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REPORT: Confronting root causes: forced labour in global supply chains

Genevieve LeBaron, Neil Howard, Cameron Thibos and Penelope Kyritsis

The multiple roots of Emiratiness: the cosmopolitan history of Emirati society

The UAE, like many other Arabian Gulf States, claims to be home to a homogenous Arab population. In doing so it assimilates rather than acknowledges the region’s slave past. - free thinking for the world

The multiple roots of Emiratiness: the cosmopolitan history of Emirati society

The UAE, like many other Arabian Gulf States, claims to be home to a homogenous Arab population. In doing so it assimilates rather than acknowledges the region’s slave past. - free thinking for the world

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: where do we go from here?

A lot of work remains to be done in order to end forced labour. Thankfully, organisers and advocates around the globe are pioneering promising solutions. It's time to follow their lead.

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: irresponsible sourcing practices

Forced labour is illegal and its risks are widely documented. Yet so many companies continue to use irresponsible sourcing practices – established triggers of forced labour. Why is this the case?

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: concentrated corporate power and ownership

Multinational corporations are becoming increasingly powerful – and this has serious implications for workers at the bottom of supply chains. 

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: restrictive mobility regimes

Border restrictions are often justified as measures to protect migrants from "trafficking", but borders actually increase migrants' vulnerability to forced labour and labour exploitation. 

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: limited labour protection

Freedom from forced labour depends on workers' ability to access labour protections. Why are so many them unable to do so?

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: identity and discrimination

Social discrimination based on race, caste, gender and other factors is a crucial component of the forced labour equation. 

Confronting the root causes of forced labour: outsourcing

Outsourcing allows big brands to distance themselves from big human rights abuses, including forced labour.

A tale of two conferences: exploring the politics of global child labour policies

Two international conferences on child labour were held in South America this fall. In one working children participated, the other not. The results couldn't have been more different.

Migration in the time of empire

Millions migrated to work the plantations following the abolition of slavery in the British and French empires. Like today they needed help to do so, and like today that help wanted its cut. 

Bitter grapes? Slavery, labour, and memory in the Cape winelands

South Africa’s vineyards have been accused of practicing ‘modern-day slavery’, but few ask why exploitative practices from the past continue. A few new museums in the area seek to start this conversation.

Libyan outrage: slavery or borders?

A recent CNN video of an apparent ‘slave auction’ in Libya has caused horror on social media, but the term slavery hides the European migration policies leading to such abuse.

Immobility as protection in the regime of immigration controls

Immigration regimes have never been about ‘protecting migrants’ – they are and always have been about maintaining power over them. When will we starting naming them for what they are?

What’s the difference between having no choice and being forced to choose?

The history of indentured workers in the Caribbean has a lot to teach us about ‘human trafficking’ today.

Freeloaders, blackmailers and lost souls: rescued sex trafficking survivors in the hands of the assistance

Women rescued from traumatic experiences need empathy and emotional support. Too often, what they receive instead is moralising judgement and a lack of care.

Modern Vietnamese slaves in the UK: are raid and rescue operations appropriate?

The arbitrary and controversial categorisation of people as modern slaves in need of rescue does not reflect the complex reality and expectations of many who fall foul of it.

From Geneva to Guwahati: demanding fair wages for Assam’s tea workers

As the UN meets in Geneva to discuss human rights the tea workers in Guwahati are standing up for theirs.

Using an intersectional approach to raid and rescue

Raid and rescue relies on a simplistic understanding of violence and vulnerability. If we are serious about ending gender-based violence, we need to get intersectional in our diagnosis and our response.

Rescue by ‘force’ or rescue by ‘choice’

The dividing line between consent and coercion, freedom and force, is far blurrier than many of us tend to think.

Beyond ‘raid and rescue’: time to acknowledge the damage being done

Raid and rescue operations are widely portrayed as heroic efforts to save the innocent from the evil. But, as this BTS series makes clear, the reality is not so clear-cut.

Critical reflections on raid and rescue operations in New Delhi

Accompanying a raid and rescue operation poses difficult questions for those involved, pushing the boundaries between victim and non-victim.

Rescued from rights: the misogyny of anti-trafficking

For some sex workers subjected to forced ‘rescue’, the line between care and harm is very thin. What anti-trafficking often looks like is a form of ‘humanitarian trafficking’, not protection.

Interview: forced rescue and humanitarian trafficking

Many anti-trafficking oragnisations prioritise donor preferences over actually improving the lives of 'vitcims'.

Modern slavery, Brexit, migration, and development: connecting the dots

Regardless of how one feels about migrants, protecting them in the labour market will bring benefits to all workers.

Working for former masters in Madagascar: a ‘win-win’ game for former slaves?

Workers and landowners in the Malagasy highlands see sharecropping as an arrangement where both benefit, but that only holds as long as the former masters benefit most.

The problem of “working for someone”: debt, dependence and labour exploitation in Chad

Precolonial elites used to enslave the farmers of rural Chad, now they hold them in debt bondage. How much has changed, how much has not?

'White slavery': the origins of the anti-trafficking movement

A nineteenth century drive to protect the morality of white women created the concept of ‘human trafficking’, and its legacies live on in border control systems and slavery-based campaigning.

Navigating unsafe workplaces in Costa Rica’s banana industry

Deeply rooted gender and class hierarchies mean that gender-based violence does not end at home - women are also vulnerable to workplace abuse.

Containment, resistance, flight: Migrant labour in the agro-industrial district of Foggia, Italy

A ‘special economic zone’ exists in southeastern Italy where the rules and standards of work do not apply. 

Ignoring the benefits of children’s work

Work can have many benefits for children. Policy responses need to understand and foster those benefits, not succumb to biases that assume all work is bad.

Time to take working children seriously

On the occasion of the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour, it is time to listen to working children on what works for them – and what doesn’t.

Bizarre bureaucratic dysfunction in child labour

The ILO, UNICEF, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child promote policies known to harm children. What will make them engage with their critics?

The globalisation of dignity

Working children have been prevented from attending the ILO’s child labour conference, currently taking place in Buenos Aires. So they set up their own conference instead.

Declaratoria La Paz

Por la defensa global de la dignidad y el buen vivir de las niñas, niños y adolescentes trabajadores. English

Reclamo al Comité de los Derechos del Niño y la Niña

Los niños, niñas y adolescentes trabajadores reclaman al Comité de los Derechos del Niño y la Niña. English

Open Letter: complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

After being excluded from the IV Global Conference on the Eradication of Child Labour, working children and adolescents complain to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Español

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