BeyondSlavery https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/17588/all cached version 20/07/2018 09:03:50 en El Informe sobre la trata de personas de EE.UU. de 2015: ¿señales de declive? https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/anne-t-gallagher/el-informe-sobre-la-trata-de-personas-de-eeuu-de-2015-se-ales-de-decliv <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>El Informe sobre la trata de personas («TIP», por su siglas en inglés) de los Estados Unidos denuncia la explotación y responsabiliza a los gobiernos. Pero la creciente politización y renuencia a abordar la política económica de la trata de personas comprometen su credibilidad. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/5050/anne-gallagher/2015-us-trafficking-report-signs-of-decline">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/4031501681_e9100c70eb_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Heroica Nogales. Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanmcintosh/4031501681/in/photolist-79fuZF-axpuWR-5ahYbB-78Y4SB-3XAXJy-9LCuDF-cghgjq-bAPwSb-qPgA7Y-jZvJV9-8YzGgM-7HEJtV-7bhDdx-dpoe9b-e7TEHV-79V4ug-7cs9F8-c7dXLo-6W3hGK-5amsNQ-5aar8K-sC5AWx-5ahdo8-5bg7Fz-jZmJei-5am1A7-mpn4WH-fXV4pc-9Y7NPV-896eba-99K4sg-9VX4aD-5bg3wM-5ab3qF-aVipR2-orLt3j-sC47sk-o3y4K6-8MwyJW-mhvBzZ-a1Timn-szFRcj-9Y7QtP-294AC-6W3imR-fU7xVT-5bfQMB-6VDJs6-SULnk7-oLvixY">CC (by)</a></p> <p>El 2014 no será recordado como un gran año en la historia de la Oficina de vigilancia y lucha contra la trata de personas del Departamento del Estado. El embajador Luis CdeBaca, director e interesado en lograr consenso, <a href="http://www.cfr.org/human-trafficking/no-one-steering-united-states-fight-against-human-trafficking/p33821">renunció</a> de forma inesperada al puesto en noviembre, poco después de que su vicedirector fuera reasignado de forma abrupta. Con un retraso que dice mucho sobre la importancia que se da a la trata dentro de la agenda política de Estados Unidos, el presidente Obama solo nombró <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/15/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts">al sucesor de Cdebaca</a> &nbsp;en julio de 2015. Aun cuando la demora fuera mínima en el a menudo sobrecargado proceso de confirmación del Senado, el mandato de la embajadora Susan Coppedge probablemente será muy breve.</p> <p>Esta inestabilidad es inquietante. La embajadora o el embajador y su pequeño equipo de administración y análisis se encargan de elaborar el Informe anual sobre la trata de personas, una evaluación detallada del desempeño de todos los países del mundo en la lucha contra la trata de personas. El liderazgo sólido es vital, pues la embajadora o el embajador debe con frecuencia <a href="http://www.cfr.org/human-trafficking/no-one-steering-united-states-fight-against-human-trafficking/p33821">enfrentarse</a> a sus colegas del Departamento de Estado para asegurar que la integridad de las evaluaciones no se vea seriamente comprometida por otras prioridades y preocupaciones.</p> <p>&nbsp;El informe ha tenido un gran impacto desde que se publicó por primera vez en 2001. Muchos gobiernos están <a href="http://www.stabroeknews.com/2010/archives/06/15/outraged-gov%E2%80%99t-protests-human-trafficking-ranking/">profundamente ofendidos</a> por el hecho de que EE.UU. haya asumido el papel de policía global en relación con un tema tan complejo como la trata de personas. Para los países que se encuentran en los últimos puestos, lo que está en juego es más que un sentimiento de orgullo. Una clasificación pobre los coloca de forma automática bajo una nube diplomática negra, y los expone a una serie de sanciones económicas.</p> <p>La reacción de la comunidad de lucha contra la trata de personas a los informes ha sido diversa. La antipatía general hacia los Estados Unidos y la sospecha sobre sus propias credenciales y motivaciones en materia de derechos humanos ha provocado <a href="http://www.coha.org/the-trafficking-in-persons-report-who-is-the-united-states-to-judge/#_ftn5">desconfianza</a> en estos informes. Pero <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/jun/21/ngos-using-trafficking-persons-report">otras personas </a>, <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1735581">entre las que me incluyo </a>, han comenzado a apreciar poco a poco el papel insustituible del Informe a la hora de sacar a la luz la explotación de seres humanos para beneficio privado, que ha permanecido oculta durante mucho tiempo. Este foco de atención incomoda a gobiernos que se involucran, toleran o se benefician de tal explotación. En algunos casos, la amenaza de una mala clasificación crea una verdadera oportunidad para el cambio. Ciertamente, en mi trabajo de primera línea con las agencias de justicia penal, he llegado a apreciar que la oportunidad de ayudar a revisar una ley de pruebas, de trabajar en el desarrollo de protocolos de entrevistas que protejan a las víctimas, o de fomentar juicios justos para las personas acusadas, probablemente no hubiera surgido si los países con los que trabajo no fueran conscientes de que Estados Unidos observa y juzga cada uno de sus movimientos.</p> <p>A finales de julio del 2015, el Secretario de Estado Kerry <a href="http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/07/245298.htm">presentó</a> el decimoquinto <a href="http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/">Informe sobre la trata de personas de EE.UU.</a> en una ceremonia en Washington. Es uno de los más extensos y quizás también de los más abiertamente politizados. Malasia fue retirada del nivel más bajo (aparentemente para <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/tpp-malaysia-slavery_n_7444978.html">facilitar</a> el acuerdo comercial clave de la Asociación transpacífica de la administración de Obama) a pesar de las escasas pruebas de progreso en el preocupante historial de inacción y complicidad de ese país. De hecho, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/24/mass-graves-trafficking-malaysia-perlis">nuevos escándalos</a> que emergieron <a href="http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/621744/debasing-the-us-tip-report">fueron excluidos como irrelevantes de forma hipócrita</a> por el Departamento de Estado, porque salieron a la luz justo después de la «fecha límite» para el informe. Siempre se ha cuestionado hasta qué punto la persistente mala clasificación de Cuba era un reflejo de la política más amplia de Estados Unidos. El repentino ascenso de Cuba, que se produce durante un período de acercamiento histórico a Estados Unidos, parece resolver esa cuestión de una vez por todas. China continúa disfrutando de su posición de larga data en el segundo peor nivel, evitando así sanciones que serían desagradables en materia política y económica, a pesar de las <a href="https://freedomhouse.org/article/trafficking-trends-and-key-rankings-say-no-grade-inflation#.VbC1sWAxFE6">pruebas convincentes</a> de explotación sistémica en una amplia gama de sectores. Myanmar, un factor integral en la inclinación de EE.UU. hacia Asia, también logró evitar las repercusiones negativas a pesar de que el Gobierno no reconoció —ni mucho menos abordó— la trata y la explotación de la población <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/malaysia-mass-graves-is-the-burmese-rohingya-minority-being-trafficked-by-force-10274776.html">Rohingya.</a></p> <p>Pero después de muchos años rastreando los altibajos del Informe TIP de EE.UU., he llegado a la conclusión de que su inevitable politización, las generalizaciones arrolladoras —que, por ejemplo, consideran apropiado calificar de igual forma a Nepal y a los Emiratos Árabes Unidos— y la creciente &quot;inflación de grado&quot; no son los problemas más graves. Mucho más peligrosa es la suposición implícita y errónea de que el Informe nos relata toda la historia de la explotación humana. Al igual que su rival, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/nov/28/global-slavery-index-walk-free-human-trafficking-anne-gallagher">el metodológicamente cuestionado</a> <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/"><em>Índice de esclavitud global</em></a>, el Informe TIP teje una historia simple —y en última instancia reconfortante— sobre la trata, en la que personas malas hacen cosas malas a personas buenas. Fracasa en cuestionar seriamente la economía oculta de la explotación humana, en preguntarse qué sucedería con la riqueza y la productividad globales si tal explotación fuera eliminada de forma repentina. Ignora el papel que desempeñan los regímenes migratorios laborales a la hora de alimentar la vulnerabilidad a la trata, ya que favorecen de forma desproporcionada a las economías desarrolladas y a las grandes empresas. Ni siquiera intenta explicar por qué los gobiernos están tan dispuestos a aprobar leyes firmes, y tan poco dispuestos a aplicarlas de manera eficaz. Más allá de una referencia superficial a las ahora ubicuas «cadenas de suministro globales», ni siquiera se ponen sobre la mesa la complicidad corporativa en la trata y la corrupción gubernamental que lo hace posible.</p> <p>La tarea de descifrar la compleja economía política de la trata de personas es urgente: hasta que no entendamos no sólo <em>qué</em> está sucediendo sino <em>por qué,</em> nuestras respuestas serán inevitablemente erróneas e incompletas. Esperar que el Informe TIP aborde todo esto es demasiado. Otros estados, instituciones internacionales y una sociedad civil cada vez más activa tienen también un papel importante que desempeñar. Pero esta tarea será infinitamente más fácil si el Informe —la iniciativa diplomática más importante en este ámbito— lograse reafirmar sus tan amenazadas autoridad y credibilidad. &nbsp;</p> <p><em>Este artículo es una versión ampliada del artículo de la autora, publicado en el periódico inglés <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/28/without-trafficking-global-wealth-productivity-trafficking-in-persons-report">The Guardian</a>.</em></p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Chusa Álvarez</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Kamala Kempadoo</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Anne Gallagher</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubrimiento de los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Nandita Sharma</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: El Índice Global de Esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Joel Quirk, André Broome</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/david-feingold/crear-conciencia-sobre-qu-para-qu-qui-nes-para-qui-nes">Sensibilización: ¿sobre qué? ¿para qué? ¿quiénes? ¿para quiénes?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">David A. Feingold</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/alessandra-mezzadri/la-esclavitud-moderna-y-las-paradojas-de-g-nero-en-la-falta-de-lib">La esclavitud moderna y las paradojas de género en la falta de libertad laboral</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Alessandra Mezzadri</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/neil-howard/la-esclavitud-y-la-trata-de-personas-m-s-all-de-las-protestas-vac-as">La esclavitud y la trata de personas: más allá de las protestas vacías</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Neil Howard</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk/ret-rica-y-realidad-del-fin-de-la-esclavitud-moderna">Retórica y realidad del «fin de la esclavitud moderna»</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Joel Quirk</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Anne T. Gallagher BTS en Español Fri, 20 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Anne T. Gallagher 118813 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Retórica y realidad del «fin de la esclavitud moderna» https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk/ret-rica-y-realidad-del-fin-de-la-esclavitud-moderna <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>El «abolicionismo moderno» enmarca sus actividades como parte de una lucha global compartida, pero no existe un movimiento único contra la esclavitud o contra la trata. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/joel-quirk/rhetoric-and-reality-of-%E2%80%98ending-slavery-in-our-lifetime%E2%80%99">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/NFS Scarf Fist.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/NFS Scarf Fist.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="218" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Notforsale.com. All Rights Reserved.</span></span></span></p> <p>Los esfuerzos recientes por combatir la «trata de personas» y la «esclavitud moderna» se han caracterizado con frecuencia como una causa asociada al <a href="http://jp.notforsalecampaign.org/action/modern-day-abolitionist/">«abolicionismo moderno»</a>, que se considera a sí mismo como el sucesor histórico del activismo antiesclavista en los Estados Unidos y el Reino Unido. Según estos grupos autodenominados abolicionistas, tales como David Batstone y Not For Sale, el objetivo principal es <a href="http://twitchange.com/not-for-sale-nfs-the-movement-to-re-abolish-slavery/">«terminar con la esclavitud moderna».</a>&nbsp;Mientras que esto es, sin duda, un lema atractivo, tenemos que mirar más allá de la retórica y preguntarnos qué es lo que esto implica en realidad.</p> <p>Para el activismo antiesclavitud histórico, luchar por el fin de la esclavitud implicaba enfocarse en una población claramente definida, cuya situación de «esclavas o esclavos» dependía en gran medida del gobierno para obtener sanciones y apoyo. Para el «abolicionismo moderno», terminar con la esclavitud implica una inmensa variedad de prácticas y problemas. Estos incluyen el cautiverio en tiempos de guerra en Nigeria, la servidumbre por deudas en Pakistán, los abusos en barcos pesqueros en Tailandia, el «chocolate esclavo» en Costa de Marfil, el trabajo forzoso en la producción de algodón en Uzbekistán, y el abuso de trabajadoras domésticas inmigrantes en el Reino Unido. El «abolicionismo moderno» considera estos problemas diversos como diferentes aspectos integrales de una causa global unificada: combatir la trata de personas y la esclavitud moderna. ¿Realmente podemos poner en un mismo saco todos estos problemas y prácticas tan diversas?</p> <p>Para ayudar a responder a esta pregunta, debemos reflexionar sobre los muchos y diversos problemas que se han ido agrupando, a la ligera y durante las últimas dos décadas, bajo el lema global de acabar con la esclavitud y la trata de personas. Si bien ninguna lista puede ser nunca definitiva, el objetivo de «acabar con la esclavitud moderna» se entiende normalmente en términos que requieren acción en relación con:</p> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>• Trabajo sexual y explotación</p> <p>• Migración y explotación</p> <p>• Servidumbre por deudas y explotación</p> <p>• Trabajo infantil y explotación</p> <p>• Trabajo doméstico y explotación</p> <p>• Cadenas mundiales de suministro y explotación</p> <p>• Esclavitud hereditaria y discriminación étnica</p> <p>• Cautiverio y abusos en tiempos de guerra</p> <p>• Matrimonio forzoso y a temprana edad</p> <p>• Trabajo forzado para el estado</p> </div> <p>También es importante mencionar brevemente los siguientes temas relacionados, a pesar de que en los círculos contra la esclavitud y la trata no se les ha dado la suficiente importancia:</p> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>• Trabajo en prisión y patrones de encarcelamiento</p> <p>• Reparar la historia y los legados del sistema esclavista tradicional</p> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/NFS Group hands.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/NFS Group hands.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="122" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Notforsale.com. Fair Use.