Aleck Thomson

Senior associate

Aleck is a former member of the UK’s Senior Civil Service, with some 39 years experience of handling high profile policy and operational change in Government, covering in particular law enforcement, immigration, asylum and border management – at both national and international levels.

On leaving Government Service he was a Director in the UK Border Agency (UKBA). In his time in the Agency he has been responsible for UK international work on asylum issues, (including establishing the UK Gateway refugee resettlement programme, developing the assisted voluntary returns programme and negotiating UK participation in the first EU Directives on asylum) and on free movement and border control policy, including the establishment of juxtaposed UK controls in France and Belgium. He has also been responsible for the Agency’s work on organised crime, war crimes and national security.

Before UKBA his focus for a number of years was on policing. He held a number of posts responsible for policing, including for national security matters and for action against organised crime. This has included (in the early 1990s) work on EU and wider International cooperation – in particular establishing the European policing organisation Europol. He also worked on establishing the UK National Criminal Intelligence Service.

Aleck has also worked on prisons and criminal policy whilst in the Home Office, and worked in the Ministry of Defence and in the Cabinet Office.

Throughout his career he has worked closely with UK Ministers, senior officials and legislators to formulate and drive through change. He has worked extensively at a senior level with a range of international organisations and NGOs, including, but not limited to the European Commission and other EU bodies (from the time of Trevi inter-governmental cooperation on Justice and Home Affairs through to the present day), Interpol, the UN, and the Council of Europe.

Since retiring Aleck has carried out consultancy work for the European Commission on immigration/asylum and related matters.

Eileen Chan Hu

Senior associate

Eileen Chan-Hu has worked in the NGO sector for over 20 years with minority ethnic communities and is now a Management Consultant in diversity and race relations.  Eileen was the former Chief Executive to Chinese Welfare Association NI for 7 years and built the first multi-purpose 1.32 m Chinese Resource Centre in UK in 2009.  Her experience has spread to being an advocate for the Chinese and other minority ethnic communities in community safety, racism, domestic violence, human trafficking in the forms of labour and sexual exploitation.  In doing so Eileen has worked with Organised Crime, Police Service of Northern Ireland and with Prison Services.  Eileen was the Ethnic Minorities Co-ordinator in Ballymena Community Forum from 2002 working with EU and Non EU nationals with over 354 members and 18 nationalities and in this period managed a contract for the Department of Employment and Learning in providing translation and interpreting services in 54 languages and managing a diverse cultural team.

Eileen has in-depth knowledge of working with undocumented workers and asylum seekers and refugees and introduced the first International Organisation for Migration services in voluntary repatriations for non-EU nationals in Northern Ireland.

As Chair of the Minority Ethnic Policing Board Reference group,  Eileen raised on behalf of the group the concerns of human trafficking that NGOs were facing to the Department of Justice  and as a member of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister’s Race Equality Panel has inputted into the draft consultation, ‘A Sense of Belonging, a Race Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland.’

In 2012, Eileen represented the Chinese community of Northern Ireland with the Police Service of Northern Ireland to give representations to the All-Party China group, Westminster, of the issues facing the Chinese community in hate-crime and criminal activity.

Eileen has worked with victims of human-trafficking and unaccompanied minors from the Chinese and other non EU national backgrounds, from delivering bilingual advocacy support services in health and community safety working with interpreters and translators to working on cases of exploitation with statutory bodies.  Working with victims,  Eileen acquired a working knowledge of the difficulties faced by victims and has since trained in suicide prevention (ASIST) and in doing so organised Northern Ireland’s first training for BME communities with a follow –up conference in 2013 to highlight the need to support emotionally.  Having worked on the case of a suicide of an exploited member of the Chinese community in the local prison to liaising with China on the circumstances of victims with families, Eileen has worked on difficult and complex cases between countries globally.

Over the years Eileen has worked extensively with IOM, Migrant Helpline, UKBA, PSNI Organised Crime and various human trafficking groups.

Eileen has extensive facilitation, training, community development skills, victim support and can offer a wide range of services in human trafficking to support your needs in Northern Ireland, the UK and Internationally.

Euan Grant

Senior associate