Ruth Hopkins is a freelance journalist based in South Africa and the UK. She is an award-winning investigative journalist. 

She worked as a journalist with the Wits Justice Project in Johannesburg from 2012 to 2018, producing content about wrongful convictions, lengthy remand detention, police brutality and various other criminal justice issues. Ruth wrote a book on trafficking women into Europe I will never let you go again (2005) and broke an international story in 2013 on private security company G4S’s South African prison. In 2016 she was awarded the Sylvester Stein fellowship. She published a non-fiction investigative book on the private prison, Misery Merchants, Life and Death in a Private South African Prison (2020). She also worked on an international documentary film based on the same investigation. It premiered in November 2019 to acclaim at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

Ruth is the founding editor of the Private Security Network, a transnational network of investigative journalists from around the globe who are investigating private security companies. G4S’s global security operation is the subject of their first transnational investigation. 

Basic information

Ruth Hopkins
United Kingdom

Supported projects

The Human Cost of G4S' Watch

  • Security
  • Technology

LJUBLJANA - What is the cost of security companies, such as G4S? One way of calculating the harm is counting the dead and the injured. 

The Private Security Network of Investigative Journalists

  • Human Rights
  • Security

There is very little transparency in the private security sector. Questions often remain unanswered because the contracts are withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. This lack of information means it is hard if not impossible to speak truth to powerful private security multinationals. In an age where political leaders seem obsessed with austerity measures, it should come as no surprise that they will not hold these companies accountable. What is it that we, the people, can do? Should private companies derive a profit off war and conflicts?