</span></span></span></p> <p>Se trata de una lista larga y diversa. Hay una serie de puntos de superposición e intersección entre las diferentes temáticas, así como con desafíos sociales mucho más grandes, tales como el sexismo y el patriarcado. Con rapidez, el tema se complica aún más, ya que comúnmente se entiende que la lucha contra la trata de personas y la esclavitud implican una subcategoría específica de «esclavas o esclavos» dentro de poblaciones mucho más grandes. No todas las personas que trabajan en una cadena mundial de suministro se pueden considerar esclavas, objeto de trata o sujetas a trabajos forzosos. La misma lógica se aplica a personas migrantes, trabajadoras sexuales, trabajadoras del hogar, o en prisión, y a otras poblaciones. Mezclar todas estas cuestiones en una misma categoría provoca más confusión que otra cosa.</p> <p>En consonancia con lo dicho, «el fin de la esclavitud» no solo implica que distingamos claramente entre «personas esclavas» y «personas no esclavas» en las diferentes prácticas y en los distintos grupos de población, sino también formular intervenciones dirigidas en concreto a esta pequeña subcategoría de personas afectadas. Esto se complica aún más por el modo en que las personas entran y salen de diferentes situaciones, de tal manera que siempre habrá casos nuevos.</p> <p>Es aquí donde la retórica política revela inevitablemente la realidad política. El «abolicionismo moderno» no puede emprender de ninguna manera acciones simultáneas para enfrentarse a esa subcategoría amorfa de «esclavitud» que se gesta en todas estas prácticas y estos grupos de población diferentes. Llegado el momento, activistas e instituciones raramente abordan el problema de manera general, sino que dirigen sus energías hacia problemas y lugares específicos.</p> <p>Aunque la retórica popular sobre la lucha global compartida es indudablemente atractiva, la realidad es que en la práctica no significa demasiado. El fin de la esclavitud no es algo aislado, sino que implica muchas otras cosas que se han agrupado de una manera incómoda. Hay relativamente pocas intervenciones en una parte del mundo conectadas <em>de forma directa</em> con intervenciones paralelas en otros lugares del planeta.</p> <p>El activismo en Brasil persigue el fin de la explotación extrema en el sector agrícola, y poco tiene que ver con sus homólogos en Malí o Níger, que intentan acabar con el legado del sistema esclavista tradicional. Lo mismo se puede decir de quienes luchan en contra del trabajo forzoso apoyado por el gobierno en Corea del Norte en relación con la servidumbre por deudas en Pakistán. El activismo en los Estados Unidos que se levanta contra la «trata sexual de menores nacionales» pocas veces mira más allá de sus propias fronteras, e incluso más allá del trabajo sexual, cuando se trata de encarar intervenciones políticas y normativas importantes. A veces, existen amplias <em>similitudes</em> en los tipos de prácticas que se dan en estos contextos tan diferentes; pero se requiere una extraordinaria visión creativa de conjunto y capacidad de extrapolación para traducir estas generalidades al lenguaje de una causa global común y cohesionada.</p> <p>El abolicionismo moderno intenta con frecuencia resolver el problema mezclando apelaciones retóricas que unen superficialmente numerosos contextos y sectores. Esto a veces significa redenominar a las personas interesadas en temas específicos, como la migración o los derechos de las niñas y niños, como «activistas contra la esclavitud» para inventar un nuevo tipo de «abolicionismo moderno». Si bien puede haber superposición entre las causas, esta generalización retórica tiene, sin embargo, el efecto de atenuar las diferencias en la agenda, la filosofía y el enfoque. En otros casos, quienes se preocupan por un tema —como el trabajo sexual y la explotación— intentan reformular sus actividades como una contribución a una causa mayor, la de acabar con la esclavitud y la trata. Ello se hace a menudo simplemente agregando la palabra de moda «trata con fines laborales» en sus vocabularios retóricos.</p> <p>Durante el último año, el activismo contra la trata de personas hizo una serie de llamados a la acción en Nigeria, Siria e Irak, y de ese modo establecieron vínculos retóricos entre el cautiverio en tiempos de guerra y el trabajo sexual y la explotación. En la gran mayoría de los casos, activistas y organizaciones que han hecho estos llamamientos retóricos no han contribuido luego con ninguna idea significativa. Activistas e instituciones pueden estar comprometidas de una manera retórica a combatir una gran cantidad de problemas, pero esta retórica esconde un panorama político y espacial donde las ideas significativas se concentran en temas y lugares específicos.</p> <p>Varias conclusiones se desprenden de esta línea argumental. En primer lugar, y como es obvio, es esencial no confundir la retórica política con las realidades políticas. Por mucho que la gente proclame lo contrario, no existe un movimiento global contra la trata o contra la esclavitud. En cambio, hay muchos movimientos e instituciones diferentes con diferentes agendas e intereses. Debería ser evidente, además, que estas agendas políticas no siempre apuntan en la misma dirección.</p> <p>En lugar de agrupar diversos temas, lo que necesitamos es desglosar las múltiples causas y agendas que coexisten con dificultad hoy en día bajo el lema de «acabar con la esclavitud». Esto implica centrarse en temas más específicos y participar en debates políticos más concretos para abordar determinados problemas, como las vulnerabilidades asociadas con la inmigración. Cada uno de los temas identificados anteriormente puede ser entendidos de manera útil como esferas autónomas de activismo y análisis, más que como subcategorías dentro de la retórica cada vez más incoherente y sobrecargada de «acabar con la esclavitud». Hay, sin duda, superposición entre algunos de estos temas, pero estos puntos de intersección deberían ser significativos y no meramente retóricos.</p> <p>Para terminar, también debemos reflexionar sobre si las categorías de «esclavitud» y «trata de personas» en última instancia ofrecen un punto de partida efectivo para abordar estos temas tan variados. Como ya hemos establecido, «acabar con la esclavitud» a menudo significa intentar abordar subcategorías específicas de casos «excepcionales» insertos entre grupos de población mucho más grandes. Abordar estos casos excepcionales no solo es muy difícil desde el punto de vista práctico, sino que también tiende a crear una separación informal entre los casos «merecedores» y «no merecedores».</p> <p>En lugar de concentrar nuestras energías en pequeñas subcategorías de una población mayor, quizás sería mejor hacer de la población <em>en su totalidad</em> el principal objeto de activismo y análisis. Si bien diferentes temas requieren respuestas específicas para cada caso, esto en general significa trabajar para mejorar los derechos y las protecciones otorgadas a <em>la totalidad</em> de personas trabajadoras sexuales, trabajadoras del hogar, en prisión, en cadenas de suministro, y otras poblaciones vulnerables. En lugar de privilegiar los casos individuales, debemos pensar en términos de responsabilidad colectiva.</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Chusa Álvarez</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Kamala Kempadoo</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Anne Gallagher</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubrimiento de los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Nandita Sharma</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: El Índice Global de Esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Joel Quirk, André Broome</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/david-feingold/crear-conciencia-sobre-qu-para-qu-qui-nes-para-qui-nes">Sensibilización: ¿sobre qué? ¿para qué? ¿quiénes? ¿para quiénes?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">David A. Feingold</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/alessandra-mezzadri/la-esclavitud-moderna-y-las-paradojas-de-g-nero-en-la-falta-de-lib">La esclavitud moderna y las paradojas de género en la falta de libertad laboral</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Alessandra Mezzadri</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/neil-howard/la-esclavitud-y-la-trata-de-personas-m-s-all-de-las-protestas-vac-as">La esclavitud y la trata de personas: más allá de las protestas vacías</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Neil Howard</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta Joel Quirk BTS en Español Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Joel Quirk 118812 at https://www.opendemocracy.net La esclavitud y la trata de personas: más allá de las protestas vacías https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/neil-howard/la-esclavitud-y-la-trata-de-personas-m-s-all-de-las-protestas-vac-as <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Los informes sobre la esclavitud moderna erran al señalar como culpables del problema a acciones individuales y a «unas pocas malas personas». Este es un problema sistémico, y la única solución puede ser una revisión completa del sistema. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/neil-howard/slavery-and-trafficking-beyond-hollow-call">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/6514.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/6514.jpg" alt="Four ships captured after illegal fishing in Thailand. " title="" width="460" height="318" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Four ships captured after illegal fishing in Thailand. Yuli Seperi/Demotix. All rights reserved. </span></span></span> <p><em>Las investigaciones de este verano</em> en The Guardian sobre la<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/-sp-migrant-workers-new-life-enslaved-thai-fishing"> «esclavitud» y la «trata de personas» en la industria pesquera de Tailandia</a> pusieron de nuevo el foco de atención en las brutales condiciones laborales a las que se enfrentan muchas de las personas en la parte inferior de la escala económica mundial.&nbsp;<em>The Guardian</em> sacó a la luz que las trabajadoras y trabajadores migrantes de todo el sudeste asiático son engañados y coaccionados con frecuencia para aceptar contratos que los explotan gravemente, que enfrentan peligros cotidianos en el mar; y que, además, se les impide escapar mediante la violencia o la amenaza de ejercerla.</p> <p>El análisis de <em>The Guardian</em> se centró sobre todo, en la relación entre las condiciones de trabajo en la parte inferior de la cadena de producción y las corporaciones multinacionales en la parte superior. Las gambas pescadas por estos trabajadores acaban en las baldas de grandes cadenas multinacionales de distribución en Occidente como Wal-Mart, Tesco y Carrefour. Estas empresas son conscientes de las condiciones de trabajo en las que se producen los bienes que venden y, a pesar de su <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/walmart-tesco-costco-retailers-respond-prawn-supply-slaves">predecible respuesta</a> a estas revelaciones, está claro que el monitoreo de su cadena de producción es, cuando menos, poco efectivo.</p> <p>Entonces, ¿qué podemos hacer? Los supermercados deben asumir sus responsabilidades, insiste <em>The Guardian</em>, y las personas consumidoras debemos presionarles para que lo hagan. «Es importante no ser utópica», dice su <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/10/supermarkets-slave-labour-problem-prawns">editorial</a>. «Como consumidoras y consumidores, nuestra adicción a cosas baratas y la adicción de nuestras corporaciones a ganancias excesivas son las causas principales de este proceso de empobrecimiento». Aunque «no vayamos a abandonar nuestra obsesión por ir de compras en el futuro próximo», lo que sí podemos hacer es exigir a «las grandes cadenas...que usen el considerable poder que tienen a su disposición para llamar la atención a los proveedores asiáticos, que a su vez podrían luchar contra las personas que facilitan el trabajo criminal y quienes manejan este negocio perverso».</p> <p>Aunque parezca comprensible, y hasta natural, esta respuesta está fuera de lugar y es, probablemente, inútil. Su error principal es que individualiza tanto el problema como la solución. Al hacerlo, no logra reconocer la naturaleza <em>sistémica</em> de lo que estamos enfrentando y, por tanto, tampoco la naturaleza <em>sistémica</em> de cualquier avance constructivo y genuino.</p> <p>Seamos claros: la existencia de la explotación laboral extrema como «trata de personas» y «esclavitud» <em>no</em> es el resultado de que las consumidoras y consumidores sean «adictos a cosas baratas». Tampoco es el resultado de que las multinacionales sean «adictas a beneficios excesivos». Es un componente intrínseco y <em>estructural</em> del capitalismo globalizado, y es endémico al modelo de negocios de bajo coste y gran volumen que prevalece hoy en día. Es por ello que <em>solamente</em> si creemos en la utopía seremos capaces de solucionarlo.</p> <p>El capitalismo opera —y se dice que es efectivo por ello— bajo la ley coercitiva de la competencia. Las compañías independientes <em>tienen</em> que competir entre ellas para poder sobrevivir en el mundo mercantil. La compañía que más pueda reducir sus gastos generales y aumentar sus beneficios, a través de innovaciones tecnológicas, produciendo a mayor escala, o reduciendo los costes de trabajo, <em>es</em> la compañía que sobrevivirá y florecerá. Podrá vender sus bienes al menor precio y por ello acaparar la mejor parte del mercado a costa de sus rivales.</p> <p>La presión a la baja sobre las condiciones laborales está, por ello, escrita en el ADN mismo del sistema. En cada nivel de la cadena de producción de bienes, innumerables compañías compiten unas contra otras para lograr más beneficio y mantener su parte del mercado. Todas ellas tienen incentivos para recortar cada vez más beneficios de sus trabajadoras y trabajadores. Cuando el poder de mercado está tan concentrado que quienes están en la cima de la cadena pueden establecer el precio para quienes están en la parte inferior (como es el caso de quienes producen bienes primarios para las gigantes distribuidoras de Occidente), estos últimos solo pueden permanecer operativos mediante el uso de trabajo forzoso y gratuito. Por ello, lo que sucede en el sector pesquero de Tailandia no se diferencia en nada de lo que presenciamos cada día en <a href="http://www.orlaryan.com/chocolate-nations/">Ghana</a>, Bangladesh o <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/may/29/highereducation.news1">en el sur de España</a>.</p> <p>Que <em>The Guardian</em> se lamente por el comportamiento y la cultura de las corporaciones o de quienes consumen, implica no entender la problemática en absoluto. Criticar a las compañías por buscar beneficios considerados «excesivos» y a quienes consumen por comprar bienes que son «demasiado baratos» aplica un marco analítico <em>moral</em> a un sistema político-económico que es <em>en esencia, amoral</em>.&nbsp;<em>The Guardian</em> tiene que reconocer esto y sus implicaciones lógicas; que librar al mundo de la trata de personas y la esclavitud <em>nos exige ser personas utópicas</em> en nuestra manera de pensar. Nos exige rediseñar las reglas del juego en vez de simplemente arremeter contra sus actores individuales.</p> <p>Mientras que la relación entre la producción y el intercambio sea determinada por la demanda de beneficios y competición bajo condiciones de desigualdad extrema, la esclavitud y la trata de personas seguirán estando presentes. Es tiempo de ir más allá de las protestas <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/how-buy-slavery-free-prawns">vacías para exigir un comportamiento</a> mejor, y reinsertar esas relaciones el marco de la moralidad.