom Festival in 2018 and appearing as a panelist on BBC’s live TV program The Big Questions in 2018 as an expert on modern slavery. In addition to public engagement, she is the Coordinator of the ESPMI Executive Committee, Emerging Scholars & Practitioners on Migration Issues Network (ESPMI)

Elizabeth has an expanding publication portfolio and a series of successful grants which enabled the delivery of two events in 2019. Firstly, a multidisciplinary conference in October 2019 ‘Critical Perspectives on Modern Slavery; Law Policy and Society’ (CPMS) funded by the Modern Law Review and Society of Legal Scholars (SLS). Secondly, an ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event ‘The Faces of Hull: interpreting refugees, slaves and migrants’ in November 2019. She is a peer reviewer for the ‘Anti-Trafficking Review’, Routledge and the Journal of Human Trafficking and has published numerous commentaries upon her research including pieces in the Independent, the Conversation and Open Democracy.


Research and scholarship

Elizabeth’s interests, broadly conceived, are in international child law, human rights, crime, and the law, specialising in human trafficking, modern slavery, children’s rights, exploitation, and sexual violence. The main source of her intellectual curiosity relates to the influence and impact of the colonial era of international rule upon contemporary legal responses to children’s rights, specifically focusing upon the movement, agency, and the exploitation of children during the 20th and 21st century. Undertaking research within the League of Nations Archives, Geneva to catalogue the application of ideas of childhood and exploitation within a diverse cultural melting pot of subjugated populations of the colonial era.

Elizabeth is happy to supervise students working in the fields of children’s rights, exploitation, international human rights law, modern slavery, human trafficking, sex work, sexual abuse/exploitation, and mobility.


Undergraduate Teaching:

  • Law in Action
  • Transnational Organised Crime
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Family Law
  • Equity and Trusts

Postgraduate Teaching:

  • MA in Child Care Law and Practice

Further information

Invited Speaker 

  • ‘Decolonising Children’s Rights: Critical reflections workshop’, 7th Children’s Rights Research Symposium, Children’s Rights Research at 30: Reflections, Challenges and Opportunities, 15-17 December 2019, University of Liverpool, UK  
  • Public Seminar ‘The trafficking & exploitation of children in the 1920s’ International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, United Kingdom 27.06.2019 

Conference and Event Organisation 

  • Conference Organising Committee – International Association for the Study of Force Migration (IASFM18) Accra, Ghana (2021) 
  • Project Lead - ESRC Festival of Social Sciences event, Faces of Hull: Refugees, Slaves and Migrants, 9.11.2019 
  • Conference organiser - Critical Perspectives on Modern Slavery: Law, Policy and Society, 30.10.2019, Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. 

Conference Papers 

  • Faulkner, E.A. The League of Nations and Child Trafficking: A tale of race, exploitation & empire (1921-1938)’ Society of Legal Scholars Conference, University of Durham, September 2021 
  • Faulkner, E.A. & Nyamutata, C ‘The Rights of Children: The League of Nations, The United Nations and the process of Decolonizing International Child Law’ Decolonisation and the Law School: A one-day workshop, University of Bristol, September 2019  
  • Faulkner. E.A ‘Lost children of the Archives: Child Trafficking and the League of Nations’, White slavery in Transnational and International Context, 1880 – 1950, University of Warwick, June 2019  
  • Faulkner. E.A and Rogers. C ‘The Trafficking of Children: Exploitation, Sexual Slavery and the League of Nations’ (Session Title: Three faces of enslavement: the state; the market; and the individual) Economic History Society, Annual Conference, Queen’s University, Belfast, April 2019  
  • Faulkner. E.A ‘The removal of the agency of the child within the discourse of human trafficking and "modern slavery"’,IASFM Annual Conference 2018: Whither Refugees? Restrictionism, Crises and Precarity Writ Large, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, July 2018 
  • Faulkner. E.A ‘A critique of the historical evolution of the international legal responses to the trafficking of children’, The Neglected Methodologies of International Law – Empirical, Socio-Legal and Comparative, University of Leicester, January 2018 
  • Faulkner. E.A ‘Eradicating the “scourge of modern slavery”: A critique of the human trafficking narrative and the ‘New Abolitionist Movement’Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World, American Law and Society Association, International Meeting on Law and Society, Mexico City, Mexico, June 2017 
  • Faulkner. E.A ‘Coercion and Control: The Trafficking of Children’, Coercion and Control Conference, De Montfort University’s Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence (SVDV) Research Network Conference, November 2016 
  • Faulkner. E.A ‘A Critique on the influence of the “New Abolitionist Movement” upon the Child Trafficking discourse’, The Second International Academic Conference on Missing Children and Adults, Brussels, July 2015.  


Faulkner, E.A. & Nyamutata, C (2020) The Decolonization of Children’s Rights and the Colonial Contours of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, International Journal of Children’s Rights, Vol.28 Issue 1 66-88

Faulkner, E.A. (2020) The Sexual Exploitation of Children, R. Akhtar & C. Nyamutata (ed) International Child law, 429 - 470 (Routledge, Fourth Edition)

Faulkner, E.A (2019) The development of child trafficking within International Law: A socio-legal and archival analysis, R. Deplano (ed), Pluralising international legal scholarship: the promise and perils of non-doctrinal research methods, 104 – 126 (Elgar)

Faulkner, E.A. (2019) The historical evolution of the international legal responses to the trafficking of children, J. Jones and J. Winterdyk (eds) The Palgrave International Handbook of Human Trafficking, 79 – 95 (Palgrave Macmillan)

Faulkner, E.A. (2018) 'The Victim, the Villain and the Rescuer: the trafficking of women and contemporary abolition', Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (Special Issue, 'Gender and Development’, ed. Ann Stewart), Issue 21: 2018: 1-- 14

Forthcoming Publications:

Faulkner, E.A. & Bunting. A Slavery, Trafficking and the Law, A Cultural History of Slavery and Human Trafficking, B N. Lawrence (ed) (Bloomsbury Academic Press, forthcoming 2021)

Faulkner, E.A. The Trafficking of Children: International Law, Modern Slavery and Contemporary Abolition, Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security Series (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2022)

Online Publications

  • The Wilberforce Institute Blog, Universal Children’s Day: A time to pause and reflect upon our ongoing research on children (26/11/2020) 
  • The Wilberforce Institute Blog, One Year On: Critical Perspectives on ‘Modern Slavery’: Law, Policy and Society, 30 October 2019 (5/11/2020) 
  • The Wilberforce Institute Blog, Summary of author’s recent publications, (22/10/2020) 
  • The Conversation, How the UK asylum system creates perfect conditions for modern slavery and exploitation to thrive, (8.04.2019) 
  • Open Democracy, “Britons never will be slaves”: the rise of nationalism and ‘modern slavery’. (11.09.2018) 
  • Open Democracy, 40.3 million slaves – Challenging the hypocrisy of modern slavery statistics  (31/10/2017) 

The Conversation, How the idea of 'modern slavery' is used as political click bait (16/10/2017)

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