Debbie Ariyo is chief executive of AFRUCA, a UK charity she founded in 2001 to address child safeguarding and child trafficking issues in African diaspora communities and provide services to help support children and families and rehabilitate victims. A former UK civil servant, she holds an executive master degree in public administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a master degree in urban policy from the University of North London and a bachelor degree in French and education from the University of Benin, Nigeria.
Debbie also chairs the BME Anti-Slavery Network (BASNET) which she founded in 2019 to help promote racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the UK anti-trafficking sector.
A noted expert in safeguarding children, Debbie has specialist expertise in addressing socio-cultural factors affecting the protection and safeguarding of children of black and African origins in the UK and Europe. She is also a specialist in forced migration and human trafficking and has vast experience of designing and implementing diaspora anti-trafficking engagement programmes and service provision for victims and survivors. She has worked in different capacities as a researcher, an advocate, a court expert witness, a trainer, a newspaper columnist, and a public speaker.