</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Chusa Álvarez</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Kamala Kempadoo</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Anne Gallagher</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubrimiento de los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Nandita Sharma</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: El Índice Global de Esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Joel Quirk, André Broome</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/david-feingold/crear-conciencia-sobre-qu-para-qu-qui-nes-para-qui-nes">Sensibilización: ¿sobre qué? ¿para qué? ¿quiénes? ¿para quiénes?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">David A. Feingold</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/alessandra-mezzadri/la-esclavitud-moderna-y-las-paradojas-de-g-nero-en-la-falta-de-lib">La esclavitud moderna y las paradojas de género en la falta de libertad laboral</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">Alessandra Mezzadri</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta Neil Howard BTS en Español Mon, 16 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Neil Howard 118811 at https://www.opendemocracy.net When workers lead on enforcing labour standards: a case study of Electronics Watch https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/annie-pickering/when-workers-lead-on-enforcing-labour-standards-case-study-of-electron <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Electronics Watch is pioneering a way to safeguard workers’ rights in the electronics industry by working with workers, buyers and brands.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/8096445212_2e076511a4_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">ILO in Asia and the Pacific/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/iloasiapacific/8096445212/in/photolist-dksp5Y-acQTbx-dksoZ9-dksmD4-dksnKS-dksp8C-dksj9D-dksiHc-dksm7Z-dksmxA-dksnyW-dksoKW-98vStQ-dkskdP-9ZM7AF-dkspfE-dksozd-dksm9A-dksoUA-i18gcE-dksj56-7t7L5C-dksmsG-dksmzc-dksn6N-6vfhUn-dByqUU-dksjwZ-o8HpiP-kEQoSm-chEjh3-e4kwFj-9NDKKF-8k42Z1-kENcK6-oXH3VL-81NAKG-282WNdQ-9tyeaC-bYurSw-72siZF-76wX4m-dksjm6-dksnoY-7pQsUT-72wj1u-dksniQ-23t5gUf-qj4jyU-9L53i2">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>Poor working conditions in the electronics industry are not uncommon. We’ve seen them in the <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9006988/Mass-suicide-protest-at-Apple-manufacturer-Foxconn-factory.html">spate of Foxconn suicides in 2010</a>, in stories of <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">debt bondage in Thailand</a>, and in the on-going campaigning by Samsung workers to form trade unions and receive compensation after <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/08/samsung-endangered-workers-health-south-korea-160810064013370.html">76 workers deaths died</a> due hazardous chemical exposure. </p> <p>A proposed solution to prevent further injustices is to use a worker-driven approach to monitoring and enforcement of labour standards. </p> <p>How could this work in practice? The activities of Electronics Watch, an independent, worker-driven monitoring organisation that aims to protect labour rights and the safety of workers in electronic supply chains, suggest one way forward. </p> <h2>The way of Electronics Watch</h2> <p>Electronics Watch was founded in 2015 to support the millions of electronics workers struggling around the world to maintain their labour rights. The electronics industry is massive, accounting today for <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/our-mission_2459916">25% of all global manufacturing trade. Since 2016 Electronics Watch has been actively monitoring factories and supporting workers to find sustainable solutions to systemic worker rights abuses.</a></p> <p>Electronics Watch works with public sector institutions such as universities and local councils to include legally enforceable codes of conduct for electronic suppliers in their contracts. They then conduct independent investigations of factories, and use the results to raise issues with brands and suppliers, as well as to demand improvements in line with the contractual codes of conduct and national or international labour laws. </p> <p>Workers are at the heart of this process. Workers’ are able to raise concerns about their workplace, either anonymously or via civil society worker organisations in their area. If the issues raised are substantiated and contravene the contracts suppliers signed, then Electronics Watch will conduct an investigation.</p> <p>Investigations are undertaken by civil society organisations already established in the manufacturing locations. The interviews they conduct with workers are carried out in secure, off-site locations away from potentially threatening managers. Workers then remain involved as the investigators draw up their recommendations for change that will be put to purchasers and suppliers. </p> <p>In addition to on-site investigations, working conditions in these factories benefit from workplace transparency for workers and by workers, not only for buyers. For example, Electronics Watch would like workers to have access to the social audit reports of other factories, so they can compare labour conditions and better understand their rights with regard to unionisation and collective bargaining.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Improving working conditions in factories includes ensuring workplace transparency for workers and by workers, not only for buyers.</p> <h2>Putting workers first, not consumers and brands</h2> <p>Worker-driven monitoring differs from consumer-led transparency. The work of the social auditing companies engaged for consumer-led efforts <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2017.1304008">is primarily aimed</a> at avoiding reputational damage for the companies they are monitoring. Worker-driven monitoring is done in a way that ensures workers are involved, and <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">not simply as subjects of an extensive PR exercise</a>.</p> <p>There are many differences between the way Electronics Watch works through worker-driven monitoring compared to social auditing companies, which have limited ability to change <a href="https://newint.org/blog/2016/11/02/worker-led-monitoring-in-electronic-sweatshops">endemic business models which exploit workers</a> and thus usually <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2017.1304008">fail to correct</a> labour and environmental problems in company supply chains. These weaknesses, in large part, stem from the simple fact that social audit companies are usually hired by the brands themselves, generating obvious conflicts of interest. Electronics Watch, in contrast, is independent from the industry and suppliers with no vested interest in keeping the status quo. Civil society organisations involved with workers sit on its governing board and are integral to every step of the process, from discovery through to recommendation and resolution. This makes worker-led transparency a process that <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">empowers workers to be part of change in their work places</a>, rather than simply subjects. </p> <p>A core strength of the worker-driven model practiced by Electronics Watch is that workers are able to raise concerns as they arise, rather than waiting for an organisation to ‘discover’ any issues during their one day visit every few years or so (as with social auditing companies). This on-going engagement helps ensures that subtle and systemic issues – such as the use of intimidation to hinder union formation or long-term exposure to chemicals – are picked up and acted upon to drive sustainable change. </p> <h2>The importance of association</h2> <p>One of the key areas that Electronics Watch monitors and support workers on is freedom of association. Intimidation, threats, firings and withholding salaries are common tactics used by electronics companies to prevent workers from forming trade unions. It is clearly recognised that without the ability of workers to organise and collectively bargain for their own improved working conditions, sustained change is hard to come by.</p> <p>Worker-driven models are winning for workers. For example, with the support of Electronics Watch and other international organisations, workers were successfully reinstated in the Philippines after an attempt at union busting by Samsung, notorious for its no union policy in South Korea and elsewhere. </p> <p>Over the past two years Electronics Watch has seen <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">a number of other successes for workers’ rights</a>. Student intern labour is now no longer forced or coerced in some brand factories in China, <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">migrant workers in Thailand</a> were removed from debt bondage, and <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">workers in Czechia were given more secure contracts</a> and now work only their contracted hours.</p> <p>Many of these successes have, in part, been due to the worker-driven structure of Electronics Watch. The case in the Philippines was bought to light by workers contacting Electronics Watch via a monitoring partner, and it is only through a follow up investigation in conjunction with its monitoring partners that Electronics Watch can now say with confidence that the use of student intern labour has ended in these particular factories. </p> <h2>Challenges</h2> <p>The worker-driven model of Electronics Watch is not always welcomed by companies or state authorities. In China, particularly since 2015, there has been a crackdown on both international civil society organisations and China-based organisations with linkages to international civil society&nbsp;organisations. This has made it more difficult for both to effectively monitor working conditions in factories. This is particular to China, although Electronics Watch has found that brands and suppliers are often reluctant to allow investigations and engage in constructive negotiations in other countries. However, some have been quite cooperative. They have disclosed the locations of many of their factories and suppliers, and the number doing so is only increasing with time.</p> <p>Peter Pawlicki, the director of outreach and education at Electronics Watch, tells us more about the challenges they face and how they manage them.</p> <blockquote> <p>“Factories know that their rate of worker turnover is very high and Electronics Watch resources are limited, meaning that if brands remain slow at making changes, the incoming workers are likely to be unaware of long term issues and less likely to raise concerns, reducing the factories need to act. By working closely with civil rights organisations that are well connected in their local area, this ensures there can be continuous work, and issues are not dropped as workers move on. </p><br /> <p>In order to be listened to by brands, Electronics Watch is careful to gain trust from brands and suppliers. This is done by providing a confidential and discursive space where brands can be held accountable by Electronics Watch. Reports are initially confidential to brands and affiliates as Electronics Watch works on corrective action remedies for workers.&nbsp;However, Electronics Watch is in due time releasing its reports to the public. </p><br /> <p>Campaign tactics of naming and shaming brands have been useful in the past to create broad public awareness of labour rights violations in the supply chain of the electronics industry.&nbsp; However, Electronics Watch aims towards a trust-based relationship that will allow a long-term social dialogue and does not use these tactics.</p><br /> <p>Finally, we recognise that the work of Electronics Watch in fighting modern slavery and other workers’ rights abuses is currently limited to the manufacturing of electronics. We are starting a project to look in to what we can do to protect workers’ rights and the environment in the mining of raw materials for electronics as this is another serious issue.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Electronics Watch functions as an intermediary between public buyers with influence over brands and civil society organisations on the ground. This is not an easy position to be in, but through webinars, conferences, and reports, Electronics Watch is constantly working to improve understanding between these groups.</p> <h2>The role of buyers</h2> <p>Buyers can be crucial allies in the fight to ensure effective, worker-led monitoring and the widespread enforcement of labour standards. Through changes to their purchasing contracts, and through modified frameworks and code of conducts, buyers are able to use legally enforceable requirement mechanisms to push for change. Luckily, this is starting to happen. In the UK there are now 134 public institutions that are affiliated to Electronics Watch, either directly or through its <a href="https://peopleandplanet.org/sweatshopfree">purchasing consortium.&nbsp;</a></p> <p>This year alone, Electronics Watch, with support of its affiliates, <a href="http://electronicswatch.org/en/publications-by-electronics-watch_1633">has worked on labour rights cases in factories employing more that 100,000 workers</a>. Slowly, this model is supporting improved conditions for workers across the system. Electronics Watch’s end goal is to see industry-wide – rather than only factory-wide – systemic change for workers’ rights.</p> <p>Worker-driven change works. With Electronics Watch as the connecting framework between public buyers, workers’ rights organisations, and workers, systemic change in the electronics industry is beginning. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/jennifer-rosenbaum-shikha-silliman-bhattacharjee/big-brands-missing-voice-in-fight-to-">Big brands: the missing voice in the fight to end gender-based violence at work</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/aaron-halegua/sexual-harassment-at-walmart-s-stores-and-suppliers-in-china">Sexual harassment at Walmart’s stores and suppliers in China</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/ilc/jenny-chan-olga-martin-ortega/apple-way-to-make-products-response-to-apple-s-10th-supp">The Apple way to make products: a response to Apple’s 10th ‘supplier responsibility progress report’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/nicki-lisa-cole-jenny-chan/despite-claims-of-progress-labor-and-environmental-violatio">Despite claims of progress, labor and environmental violations continue to plague Apple</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Annie Pickering Fri, 13 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Annie Pickering 118744 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Centrarse en los derechos de las trabajadoras sexuales https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/chus-lvarez/centrarse-en-los-derechos-de-las-trabajadoras-sexuales <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sea cual sea tu opinión sobre el trabajo sexual, negar que es un trabajo solo perjudica a quienes lo ejercen. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/chus-lvarez/putting-sex-workers-rights-at-centre">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/27053274153_4e47071ef8_k-%281%29.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Sally T. Buck/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sallybuck/27053274153/in/photolist-HdB6Tg-HHSEn7-HHRQGh-HZA27U-HdrC5u-uJVK6H-qhtxCy-LbAUm4-N7xmcC-JKQK79-sJzdDS-92Fxwp-92FEAe-2hP8Cx-92FHUK-cCEJCu-6VmTNg-cN9fvw-92FBkM-92FHyX-92FCTa-e6JwHN-59qSGL-92JHXL-4N5GX8-92JRyA-92FHE4-2hP8CZ-cN9g8y-cNavxy-FzRSy-5KxgQS-9Dw9VQ-5aJbUn-cCEFMU-92FwbM-24ZuGRs-cCEHhU-24Hr8Ac-24ZuGMj-J6ubtE-8g81T4-Hdu4YQ-24ZuHmq-J9wuZz-J6pZYE-24ZuHwf-24ZuGWN-24ZuH4w-24ZuH6W">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p><em>En 2018 la Alianza Global contra la Trata de Mujeres (GAATW por sus siglas en inglés) publicó el informe «<a href="http://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/942-las-trabajadoras-sexuales-se-organizan-por-el-cambio">Las trabajadoras sexuales se organizan por el cambio</a>». La investigación se realizó en siete países para documentar cómo las organizaciones de trabajadoras sexuales se enfrentan a los diferentes abusos dentro de la industria del sexo y cómo manejan la discriminación diaria que experimentan. La autora de este artículo llevo a cabo la investigación en España.