Dr Konstantinos Kosmas Gaitis, University of Edinburgh


This seminar will present the key points of my policy briefing published by SCCJR under the Scottish Justice Fellowship scheme. This briefing was based on my doctoral thesis of the same name undertaken at the School of Law of the University of Edinburgh between 2017 and 2021. Focusing on adult victims, my research examined the anti-trafficking regulatory framework across the UK and the operation of the mechanism used in Britain to deal with human trafficking/modern slavery cases and provide support to victims, namely the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). For this, I analysed policies issued by the UK, Scottish and Northern Irish governments, conducted interviews with practitioners in England and Scotland, and a case study with a domestic sex trafficking victim in England.

What can be said about the support framework and effectiveness of the NRM? What is the influence of professional backgrounds on stakeholders’ trafficking viewings? What are the key representations and stereotypes promoted in reserved and devolved policy discourse around human trafficking? And more broadly, how is human trafficking regulated in Britain in the backdrop of devolution and what is the relationship between anti-trafficking efforts and immigration restrictions?


Dr Konstantinos Kosmas Gaitis is a Global Data Fellow (Policy & Legal Research) at Childlight – Global Child Safety Institute of the University of Edinburgh and a former Scottish Justice Fellow. A member of the Athens Bar Association, Konstantinos has also worked as a Researcher for the Law Society of Scotland and the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime. He has received funding from the Scottish Government and the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation in Athens, Greece. He has conducted and published work on human trafficking and modern slavery; immigration; trauma, vulnerabilities and how to adopt a trauma-informed approach for supporting trafficking victims; qualitative methodologies for conducting research with vulnerable populations; and online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Scottish Justice Fellowships are a collaboration between the Scottish Government, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) and Scottish Institute of Policing Research (SIPR) Fellowships fund leading doctoral researchers near or recently completing PhDs to translate their work into accessible outputs aimed at policy and practice audiences.