</em></p> <p>Durante mucho tiempo el debate sobre el trabajo sexual ha compartido espacio en mi cabeza con los prejuicios y creencias sociales y culturales que tengo como feminista blanca y occidental. Como parte de mi trabajo en la GAATW he leído mucho sobre el tema, desafortunadamente la mayor parte de la bibliografía tiende a confirmar uno de los dos puntos de vista generalizados y extremadamente contrapuestos desde los que se habla de esta cuestión. «En los debates altamente polarizados sobre si el trabajo sexual es inherentemente dañino para las personas que venden servicios sexuales, el activismo a menudo cae en la trampa de presentar dos estereotipos contrarios y simplificados: la mujer prostituida (una víctima explotada sin capacidad de decisión) o la trabajadora sexual (una mujer empoderada e independiente que hizo una elección libre)». Así dice la introducción del nuevo informe de la GAATW «Las trabajadoras sexuales se organizan por el cambio». </p> <p>Siempre había opinado que un mundo en el que el sexo no estuviera a la venta sería un mundo mejor. Esta opinión estaba basada en mi resistencia a la lógica capitalista que tiende a mercantilizar todos y cada uno de los aspectos de nuestra vida, y en la idea de que el sexo debería estar relacionado con el amor,&nbsp; el afecto, o cualquier otro tipo de sentimiento pero no con el dinero. ¿Tengo acaso una noción romántica del sexo? ¿Cómo han influido mi contexto religioso y social en mi opinión?&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>Realizar este estudio me ha permitido poner a un lado mis propias creencias y supuestos para escuchar atentamente &nbsp;las realidades y motivaciones de varias trabajadoras sexuales. Hacerlo ha influido extraordinariamente en mi visión sobre el trabajo sexual, desarrollando una percepción mucho más fundamentada en las experiencias de aquellas personas que ejercen el trabajo sexual. </p> <p>Aunque todavía no puedo responder a las preguntas sobre sexo, amor y dinero, escuchar las experiencias de las trabajadoras sexuales me ha dejado algo muy claro: <strong>si hablamos en serio cuando hablamos de proteger los derechos humanos de las mujeres, la criminalización y el estigma no son la respuesta. Los derechos lo son.</strong></p> <h2>Los Derechos de las trabajadoras sexuales son derechos humanos</h2> <p>Proteger los derechos de las trabajadoras sexuales significa proteger los derechos humanos. Tal y como dice Clarisa Velocci de <a href="http://www.genera.org.es/">Genera</a> (organización en Barcelona que defiende los derechos de las mujeres), «si se defienden los derechos humanos de las mujeres (…) es un pack completo (…) se defienden los de todas, no los de una sí y los de otras no». </p> <p>Las trabajadoras sexuales, como cualquier otra trabajadora, tienen la capacidad y el derecho a elegir la forma en que quieren ganarse la vida de entre las opciones que tienen. Esta decisión tiene que ser reconocida y respetada de la misma manera que ha de serlo su trabajo. Lo mismo pasa con sus demandas, que se podrían resumir básicamente en lugares seguros para trabajar, derechos laborales y beneficios sociales tal y como, insisto, cualquier otra trabajadora. </p> <p>Intercambiar servicios sexuales por dinero les permite pagar el alquiler, comprar comida y ropa, llevar a sus hijas e hijos a la escuela. Hace posible que puedan apoyar a su familia extensa , acceder a asistencia médica, viajar, ir al cine, invitar a cenar a sus amistades, etcétera. En muchas familias, las trabajadoras sexuales son las principales proveedoras. </p> <p><strong>El trabajo sexual da independencia económica a muchas mujeres. Ignorar esto es ignorar la principal motivación que existe tras el trabajo sexual.</strong></p> <p>El derecho de las personas trabajadoras de asociarse libremente y negociar de forma colectiva es uno de los cuatro pilares fundamentales de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo. Es más probable que sean las trabajadoras y trabajadores organizados quienes defiendan los derechos laborales, mejoren las condiciones de trabajo y creen sistemas de protección auto-gestionados. Los trabajadores y las trabajadoras organizadas tienen más poder y son menos vulnerables frente a la violación de derechos, el abuso y la explotación, incluyendo la trata de personas. Esto es tan cierto para las trabajadoras sexuales como para las personas en cualquier otro sector laboral. La organización de las trabajadoras sexuales debería ser igualmente reconocida por su poder de transformación. Debería ser encomiada y replicada, y apoyada desde el activismo por los derechos humanos. </p> <h2>Centrarse en los derechos humanos</h2> <p>Sacrificar los derechos de las personas involucradas en el trabajo sexual, incluso por el sueño de lograr un mundo sin trabajo sexual, va en contra del principio fundamental de los derechos humanos. Cuando rascamos más allá de la superficie, traspasando la teoría y los conceptos, nos encontramos de frente con las personas y con el impacto tan negativo que la criminalización y el estigma están teniendo en las trabajadoras sexuales. Se trata de ver las realidades de las trabajadoras sexuales tal y como son, no de cómo nos gustaría que fueran: las trabajadoras sexuales están sufriendo violaciones de sus derechos humanos a diario, no solo en su lugar de trabajo, sino también en la sociedad en general. Sufren humillaciones y ataques a su dignidad mientras hacen cola para renovar su DNI, o mientras esperan para entrar al médico. Incluso cuando van al colegio a recoger a sus hijas e hijos. </p> <p>Escuchar a las trabajadoras sexuales y desafiar el conocimiento que creemos tener es crucial para abordar las condiciones laborales de las trabajadoras sexuales, incluyendo aquellas situaciones relacionadas con la trata. Necesitamos romper los estereotipos sobre el trabajo sexual y reconocer cómo las trabajadoras sexuales organizadas ya están abogando por la seguridad en el lugar de trabajo, la protección social y la participación en las decisiones que afectan a sus vidas.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Se trata de ver las realidades de las trabajadoras sexuales tal y como son, no de cómo nos gustaría que fueran.</p> <p>Tenemos que comenzar por aceptar que el trabajo sexual es un trabajo. Es sorprendente ver cómo le cuesta a la gente reconocer que las trabajadoras sexuales se ganan la vida proporcionando servicios sexuales. Eso es lo que hacen. Puede ser que el trabajo que realizan les guste, o puede que no. Puede ser que hacer ese trabajo a ti te parezca bien o no. Pero que un trabajo guste o no, no tiene nada que ver con determinar que una manera de generar ingresos se clasifique como tal. Si así fuera, muchos sectores de la economía dejarían de ser «trabajo». De hecho, según una encuesta de <a href="http://news.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/212045/world-broken-workplace.aspx?g_source=position1&amp;g_medium=related&amp;g_campaign=tiles">Gallup</a> de 2017, mucha gente odia su empleo pero eso no ha hecho que nadie se pregunte si lo que hace es en realidad trabajo.</p> <p>Algunas personas argumentan que el trabajo sexual no es trabajo debido a cómo el patriarcado y el neoliberalismo lo influyen y configuran. Pero ¿podría alguna de esas personas nombrar un solo aspecto de nuestras vidas que no se vea influido por el patriarcado y el neoliberalismo?, ¿deberíamos entonces erradicar otros aspectos de la vida afectados tales como el matrimonio o las relaciones de pareja? ¿acaso podemos hacerlo?</p> <p>En lugar de luchar por la criminalización del trabajo sexual o simplemente debatir si es o no trabajo, invito a quienes quieren erradicarlo a centrarse en eliminar las condiciones que lo convierten en la mejor alternativa de subsistencia para tantas mujeres. &nbsp;</p> <p>Justo al final de uno de los grupos de discusión con trabajadoras sexuales en España, una de las participantes me preguntó: ¿alguna vez has pensado en ejercer como trabajadora sexual? No pude responder con un simple sí o no. Ser trabajadora sexual nunca ha estado entre mis mejores opciones de trabajo, por lo que por ahora no he tenido que considerar los pros y contras para tomar una decisión. La mujer que me hizo la pregunta no puede decir lo mismo. </p> <p>Tenemos que retomar el debate, pero esta vez escuchando lo que las trabajadoras sexuales tienen que decir y centrando la atención en sus derechos humanos. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/soledad-lvarez-velasco-martha-ruiz/m-s-all-del-sentido-com-n-ecuador-y-el-tr-fico-">Desafiando nociones de sentido común: tráfico de emigrantes en el continente americano</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/yaatsil-guevara-gonz-lez/traves-de-emigrantes-centroamericanos-en-m-xico-tr-fico-y">Travesía de emigrantes centroamericanos en México. Tráfico y contrabando como forma de negociación social </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/jennifer-gordon/trabajadores-migrantes-y-reclutamiento-en-m-xico">Trabajadores Migrantes y Reclutamiento en México</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/ana-lilia-galv-n-tov-as-fernando-loera-carlos-zavala-gabriella-sanchez/los-menores-de-">Los menores de edad que trabajan en el trafico de migrantes: la historia detras de los &quot;Menores de Circuito&quot; en Mexico</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Chus Álvarez Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Chus Álvarez 118749 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Putting sex workers’ rights at the centre https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/chus-lvarez/putting-sex-workers-rights-at-centre <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Regardless of your view on sex work, denying that it is a job only harms those engaging in it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/27053274153_4e47071ef8_k-%281%29.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Sally T. Buck/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sallybuck/27053274153/in/photolist-HdB6Tg-HHSEn7-HHRQGh-HZA27U-HdrC5u-uJVK6H-qhtxCy-LbAUm4-N7xmcC-JKQK79-sJzdDS-92Fxwp-92FEAe-2hP8Cx-92FHUK-cCEJCu-6VmTNg-cN9fvw-92FBkM-92FHyX-92FCTa-e6JwHN-59qSGL-92JHXL-4N5GX8-92JRyA-92FHE4-2hP8CZ-cN9g8y-cNavxy-FzRSy-5KxgQS-9Dw9VQ-5aJbUn-cCEFMU-92FwbM-24ZuGRs-cCEHhU-24Hr8Ac-24ZuGMj-J6ubtE-8g81T4-Hdu4YQ-24ZuHmq-J9wuZz-J6pZYE-24ZuHwf-24ZuGWN-24ZuH4w-24ZuH6W">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p><em>In 2018 the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) published the research ‘<a href="http://gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex-workers-organising-for-change">Sex workers organising for change</a>.’ The research documents how sex worker rights organisations in seven countries address the various abuses in the sex industry and how they deal with the daily discrimination they face. The author led the research for GAATW in Spain.</em></p> <p>The debate around sex work has been on my mind for a long time, together with my own social and cultural prejudices and beliefs as a white western feminist. As part of my job at GAATW I have also read a lot of literature on the topic. Sadly, the vast majority of these writings have only tended to confirm one of the two prevailing – and diametrically opposed – views on the issue. “In the highly polarised debates on whether sex work is inherently harmful to the people who sell sexual services, activists often fall into the trap of presenting two opposing, oversimplified stereotypes: the prostituted woman (an exploited victim without any agency) or the sex worker (an empowered, independent woman who made a free choice)”. Thus states our introduction to the new GAATW report, ‘<a href="http://gaatw.org/publications/SWorganising/SWorganising-complete-web.pdf">Sex workers organising for change</a>’.</p> <p>I used to believe that a world where sex is not for sale is a better world. This belief has been highly influenced by my resistance to the capitalist logic to commodify every aspect of our lives, and was based on the idea that sex should go hand in hand with love, or affection, or some other kind of feeling that doesn’t involve money. Is this a romantic notion of sex? How much is it influenced by my religious and social background? </p> <p>Conducting this research allowed me to put aside my own beliefs and assumptions, while carefully listening to the realities and motivations of sex workers. Doing so exerted an extraordinary influence on my view of sex work, and I’ve come away from it with a perception now much more grounded in the experiences of those actually working in the trade. &nbsp;</p> <p>While I still can’t answer those questions about sex, love, and money, listening to sex workers’ experiences made something very clear for me: <strong>if we are serious about protecting women’s human rights, criminalisation and stigma are not the answer. Rights are.</strong></p> <h2>Sex workers rights are human rights</h2> <p>Protecting sex workers’ rights means protecting human rights. As Clarisa Velocci from <a href="http://www.genera.org.es/">Genera</a> – a Spanish organisation advocating for women’s rights – said, “if women’s human rights are to be defended (...) then those of all women have to be defended, not just some and not the other”.</p> <p>Sex workers, like all other workers, have the capacity and the right to choose their means of earning a livelihood from among their available options. This choice needs to be recognised and respected, and so has to be their work. So must their demands, which – again, like for any other worker – don’t amount to much more than safe places to work, labour rights, and social benefits.</p> <p>Exchanging sexual services for money allows sex workers to pay their rent, buy their food and clothes, and send their kids to school. It makes it possible for them to support their elderly and extended family, pay for medical assistance, travel, go to the cinema, invite friends for dinner, and so on. In many families, sex workers are the main bread winners. </p> <p><strong>Sex work gives economic independence to many women. To ignore this fact is to be blind to the strongest motivation behind sex work.</strong></p> <p>The right of workers to freedom of association and to collective bargaining is one of the four fundamental principles of the International Labour Organisation. Organised workers are more likely to stand for their rights, improve their working conditions, and create self-managed protection systems. Organised workers are empowered workers, individuals who are less vulnerable to rights violations, to abuse and exploitation, including human trafficking. This is just as true for sex workers as it is for labourers in any other sector. Organising among sex workers should similarly be recognised for its transformative power. It should be lauded and replicated, as well as supported by human rights activists.&nbsp; </p> <h2>Putting human rights at the centre </h2> <p>Sacrificing the rights of people engaging in sex work, even for the dream of a world without sex work, goes against the very principle of human rights. Once you move beyond theory and concepts, when you start scratching the surface and meet the people, you clearly see the negative impact that criminalisation and stigma have on them. This is about what sex workers’ realities are, not what we wish them to be: sex workers face daily human rights violations in both their worker places and their societies. Attacks on their dignity happen while queuing up at the police station to renew their ID, or while waiting in front of the doctor’s office. Even while they are picking their kids from school.</p> <p>Listening to sex workers and challenging the knowledge we think we have is essential if we are to address the conditions in which sex workers are working, including those associated with trafficking. We need to break down the stereotypes about sex work, and recognise how organised sex workers are already advocating for security in the workplace, social protection, and participation in the decisions that affect their lives.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">This is about what sex workers’ realities are, not what we wish them to be.</p> <p>We need to start by recognising sex work as work. It is continually surprising how difficult it is for many people to acknowledge that sex workers make a living from providing sexual services. This is what they do. They may or may not like the work they do. You may or may not like the work they do. But liking or disliking a job has nothing at all to do with whether a form of income generation qualifies <em>as a job</em>. If it did, enormous sectors of the economy would cease to be ‘work’. Indeed, a 2017 <a href="http://news.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/212045/world-broken-workplace.aspx?g_source=position1&amp;g_medium=related&amp;g_campaign=tiles">Gallup poll</a> showed that many people hate their job, but that revelation did not change anybody’s view that what they doing was actually work. </p> <p>Some argue that sex work is not work because of the influence patriarchy and neoliberalism have over it. But can those same people name a single aspect of life that is not affected by patriarchy and neoliberalism? Should other areas of life, such as marriage or romantic relationships, be eradicated because they are tainted as well? Can they be?</p> <p>Rather than seeking to criminalise sex work, or reductively debating whether or not it ‘is’ work, those who would like to see less of it in the world should focus on eliminating the conditions that make it the best available livelihood option for so many women. </p> <p>Just before the end of a focus group discussion with sex workers in Spain, one of the participants threw a question at me: ‘would you ever consider becoming a sex worker?’ I couldn’t come up with a yes or no answer. Becoming a sex worker has never been among my best working options, so I haven’t had yet to consider the pros and cons of it and make a decision. The woman who put me on the spot couldn’t say the same. </p> <p>The debate has to be re-started, but this time it needs to be based in listening to what sex workers have to say and putting their human rights at the centre. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/lynzi-armstrong/almost-legal-migrant-sex-work-in-new-zealand">Almost legal: migrant sex work in New Zealand</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/borislav-gerasimov/sex-workers-organising-for-change">Sex workers organising for change</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/nicola-mai-calogero-giametta-h-l-ne-le-bail/impact-of-swedish-model-in-france-chronicl">The impact of the &#039;Swedish model&#039; in France: chronicle of a disaster foretold</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sam-okyere-essi-thesslund/false-promise-of-nordic-model-of-sex-work">The false promise of the Nordic model of sex work</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/empower-foundation-sam-okyere-liz-hilton/what-would-make-sex-work-decent-work">When is sex work &#039;decent work&#039;?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/rebecca-angelini/if-you-control-movement-you-control-sex-workers">If you control movement, you control sex workers</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Chus Álvarez Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Chus Álvarez 118748 at https://www.opendemocracy.net La necesidad de un enfoque de género para abordar la explotación y la trata de personas https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/letizia-palumbo/la-necesidad-de-un-enfoque-de-g-nero-para-abordar-la-explotaci-n-y-la- <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>La victimización de las mujeres sigue siendo predominante en las políticas y el discurso sobre la trata de personas. ¿Puede un enfoque de género, que tenga en cuenta los factores estructurales que crean las vulnerabilidades de las mujeres, cuestionar esto de forma efectiva? <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/letizia-palumbo/need-for-gendered-approach-to-exploitation-and-trafficking">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/15978390648_0a7fd2dc03_z.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/15978390648_0a7fd2dc03_z.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="257" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>A farm in Sicily. SarahTz/Flickr. Creative Commons.</span></span></span></p> <p>Las medidas contra la trata de personas se han centrado durante mucho tiempo en la explotación de las mujeres en el trabajo sexual, restando importancia al hecho de que la trata ocurre en diversos tipos de trabajo y que también implica a los hombres. Al hacer esto, se ha pasado por alto la vulnerabilidad sexual de las personas que son explotadas en sectores distintos al trabajo sexual. Mientras que hoy en día la mayoría de las políticas reconoce que las mujeres, los hombres, las personas transgénero y la infancia pueden ser víctimas de trata en distintas formas de explotación laboral, la victimización por género y por sexo de las mujeres migrantes continúa siendo un paradigma predominante en este ámbito. Más específicamente, como <a href="http://bordercriminologies.law.ox.ac.uk/gender-migration-trafficking/">ha señalado Julia O&#39;Connell Davidson</a>, mientras que a los hombres se les considera generalmente sujetos activos, capaces de tomar decisiones independientes y voluntarias, las mujeres son vistas como agentes pasivos e impotentes, vulnerables a la explotación. Por consiguiente, las mujeres migrantes que son explotadas son consideradas comúnmente como «víctimas de trata», mientras que a los hombres migrantes que son explotados se les considera con frecuencia migrantes en situación irregular; o, como en el caso de ciudadanos migrantes de la Unión Europea, a menudo no reciben asistencia ni protección.</p> <p>La distinción entre «trata con fines sexuales» y «trata con fines laborales» en distintas políticas y distintos instrumentos jurídicos ha fomentado la centralidad de la victimización sexualizada de la mujer. Además de sugerir que el trabajo sexual no puede considerarse trabajo, <a href="http://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/90/95">esta distinción transmite erróneamente la idea de que la explotación sexual no equivale a formas de trabajo forzoso</a>. También lleva a pasar por alto las diversas violaciones de derechos humanos que las mujeres involucradas en la industria del sexo pueden experimentar, así como las protecciones apropiadas a las que deberían tener derecho. Por otra parte, <a href="http://www.antitraffickingreview.org/journals/images/documents/issue1/TheReview_article4.pdf">esta distinción ha llevado a la adopción de diferentes estrategias para abordar la trata de personas en el sector del trabajo sexual anteponiéndolo a otros sectores</a>. En particular, mientras que en el segundo caso se ha prestado más atención al desarrollo de medidas encaminadas a proteger los derechos de las trabajadoras y trabajadores migrantes y a mejorar sus condiciones de trabajo, en el sector del sexo aún prevalecen enfoques represivos y asistenciales.</p> <h2>Representaciones sensacionalistas de los abusos a las mujeres migrantes</h2> <p>Cabe señalar que la severa explotación de las mujeres migrantes en sectores distintos del trabajo sexual suele atraer la atención pública e institucional únicamente cuando se acompaña de casos de abuso sexual, de los que la prensa informa con un trasfondo sensacionalista y voyerista.</p> <p>En este sentido, es emblemática la situación de las mujeres rumanas empleadas en el sector agrícola de Ragusa (Sicilia), muchas de las cuales están sometidas a una grave explotación laboral y a abusos sexuales por parte de sus empleadores. Aunque las instituciones locales conocen la prevalencia del abuso en este sector, durante muchos años no han hecho nada para prevenirlo ni combatirlo. Pero esto cambió ligeramente en octubre de 2014, cuando un periódico de ámbito nacional publicó un artículo sensacionalista titulado «<a href="http://espresso.repubblica.it/inchieste/2014/09/15/news/violentate-nel-silenzio-dei-campi-a-ragusa-il-nuovo-orrore-delle-schiave-rumene-1.180119">Violadas en el silencio de la campiña de Ragusa: el horror de las nuevas esclavas rumanas</a>». Tras esta publicación, las instituciones nacionales, pero en especial las locales, empezaron a prestar atención a los abusos que sufrían estas mujeres e intentaron abordar las causas fundamentales. Sin embargo, ese artículo también provocó reacciones sensacionalistas tanto públicas como institucionales, con el riesgo de desviar la atención de la amplia gama de violaciones de derechos que sufrían esas mujeres y de los factores estructurales que facilitan el surgimiento de dichos casos de explotación.</p> <p>Además, como ocurre a menudo en casos de abuso sexual, la atención local de Ragusa se centró en el grado de consentimiento involucrado en los actos sexuales denunciados. La pregunta « ¿han consentido o no a actos sexuales con sus empleadores las trabajadoras del campo rumanas?» fue mucho más importante que los complejos factores que podían haber llevado a dichas mujeres a consentir a la dinámica de explotación laboral y sexual. A este respecto, es revelador que una web local de noticias titulara así un artículo «<a href="http://www.ragusanews.com/articolo/48284/schiave-rumene-nelle-serre-e-se-fossero-consenzienti">¿Dan su consentimiento las esclavas rumanas de los invernaderos?</a>» y el reportaje de vídeo relacionado: «<a href="http://www.ragusanews.com/articolo/48284/schiave-rumene-nelle-serre-e-se-fossero-consenzienti">Lejos de ser unas esclavas, ¿pueden ser unas viciosas?</a>» El vídeo muestra solo imágenes de mujeres migrantes, probablemente rumanas, que ejercen de trabajadoras sexuales en las calles.</p> <p>Este vídeo, por un lado, lleva al público a vincular las violaciones de los derechos sexuales con el trabajo sexual, negando así implícitamente que el abuso sexual pueda ocurrir en otros sectores laborales. Por otro lado, transmite la idea estereotipada de que las mujeres rumanas tienen el «vicio» de ejercer como trabajadoras del sexo. El efecto combinado es sugerir que las trabajadoras agrícolas rumanas dieron su consentimiento a los actos sexuales en cuestión y, por tanto, que el abuso que sufrieron fue consecuencia de esa elección. Además, mediante el uso de imágenes de mujeres hermosas y sensuales, este vídeo revela cómo las historias de abusos (sexuales) a las mujeres a menudo se cuentan a través de la erotización de sus cuerpos.</p> <h2>El género en los instrumentos jurídicos y legales contra la trata de personas</h2> <p>Muchas de las medidas jurídicas y políticas más recientes contra la trata de personas y la explotación severa han establecido la necesidad de adoptar un enfoque de género. La Directiva 2011/36/UE «<a href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:101:0001:0011:EN:PDF">relativa a la prevención y lucha contra la trata de seres humanos y a la protección de las víctimas</a>» es la primera directiva de la UE que pone de relieve la importancia de la respuesta de género a la trata de personas. Esta directiva reconoce la especificidad del fenómeno de la trata de personas en función del género y establece que «las medidas de asistencia y apoyo deben ser también específicas en cuanto al género donde sea necesario». La «<a href="http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/doc_centre/crime/docs/trafficking_in_human_beings_eradication-2012_2016_en.pdf">estrategia de la UE para la erradicación de la trata de seres humanos (2012–2016)</a>» también presta atención a la dimensión de género de la trata. Sin embargo, como ha puesto de manifiesto un <a href="http://www.genderis.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Toolkit_IT.pdf">informe reciente de GendeRIS</a>, ni la estrategia europea ni la directiva 2011/36 ofrecen un marco adecuado de referencia conceptual o jurídica para cumplir con una perspectiva de género. Por ejemplo, no señalan documentos internacionales o europeos que sean relevantes en lo referente a los derechos de las mujeres y a la justicia de género. Además, la estrategia de la UE carece de medidas concretas destinadas a abordar los problemas de los derechos de la mujer.</p> <p>Algunos países, como Italia, han pasado por alto la adopción de un enfoque de género al transponer la directiva 2011/36 a su legislación nacional. El decreto legislativo italiano n. º 24 de 2014, que implementa esta directiva, le resta importancia a la dimensión de género y descarta la necesidad de un enfoque de género al abordar la trata de personas. Por el contrario, la única referencia a la perspectiva de género consiste en una breve referencia a la violencia de género en el artículo uno. Además, vale la pena señalar que este artículo afirma que el decreto tendrá particularmente en cuenta la situación específica de las «personas vulnerables» como «menores, personas menores no acompañadas, personas mayores, personas con discapacidad, mujeres (especialmente las embarazadas), familias monoparentales con hijas o hijos menores, personas con enfermedades mentales, personas que hayan sufrido torturas, violaciones u otras formas graves de violencia psicológica, física, sexual o de género». Al definir a las mujeres como un grupo vulnerable, este decreto considera la vulnerabilidad como un elemento esencial de la identidad de las mujeres. Este punto de partida oculta la capacidad de obrar de las mujeres y deja de lado las causas fundamentales de la discriminación y el abuso. Al mismo tiempo, el hecho de categorizar a las personas vulnerables en grupos diferenciados hace que pasemos por alto el carácter sistémico de las formas contemporáneas de explotación, así como el hecho de que diferentes factores (como las dinámicas económicas, jurídicas, sociales, de género y raciales) interactúan de forma simultánea, haciendo que personas distintas sean vulnerables a la trata y a la explotación.</p> <h2>¿Qué significa adoptar un enfoque de género para abordar la trata de personas?</h2> <p>Adoptar una perspectiva de género en las leyes y políticas contra la trata significa reconocer las desigualdades y diferencias en las experiencias de trata de las mujeres, de los hombres y de las personas transgénero, así como abordar sus diferentes necesidades y promover el ejercicio de sus derechos humanos. Este enfoque supone una reflexión sobre cómo las relaciones de poder sexualizadas y basadas en el género, junto con la discriminación por raza, clase social y nacionalidad, ayudan a promover situaciones de explotación severa.</p> <p>Lejos de quedar atrapadas en la dicotomía sexual, de género y racial, entre «víctimas» impotentes y sujetos «libres» capaces de elegir, las iniciativas que adoptan un enfoque de género deben abordar directamente los factores estructurales que hacen que las personas migrantes sean vulnerables a la explotación. Al mismo tiempo, deben prestar atención a las maneras contradictorias y a menudo dolorosas en que las mujeres, los hombres y las personas transgénero migrantes negocian las relaciones de poder, sus necesidades personales, sus proyectos de vida, su movilidad, su situación laboral y demás contingencias. Tal enfoque tomaría en cuenta las experiencias distintas y contrapuestas de las personas involucradas en el contexto de la trata de personas, abordaría adecuadamente sus distintas necesidades y evitaría estereotipos sobre roles de género y sexualidad femenina y masculina.</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: el Índice Global de esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/david-feingold/sensibilizacion-sobre-qu-para-qu-qui-nes-para-qui-nes">Sensibilización: ¿sobre qué? ¿para qué? ¿quiénes? ¿para quiénes?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/alessandra-mezzadri/la-esclavitud-moderna-y-las-paradojas-de-g-nero-en-la-falta-de-lib">La esclavitud moderna y las paradojas de género en la falta de libertad laboral</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Letizia Palumbo BTS en Español Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Letizia Palumbo 117609 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Sex work, labour unfreedom, and the law https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/katie-cruz/sex-work-labour-unfreedom-and-law <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>‘Free’ labour exists when it is guarded by a system of rights and protections. This places the vast majority of migrant and citizen sex workers at the extreme end of unfreedom.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/27384488480_b6b84c8c17_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Sally T. Buck/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sallybuck/27384488480/in/photolist-HHSEn7-HHRQGh-HZA27U-HdrC5u-uJVK6H-qhtxCy-LbAUm4-N7xmcC-JKQK79-sJzdDS-92Fxwp-92FEAe-2hP8Cx-92FHUK-cCEJCu-6VmTNg-cN9fvw-92FBkM-92FHyX-92FCTa-e6JwHN-59qSGL-92JHXL-4N5GX8-92JRyA-92FHE4-2hP8CZ-cN9g8y-cNavxy-FzRSy-5KxgQS-9Dw9VQ-5aJbUn-cCEFMU-92FwbM-24ZuGRs-cCEHhU-24Hr8Ac-24ZuGMj-J6ubtE-8g81T4-Hdu4YQ-24ZuHmq-J9wuZz-J6pZYE-24ZuHwf-24ZuGWN-24ZuH4w-24ZuH6W-24ZuHJj">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>On 2 June, sex workers and activists gathered globally to mark the struggle for sex workers’ rights. <a href="http://www.nswp.org/event/international-sex-workers-day">International Sex Workers Day</a> is just one day of the year dedicated to the struggle for sex workers. Activists gather on 3 March to mark <a href="http://www.nswp.org/event/international-sex-workers-rights-day">International Sex Worker Rights Day</a> and on 17 December to mark <a href="http://www.nswp.org/event/17-december-international-day-end-violence-against-sex-workers">International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers</a>.</p> <p>These dates occur because of the historical and ongoing violence against, and exclusion of, sex workers. Sex workers are subject to interpersonal forms of violence, including from police officers and clients, and the structural violence of criminal justice and immigration institutions. They are frequently criminalised or otherwise negatively affected by anti-trafficking laws and policies, and are subject to heightened immigration controls. In the United Kingdom, the Tory government’s hostile environment has created additional layers of institutionalised insecurity for many migrant sex workers, including restrictions on access to housing, healthcare, education, and banking services.</p> <p>In a recent article I wrote for <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10691-018-9370-7#Sec2">Feminist Legal Studies</a>, I argue for a Marxist feminist methodology capable or describing and opposing these intersecting exclusions and oppressions as they apply to migrant sex workers in the UK. However, this method can be used to understand the precarious living and working conditions of all sex workers. The fieldwork I am currently conducting with Julia O’Connell Davidson, Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor and Cecily Jones in Jamaica demonstrates this nicely with regard to <em>citizen</em> sex workers.</p> <h2>A Marxist feminist understanding of sex work</h2> <p>My methodological starting point is <em>capitalist relations of (re)production.</em> I believe that the exploitative and alienating relationships we develop with each other and nature as we interact to (re)produce the necessities for life sit at the core of our problem as activists and workers. Our labour, or practical human activity – the work we do for a wage, in the home, and in the community – is being harnessed by capitalism. We are being exploited, alienated, and dispossessed, and this is happening in and through <em>gender, ‘race’, and the law</em>. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">We are being exploited, alienated, and dispossessed, and this is happening in and through <em>gender, ‘race’, and the law</em>.</p> <p>I argue that capitalist relations of (re)production exist on a continuum of <em>unfreedom</em>. At one end of the continuum is ‘free’&nbsp;labour; the quotation marks signalling that freedom within capitalism cannot exist because we cannot reproduce families, communities, and ourselves without dispossession, exploitation, and alienation. ‘Free’ labour, then, is characterised by the&nbsp;limitation&nbsp;of labour unfreedom.&nbsp;It exists where waged and unwaged labour is embedded in a system of labour and social rights and protections, including a living wage, freedom to change employers&nbsp;and to contest conditions, freedom of movement, access to affordable housing, education, childcare, and eldercare. </p> <p>In order to understand how we strive for freedom, Marxist feminists reject any approach that privileges ‘structure’ over ‘agency’, ‘experience’ or ‘consciousness’. In other words, because our everyday labour relationships are constitutive of, and are constituted by, capitalist relations of (re)production it is immanently possible for us to collectively contest these very same relations. This is particularly important in the context of sex work and debates about sex work or ‘prostitution’. Sex workers voices are not often heard and academics tend to focus too much on constraints <em>or</em> choice rather than the dynamic interplay between structure and agency. </p> <h2>Unfree migrant and citizen sex workers</h2> <p>What, then, does this tell us about the expression of capitalist legal relations and sex work? To start with migrant sex workers in the UK: immigration law repressively incorporates these workers. Migrant sex workers do not arrive with a visa to work in the sex industry. Heightened policing – through a combination of immigration law, anti-trafficking law, and absent labour and social protections and rights – further pushes sex work into the margins and associates it with ‘other’ jurisdictions and spaces. This legal ‘othering’ is reinforced by media discourses and prevailing gender, sexual, and racial stereotypes in the UK. By this point solidly ‘othered’, this status becomes a justification for their devaluation and abuse by the state, employers, intermediaries, and clients. </p> <p>Citizen sex workers experience many of the same legal exclusions in the UK as migrant sex workers. Labour law rarely touches the sexual services sector. Citizen sex workers who work in managed environments experience employment precarity. The dominant employment relation in such contexts is false self-employment, and so workers have no certainty of employment, little control over the labour process, and no regulatory protection. While wages can be adequate there is no certainty that a debt relationship between the worker and management will not emerge. Unless sex workers register as self-employed they will not be able to access many social welfare protections that depend on being in paid employment.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Invisibility, devaluation, criminalisation, and state disavowal all combine to allow managers and clients to practice high levels of exploitation, control, and abuse.</p> <p>As a form of work that often takes place in the ‘private’ sphere (the ‘thick walls’ of the home, apartment, or brothel) it is not seen as ‘real’ work by the employers, clients, or the state. The relationship between sexism, the desire to control female sexuality, and the stigmatisation of sex workers also helps to explain on-going criminalisation and the widespread reluctance to see sex work as a legitimate form of service work. This mix of invisibility, devaluation, criminalisation, and state disavowal all combine to allow managers and clients to practice high levels of exploitation, control, and abuse.</p> <p>Through conversations and a collaborative workshop with the Sex Worker Association of Jamaica, we have learnt that Jamaican sex workers are also rendered criminals and second-class citizens in a host of ways that do not turn on having illegal status.</p> <p>If ‘free’ labour exists where all labour – paid and unpaid – is embedded in a system of labour and social rights and protections, we must conclude that the vast majority of (migrant) sex workers globally populate the extreme end of unfreedom. At the same time, Marxist and social reproduction feminists stress the fact that: </p> <blockquote> <p>“interests and relational dynamics can and do compete with the capitalist imperative. Struggles for access to abortion, childcare, better wages, and healthy drinking water, for example, reshape relations between workers and capital, and those among workers themselves. If successful, they chip away at patriarchal and other forms of relations; if they fail, they tend to reinforce such relations” (<a href="http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/1569206x-12341471">Ferguson 2016</a>). </p> </blockquote> <p>Sex workers and activists in the UK, Jamaica, and globally are discussing and demanding labour ‘freedoms’. They are arguing for individual and collective labour rights in combination with regulation of labour intermediaries, recruitment agencies and brothels/clubs, decriminalisation, social welfare entitlement, and radical restructuring of border controls in recognition that these ‘freedoms’ will transfer a significant amount of power to (migrant) sex workers. In the words of one Jamaican sex worker, it is time to stop “using, abusing, and refusing sex workers”. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/katie-cruz/centring-state-in-our-critiques-of-trafficking">Centring the state in our critiques of trafficking</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/carol-leigh/antitrafficking-campaigns-sex-workers-and-roots-of-damage">Anti-trafficking campaigns, sex workers and the roots of damage</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/jessica-r-pliley/sexual-surveillance-and-moral-quarantines-history-of-antitrafficking">Sexual surveillance and moral quarantines: a history of anti-trafficking</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/thaddeus-blanchette-laura-murray/power-of-putas-brazilian-prostitutes-movement-in-time">The power of putas: the Brazilian prostitutes’ movement in times of political reaction</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/georgina-orellano/creative-protests-of-sex-workers-in-argentina">The creative protests of sex workers in Argentina</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/netochka-nezvanova/trafficking-discourses-and-sex-workers-mobilisation-in-eastern-euro">Trafficking discourses and sex workers&#039; mobilisation in eastern Europe and central Asia</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/gail-pheterson/at-long-last-listen-to-women">At long last, listen to the women!</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/international-committee-on-rights-of-sex-workers-in-europe/for-decriminalisation-and-j">For decriminalisation and justice: sex workers demand legal reform and social change</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Katie Cruz Wed, 11 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Katie Cruz 118745 at https://www.opendemocracy.net La esclavitud moderna y las paradojas de género en la falta de libertad laboral https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/alessandra-mezzadri/la-esclavitud-moderna-y-las-paradojas-de-g-nero-en-la-falta-de-lib <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Por qué «falta de libertad laboral» es una categoría más útil que «esclavitud moderna» para desafiar las relaciones laborales de explotación en nuestro propio país y fuera de él. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alessandra-mezzadri/modern-slavery-and-gendered-paradoxes-of-labour-unfreedom">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/15660598613_b33c28318f_k_920.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Factory in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. NYU Stern BHR/Flickr. (CC 2.0 by-nc)</p> <p>Desde la crisis financiera, la recuperación parcial de la rentabilidad de las empresas se ha sostenido a costa de trabajadoras y trabajadores de todo el mundo.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/judy-fudge/rethinking-recovery-labour-market-exploitation-and-austerity-in-uk">En el Reino Unido</a>, la mejora de las tasas de contratación ha sido un proceso paralelo al empeoramiento de las condiciones salariales. En el exterior, los países que albergan centros internacionales de fabricación intensiva han sido testigos del endurecimiento de los regímenes laborales. Es natural que en este escenario hayan proliferado los desastres industriales y los escándalos de explotación.</p> <p>En este contexto, el término «esclavitud moderna» se utiliza cada vez más en los medios de comunicación y círculos políticos de forma más o menos precisa para reflejar la tremenda explotación que se da en las cadenas de distribución globales. En lo referente a la industria textil, los debates sobre la «nueva» esclavitud se remontan a la década de los 90 y se intensificaron tras el <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/rajon-shahabuddin/three-years-after-rana-plaza-why-bangladeshi-workers-need-trade-unio">desastre de Rana Plaza en 2013</a>. ¿Pero hasta qué punto es eficaz el término «esclavitud moderna» y qué otras categorías de análisis podrían utilizarse en su lugar?</p> <p>Ya <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alessandra-mezzadri/free-to-stitch-or-starve-capitalism-and-unfreedom-in-global-garmen">en otros artículos</a> he recalcado la importancia de involucrarse en los debates sobre definiciones puesto que las definiciones vienen siempre acompañadas de consecuencias analíticas y políticas. Aquí argumento que «esclavitud moderna» es un término insuficiente para describir la realidad actual del proletariado de la industria textil. En cambio, el término «falta de libertad laboral» está mejor equipado para reflejar esta realidad. Una vez dicho esto, deberíamos adoptar una definición mucho más amplia del concepto «falta de libertad» y enfatizar en los aspectos económicos y sociales de la opresión laboral. Esto es especialmente importante para reflejar la situación de sometimiento laboral que sufren los millones de mujeres que trabajan cosiendo nuestra ropa.</p> <p>Pese a ser bien intencionado, el debate acerca de esclavitud moderna tiene varias limitaciones. En primer lugar, la referencia sin sentido crítico a «personas esclavas» que trabajan en las industrias modernas corre el riesgo de perpetuar el imaginario colectivo de que las regiones en desarrollo son indiscriminadamente ricas en mano de obra barata. En cambio, estas áreas poseen trayectorias económicas y políticas muy variadas. Reconocerlo es crucial para desarrollar políticas significativas y obtener una respuesta política. En segundo lugar, el debate sobre la esclavitud moderna puede ser secuestrado por fuerzas reaccionarias comprometidas con lo que Bridget Anderson llama «<a href="https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/interview-bridget-anderson/">humanitarismo violento»</a>.</p> <p>Por ejemplo, el año pasado el Primer Ministro italiano hizo un llamamiento a la lucha contra la «esclavitud» como excusa para participar en <a href="http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/warfare/2015/05/02/europe-weighs-bombing-migrant-boats/26639047/">prácticas contra la inmigración</a> extremadamente agresivas. El debate sobre la esclavitud moderna se arriesga a transmitir el mensaje de que el abuso laboral es una excepción y no una práctica sistemática, y de reducirlo a una <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/01436597.2013.800738">relación individual de dominación</a> perpetuada por la acción de unos pocos. Es peligroso también que se restrinja nuestra atención a las formas extremas de explotación, como los trabajos forzosos o la trata de personas. Sin embargo, que la explotación en muchos sectores sea algo habitual debería preocuparnos mucho, puesto que es incompatible con las luchas continuas por un trabajo digno. La OIT, en su <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyond-slavery-themes/governing-global-supply-chains-bts-at-ilo">Conferencia internacional de trabajo de 2016</a>, abordó cuestiones sobre los trabajos forzosos y la trata en el contexto más amplio de la administración de las <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/ilc/neil-howard-genevieve-lebaron/making-supply-chains-work-for-workers-2016-international">cadenas mundiales de suministro</a>.</p> <h2>La falta de libertad en la industria textil global</h2> <p>En el sector textil, las limitaciones del debate sobre la esclavitud moderna se manifiestan claramente. Acontecimientos como el de Rana Plaza, se presentan erróneamente como <a href="https://www.soas.ac.uk/cdpr/publications/papers/file100127.pdf">desastres excepcionales y aislados</a> sin conexión con la explotación laboral sistémica. Además, a menudo el discurso político se reduce a la identificación de los «verdaderos» criminales. ¿Podemos realmente afirmar que <a href="http://asia.floorwage.org/workersvoices/reports/precarious-work-in-the-h-m-global-value-chain">H&amp;M</a> es peor que M&amp;S o mejor que Primark? El reciente aumento de escándalos y de los llamados desastres relacionados con las fábricas donde se explota a las trabajadoras implica a una gran cantidad de población consumidora y demuestra lo limitado de un enfoque que pretende establecer un único responsable.</p> <p>El debate sobre la esclavitud moderna se cruza de forma implícita y explícita con el de la «falta de libertad laboral». Sin embargo, a diferencia del primero, este último no ha caído en la trampa de tratar las consecuencias de estos sistemas laborales como excepciones. Dadas sus raíces en los debates de la izquierda intelectual, la categoría «falta de libertad laboral» ya se entiende como algo sistémicamente vinculado a los procesos de explotación y al desarrollo del capitalismo. Sin embargo, como ilustró <a href="http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/14855/1/Lerche_unfree_working_paper_2011.pdf">Jens Lerche</a>, es un término polémico. En mi opinión, las interpretaciones clásicas de la falta de libertad han tendido a enmarcarse demasiado en torno a una visión «productivista» de la explotación. Se ha puesto todo el énfasis en los aspectos económicos de la falta de libertad y se han obviado los sociales.</p> <p>En efecto, hay personas para las que la falta de libertad se manifiesta principalmente como una relación brutal de sometimiento económico. En India existen numerosas evidencias de que muchas trabajadoras y trabajadores del sector textil se encuentran permanentemente endeudados con sus empresas o con las empresas reclutadoras. En línea con lo señalado por <a href="http://www.isleijle.org/ijle/IssuePdf/31edd8fe-2ff9-481c-a0d6-44fcd53adda6.pdf">Jan Breman</a>, estas personas pueden clasificarse bajo un nuevo sistema de servidumbre por deudas. Sin embargo, en muchos casos, la dominación basada en el endeudamiento es el resultado de una subordinación o incluso de un estigma social previo. Además, aunque la deuda es un claro indicio de la privación de la libertad, no haber contraído tal obligación tampoco significa que exista libertad. Es más, esto puede revelar formas aún más funestas de exclusión socioeconómica. Resulta contradictorio, sin embargo, que pueda haber contrapartidas entre las formas de falta de libertades económicas y sociales.</p> <h2>La cara sexista de la falta de libertad</h2> <p>Este último punto queda particularmente claro cuando se analizan las diferencias en los sistemas salariales de los hombres y mujeres que trabajan en el sector textil. Centrémonos en el caso de los y las trabajadoras de la industria del bordado en India. Muchas de estas personas viven en áreas rurales alrededor de los principales conglomerados de exportación urbanos, particularmente en el norte de India.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.academia.edu/24363779/The_informalisation_of_capital_and_interlocking_in_labour_contracting_networks">Aquí</a> solo los trabajadores varones, considerados altamente cualificados, están sujetos a sus contratistas a través de una deuda. Por lo tanto, ellos son la típica mano de obra sin libertad y bajo un nuevo sistema de servidumbre por deudas.</p> <p>Sin embargo, no son los peor pagados en términos de sueldo neto. Las más perjudicadas son las mujeres que trabajan en sus casas y que viven en aldeas remotas. Ellas son sistemáticamente excluidas de la opción de recibir pagos por anticipado y, por lo tanto, de las relaciones de deuda. Los contratistas no estás interesados en asegurarlas mediante deudas porque ya están atadas a los gruesos muros de sus hogares. Tienen muy pocas alternativas económicas y se les puede pagar una miseria. También en entornos urbanos se paga <a href="https://www.soas.ac.uk/cdpr/publications/dv/file93820.pdf">menos de un tercio</a> a las mujeres que trabajan en su domicilio que a sus homólogos masculinos. Paradójicamente, la liberación femenina de la carga en cuanto a deudas está estructurada alrededor de la «falta de libertad patriarcal». Es revelador que incluso bajo el viejo sistema de trabajos forzosos, la opresión laboral de las mujeres estuviera organizada principalmente en torno al patriarcado y al abuso sexual en lugar de a la deuda, como narra Gaiutra Bahadur en su extraordinario libro <a href="https://cooliewoman.com/"><em>Coolie Woman</em></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Asimismo es imposible entender la falta de libertad experimentada por las trabajadoras dentro de las fábricas sin tener en cuenta las normas patriarcales. Las formas de «sujeción» de las mujeres en la industria textil están siempre basadas en el abrumador legado de normas sociales de género. Mientras que estas normas pueden entrañar distintas formas de falta de libertad económica, como en el caso del infame <a href="https://www.evb.ch/fileadmin/files/documents/CCC/7_Caputred_by_Cotton_Captured_by_Cotton.pdf">sistema sumangali</a> en el sur de India, también podrían implicar, incluso con más frecuencia, otras formas de falta de libertad social. Por esta razón debemos tener muy presentes el <a href="http://sistersforchange.org.uk/india-eliminating-violence-against-women-at-work/">acoso sexual</a>, el abuso verbal y otras <a href="http://cividep.org/backdoor/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Sexual-Harassment-Report-MahooLyimo-_Oct-2010.pdf">formas de violencia de género</a> frecuentes en los lugares de producción.</p> <p>La concepción de la falta de libertad debería también matizarse en coordinada complicidad con las voces de los y las trabajadoras. Es sorprendente observar cómo en India, por ejemplo, miembros masculinos y femeninos del mismo hogar, que realizan las mismas tareas, suelen percibir su libertad o la ausencia de la misma de maneras completamente diferentes. Esto confirma que la «falta de libertad sufrida» es diferente según el género. Por un lado, los hombres suelen interpretar <em>Azadi</em> («libertad» en hindi) como oportunidades económicas, como destacaba también el periodista indio Aman Sethi en su cautivador libro <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/a-free-man-a-true-story-of-life-and-death-in-delhi-by-aman-sethi-8412988.html"><em>A Free Man</em></a> (Un hombre libre), mientras que para las mujeres este concepto significa normas sociales menos estrictas y movilidad fuera del hogar.</p> <p>De esta manera, el término «falta de libertad laboral» resulta ser más útil que «esclavitud moderna» a la hora de retratar las relaciones laborales de explotación dentro de industrias con repercusión mundial como la de la ropa. No obstante y, como he demostrado, este término debe necesariamente ser desgranado para dar cuenta de las múltiples formas de opresión socioeconómica. Mientras las medidas de austeridad azotan cada vez más a las clases trabajadoras también en las economías occidentales, devolviendo la explotación a nuestro propio territorio (por ejemplo <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-31531924">Leicester</a> en el Reino Unido o <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/world/europe/13prato.html?_r=0">Prato</a> en Italia), algunas de estas lecciones pueden volverse imprescindibles en la lucha contra la pobreza laboral y la falta de libertad, tanto en nuestros países, como en el exterior.&nbsp;</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: el Índice Global de esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Alessandra Mezzadri BTS en Español Wed, 11 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Alessandra Mezzadri 117608 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Sensibilización: ¿sobre qué? ¿para qué? ¿quiénes? ¿para quiénes? https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/david-feingold/sensibilizacion-sobre-qu-para-qu-qui-nes-para-qui-nes <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Las tácticas utilizadas a gran escala para crear conciencia han logrado despertar interés sobre la trata de personas, pero también han tenido consecuencias negativas.&nbsp;<a style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/david-feingold/raising-awareness-of-what-for-what-by-whom-for-whom">English</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/worldcup2_920.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Brazilian sex workers use FIFA and the World Cup as a hook to demand better quality of life conditions. Image by Thaddeus Blanchette and Laura Murray. All rights reserved.</p> <p>En 1997, cuando inicié el programa de la UNESCO para la trata de personas en la región del Mekong, este problema apenas despertaba interés. Sin embargo, en los últimos quince años, la trata de personas (concepto encubierto en algunas ocasiones con el término más atrayente de «esclavitud moderna») se ha convertido en la estrella del mes. En ese sentido, sí se ha logrado crear conciencia. Sin embargo, debemos distinguir los informes y documentales respaldados por una cuidadosa investigación y los estudios acreditados de las campañas dirigidas a que el público se sienta bien consigo mismo, como: «<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSSLv2PSu4c">los hombres de verdad no compran mujeres</a>». Mi opinión es que, actualmente, estas campañas públicas de concienciación y difusión hacen más daño que otra cosa.</p> <h2>Dirigirse a las personas en riesgo</h2> <p>Al evaluar el aporte neto de las campañas de «concienciación pública» hay que tener en cuenta cómo se define el concepto de «pública». Existen muchos tipos de públicos; una campaña de información sobre formas seguras de migración adaptada específicamente a habitantes de áreas remotas puede resultar eficaz si se tienen en cuenta las distintas dificultades que estas personas pueden encontrar al tomar sus decisiones. Decir a las niñas de Birmania que viven en una zona en conflicto que no deben salir de casa, que no deben abandonar la escuela, que deben obtener buenas notas y que no deben dejarse seducir por luces brillantes y grandes ciudades, ni es honesto ni es eficaz, habida cuenta del miedo justificado a ser raptadas por el ejército birmano y el bajo rendimiento económico de la educación a corto y a largo plazo.</p> <p>Puede ser útil advertir a la población migrante sobre los negocios corruptos y las peligrosas condiciones laborales en los barcos pesqueros en Tailandia, y también generar conciencia sobre la protección de derechos laborales, siempre y cuando se tenga en cuenta que muchas de sus decisiones se verán fuertemente restringidas. Para que las campañas de concienciación sean eficaces, deben basarse en la investigación y en el entendimiento de los factores específicos que impactan la evaluación subjetiva del riesgo de la audiencia a la que se dirigen. Se deben tener claras las limitaciones que presenta la sensibilización en aquellas poblaciones que pueden sufrir trata de personas: una buena información no garantiza buenas decisiones. Sin embargo, la falta de información suele garantizar malas decisiones.</p> <h2>Apuntar al público donante</h2> <p>Hay un tipo de campañas de sensibilización que parece encajar en la categoría de «sentirse bien por sentirse mal». Su objetivo principal parece ser recaudar fondos o mejorar la imagen pública de la organización que lleva adelante la campaña. No muchas personas encuentran una conexión lógica entre las acciones que estas campañas promueven y los impactos que obtienen. Entre las más absurdas encontramos una campaña organizada por la CNN, en la que varios grupos de personas lanzaban aviones de papel para luchar contra la esclavitud. Richard Quest, en un gran momento televisivo, incluso seleccionó a personas de la audiencia y de su panel de “expertos” para que lanzaran aviones de papel por todo el estudio. Nunca se aclaró cómo esto ayudaba a los pescadores forzosos de Birmania o a las empleadas del hogar filipinas de las que abusaban en el Golfo.</p> <p>De manera similar, algunos programas de televisión como «Trata de personas» y películas como «Búsqueda implacable» han promovido una descripción falsa sobre el tema. Al igual que en otros <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/carol-leigh/antitrafficking-campaigns-sex-workers-and-roots-of-damage">perturbadores relatos históricos sobre la &#39;esclavitud blanca&#39;</a>, los miembros malvados de una organización criminal seducen o secuestran a jóvenes inocentes y las convierten en esclavas sexuales que solo pueden ser rescatadas por un hombre blanco (o una mujer) con un arma. Se podría argumentar que esto es una ficción de escape inofensiva y que todo el mundo sabe que aprender sobre la trata de personas a través de «Búsqueda implacable» o series de televisión similares es como informarse sobre operaciones de inteligencia viendo películas de James Bond. Sin embargo, a diferencia de Bond, muchos de los productos de entretenimiento que muestran la «trata» o la «esclavitud moderna» poseen una fina y escurridiza apariencia de verosimilitud que es justificada diciendo que sirve para «crear conciencia». Esto suele ser reforzado por <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/kerwin-kaye/shilling-fantasy-as-reality-review-of-%E2%80%98trade%E2%80%99-and-%E2%80%98holly%E2%80%99">el respaldo de gobiernos y agencias internacionales</a> ansiosas por participar en la publicidad de Hollywood.</p> <p>Un lamentable impacto colateral de estas representaciones melodramáticas es que refuerzan la necesidad de víctimas «inocentes», junto con la consecuente creencia de que si alguien no es «inocente» no puede ser una víctima. Esto es perjudicial para las víctimas reales, quienes suelen habitar un mundo gris entre autonomía y explotación. Como resultado, a muchas víctimas de explotación se las encarcela y se les niegan servicios. En el mundo real, como decía antes, la trata es el resultado de procesos de migración que acabaron atrozmente. Y según la ley internacional, una víctima de trata de personas tiene derecho a protección, independientemente de cómo haya llegado a esa situación de explotación.</p> <h2>El uso y abuso de estadísticas</h2> <p>De manera similar, el uso exagerado o falso de estadísticas se justifica argumentando que es necesario para crear conciencia en las personas. En un capítulo que escribí para <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Drugs-Body-Counts-Politics/dp/0801476186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1484148210&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Sex%2C+Drugs+and+Body+Counts"><em>Sex, Drugs and Body Counts</em></a>, destaco que «la mejor manera de caracterizar la trata es la certeza numérica y la duda estadística. Las cifras sobre trata de personas brindan la falsa precisión de la cuantificación, pero carecen de rigor estadístico». Sean cuales sean los recursos que se hayan utilizado, «el problema está empeorando»; siempre.</p> <p>Ninguna cantidad parece ser nunca excesiva: 35,8 millones de víctimas de la esclavitud en 2015, comparadas con 45,8 millones en 2016. Y 20 millones antes de eso. Parece no importar el hecho de que ninguna de estas cifras se haya obtenido de forma fiable. Cuando cualquiera de ellas es cuestionada, se justifica diciendo que la trata está subestimada «porque es una actividad ilegal». Hace algunos años, participé en una conferencia de personas expertas en la Universidad de Harvard que buscaba reexaminar la trata y el tráfico de migrantes. Cuando discutíamos sobre estadísticas, un representante de una importante ONG contra la trata sostuvo que la precisión no importaba, siempre y cuando las cifras contribuyeran a la sensibilización y a la movilización de recursos.</p> <p>Para describir este fenómeno, Carole Vance creó el término «estadísticas vampiro»: no importa cuántas veces se refuten las cifras, estas vuelven a aparecer. Igualmente, existen las crisis vampíricas en la trata de personas, crisis que reviven eternamente debido a los esfuerzos de sensibilización. Por ejemplo, el recurrente pánico moral durante importantes eventos deportivos. Durante la Copa Mundial de 2006 en Alemania, algunas ONG advirtieron de que 40.000 mujeres serían objeto de trata para calmar la lujosa lascivia de los fanáticos masculinos, incluso estableciendo prostíbulos similares a baños portátiles.</p> <p>No parece que nadie se pregunte cómo se llegó a esta cifra, o por qué se necesitarían estas mujeres en un país en el que el trabajo sexual es legal. Es más, un miembro del parlamento sueco expresó que Suecia debería abandonar el campeonato como forma de protesta ante esta explotación. Los estudios realizados después del evento por la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones, entre otras, no mostraron un incremento en la trata de personas. Incluso algunos periódicos que antes habían exagerado sobre este tema empezaron a retractarse. Algunas trabajadoras sexuales en Alemania, al ser entrevistadas en prensa, dijeron que si cierto equipo ganaba, ellas saldrían perdiendo frente a las aficionadas del sexo femenino; y que si el equipo perdía, probablemente los hombres estarían demasiado ebrios como para ser clientes.</p> <p>Previsiblemente, las organizaciones contra la trata resurgieron, afirmando que 40.000 mujeres fueron salvadas de la trata gracias a que se alertó al público y se creó conciencia. El fiasco de la Copa del 2006 no acabó con el problema. Cada evento, desde la Copa Mundial en Sudáfrica a las olimpiadas de Beijing y de Londres, se ha convertido en el centro de campañas y recogida de fondos de las ONG (y de algunas agencias internacionales).En ninguno de los casos hay pruebas de que el evento haya hecho aumentar la trata de personas para la explotación sexual. Sin embargo, cabe apuntar que (con algunas meritorias excepciones) se prestó menos atención y hubo menos indignación con las <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/laya-behbahani/bigger-than-world-cup-statesponsored-human-trafficking-in-gulf-states">condiciones de verdadera explotación laboral de los trabajadores inmigrantes</a> que construyeron algunos de los estadios.</p> <p>También la Super Bowl de 2017 en Estados Unidos inspiró una oleada de artículos llenos de oscuras advertencias sobre el hecho de que la «esclavitud moderna» estaría anotando puntos y festejando en la zona de juego. Más aun, en todos los casos, la falta de evidencia en cuanto a la existencia de trata de personas relacionada con estos eventos ha sido utilizada como prueba de la eficacia de las campañas de sensibilización y de las severas medidas adoptadas contra las trabajadoras sexuales por la policía.</p> <p>Las campañas de sensibilización actuales tienden hacia llamadas «wilberforceanas» para unirse a la lucha contra la esclavitud. La mayoría es de tipo voluntario, por ejemplo, sugerir que las personas pueden acabar con la esclavitud por medio del consumo inteligente. Sin embargo, mientras puedo boicotear la pesca en Tailandia (porque he leído sobre las condiciones laborales de la industria pesquera tailandesa), ¿cuánto sé sobre los camarones de Vietnam que venden en Whole Foods? ¿Sé qué productos intermedios contiene un teléfono Samsung en contraposición con los de un teléfono Apple?</p> <p>Pocas campañas abordan reformas estructurales; una de las mayores contradicciones que he observado hasta la fecha es que una empresa que ignora a los sindicatos intente afirmar que lucha contra la esclavitud moderna. Hay muy pocas víctimas de la trata en industrias altamente sindicalizadas. En muchas partes del mundo, la falta de condición legal de una persona (por ejemplo, la ciudadanía y la partida de nacimiento) es un gran factor de riesgo en cuanto a sufrir trata de personas. Es hora de aprender sobre esas realidades y de llevar la sensibilización más allá de los aviones de papel y los héroes de cartón.</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: el Índice Global de esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery David A. Feingold BTS en Español Wed, 11 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 David A. Feingold 117605 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Reflections on World Refugee Day https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/ahmad-almouhmad/reflections-on-world-refugee-day <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For one refugee, World Refugee Day is a stark reminder of the world's collective failure.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Ahmad1.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Chios island, Greece. Photo: Mustafa Jado. All rights reserved.</p> <p>‘World refugee day’ or, rather, ‘world’s biggest failure day’?</p> <p>A political failure of things much bigger, be it wars, borders, inequalities, feudalism or capitalism, a consequence of world leaders’ collective decisions. Maybe it doesn’t even matter? At least refugees have a day to celebrate with the world.</p> <p>Can the world commemorate its own failure?</p> <p>The failure is so large, maybe that’s why politicians turned their back. What does this day mean for refugees? It means someone decided they’d be refugees, someone made decisions about their life, their past, their future, and their present. Their existence is now the consequence of political decisions and that’s not refugees’ fault at all.</p> <p>Maybe soon the world will erase this day because it no longer fits.</p> <p>How do refugees feel about this day? Will they work on creating a new world where they fit, one unlike the present world that denies them, separates them from the rest, calls them refugees? Aren’t we refugees also humans on this planet?</p> <p>How can we think of refugees as humans when society simply designs our identity in line with a fixed idea of the world?</p> <p>Refugees are victims of the present.</p> <p>Be thankful, refugees, that you have a day to celebrate. At least the humans of the world remember you once a year. After all, every other day is for banishing you, stealing your identity, your rights as a human being. What kind of being are you, anyway, refugees? Humans? Animals?</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Be thankful, refugees, that you have a day to celebrate. After all, every other day is for banishing you.</p> <p>No. Don’t mind when other humans deny your existence. You are above labels. You exist.</p> <p>Let them call you whatever they want. Appreciate it, appreciate being a failure of the world. Take this failure as an opportunity to question who you are. Keep asking yourself why the world doesn’t accept you. There you will find the answer, there you will transcend the world as it is now.</p> <div style="width:100%"> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Ahmad2.jpg" style="display:block;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;width:75%;" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;display:block;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;width:75%;">Chios island, Greece. Photo: Mustafa Jado. All rights reserved.</p> </div> <p>Tell the world your stories. Tell the world that you lost everything, that you thought you knew who you were but that it wasn’t until after your loss that you truly discovered. I know it’s painful to tell others that you lost your home, your country, your family. But also tell them that you have found yourselves. Maybe that home, that country wasn’t you. Maybe, home, country and the world can be found within yourself. Tell others that through loss you found yourself.</p> <p>Share your experience of being a failure of wars, borders, inequalities, and hopefully society will accept the possibility of change, for change is the only certainty in the present world.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/frances-grahl/at-crossroads-homeless-and-undocumented-people-in-paris">At the crossroads: homeless and undocumented people in Paris since the Calais evictions</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/alessandra-sciurba/serbia-waiting-between-trapped-migrants-and-eu-enc">Serbia waiting: between trapped migrants and EU enclosures</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/ludek-stavinoha-vanessa-marjoribanks/send-us-to-moon">Send us to the moon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/layla-mohseni-signe-sofie-hansen-tara-flores-ishita-singh/humans-of-c">Humans of Calais: a photo essay</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/mana-aliabadi/snapshots-of-other-asylum-seekers-at-oinofyta-refugee-c">Snapshots of the ‘other’ asylum seekers at Oinofyta refugee camp</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/ottavia-ampuero-villagran/nameless-and-un-mourned-identifying-migrant-bodies-in-medite">Nameless and un-mourned: identifying migrant bodies in the Mediterranean</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Ahmad Almouhmad Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Ahmad Almouhmad 118746 at https://www.opendemocracy.net La política de los números: el Índice Global de esclavitud y el mercado del activismo https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>El Índice global de esclavitud presenta graves errores de tipo metodológico, sin embargo, sigue siendo citado de manera amplia y frecuente sin cuestionamiento crítico. ¿Qué hay tras la producción y el uso de datos estadísticos altamente sospechosos?&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/joel-quirk-andr%C3%A9-broome/politics-of-numbers-global-slavery-index-and-marketplace-of-ac">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/35289026265_a3569b3aec_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Delta employees protest human trafficking. Delta News Hub/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/deltanewshub/35289026265/in/photolist-VLnu4k-5DU7jV-nGBQ4d-5uJJmP-dKAm2B-pMFB1g-sabJbT-9g6KJP-tU4ad-qweJzz-s7WYGw-rSEJAA-5otNEK-aPRCRz-dbQ95q-5KxKco-rSEJob-8tkd1r-saeM6t-bwqdi4-SrMPoN-rQUT24-5wbb4c-TsySoE-bXxXuW-9cYdaB-c2EbGh-nJtYkH-ay6wnZ-aUZuhX-aNSaVp-bXxpiC-ay9eJW-NEFAM-qnoeBv-dUnNCh-p1Z8qg-6h7SMC-o9JShS-qcSB7W-23XZSt3-8hs3ai-8C874h-7y8UGP-XDbX1q-aUZAHP-rbrJQY-5T7DZY-hKVYpg-ay9erh">CC (by)</a></p> <p>En noviembre de 2014, la <a href="http://www.walkfreefoundation.org/">fundación Walk Free</a> lanzó la segunda edición de su documento emblema <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/">El Índice global de esclavitud</a>. En el <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/35-8-million-people-are-enslaved-across-the-world/">comunicado de prensa</a> de su lanzamiento se declaraba que este índice era «la medida más precisa y exhaustiva del alcance y los riesgos de la esclavitud moderna», basándose en una «metodología mejorada» que incluía encuestas de muestreo aleatorio en 19 países. Este énfasis en las metodologías fue significativo porque el <a href="http://www.ungift.org/doc/knowledgehub/resource-centre/2013/GlobalSlaveryIndex_2013_Download_WEB1.pdf">índice inaugural del año 2013</a> había sido <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jan/13/slavery-global-index-reports">criticado repetidamente</a> por utilizar <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/ronald-weitzer/miscounting-human-trafficking-and-slavery">datos</a> poco fiables, incompletos e inadecuados. A pesar de que se concentraron en mejorar la metodología, la segunda versión del índice también atrajo <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/siobh%C3%A1n-mcgrath-fabiola-mieres/mapping-politics-of-national-rankings-in-movement-again">críticas constantes</a>. Una de las objeciones más incisivas vino de parte de <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/nov/28/global-slavery-index-walk-free-human-trafficking-anne-gallagher">Anne Gallagher</a>, quien denunció que el índice contenía «graves errores de hecho y lógica».</p> <p>Aunque la fundación Walk Free no estaría necesariamente de acuerdo con estos argumentos, han <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jan/15/letters-slavery-index-welcomes-criticism">reconocido</a> que el índice tiene varias limitaciones. Estos problemas no son exclusivos del índice de esclavitud, sino que también se aplican en las <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/ashley-greve-oliver-kaplan/can-snowball-sampling-estimate-human-trafficking">estimaciones mundiales</a> de esclavitud y trata de personas <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/ashley-greve-oliver-kaplan/can-snowball-sampling-estimate-human-trafficking">en términos generales</a>. No es nuestra intención reexaminar estas cuestiones específicas respecto a la metodología. Lo que nos interesa saber es la razón por la cual las organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) como Walk Free continúan produciendo informes estadísticos que ellos mismos reconocen como altamente sospechosos, y por qué razón terceras partes continúan reproduciendo estos datos estadísticos a pesar de ser conscientes de lo mismo.</p> <h2>El Índice Global de Esclavitud, la evaluación comparativa global y la política de los números</h2> <p>Para ayudar a responder a esta pregunta, primero debemos considerar el contexto más amplio. El Índice Global de Esclavitud no es una innovación, sino que puede entenderse mejor como la extensión de un formato bien establecido a un nuevo tema. En las últimas dos décadas, ha habido <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21631025-learn-ruses-international-country-rankings-how-lie-indices">un auge significativo</a> en la predominancia de las evaluaciones comparativas a nivel nacional, regional y mundial, tales como índices y clasificaciones. Algunos ejemplos notables de una tendencia mucho mayor incluyen el <a href="http://ffp.statesindex.org/">Índice de estados frágiles / fallidos</a> (Fondo para la Paz, desde 2005), el <a href="http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview">Índice de Percepción de la corrupción</a> (Transparencia Internacional, 1995), el <a href="https://germanwatch.org/en/7677">Índice de rendimiento del cambio climático</a>, (Germanwatch &amp; Climate Action Network Europe, 2006), y el informe más venerable, <a href="https://freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-world#.VPrtH0IdKFI">Libertad en el mundo</a> (Freedom House, 1972). En este artículo en particular nos ocupamos de las ONG, pero es importante señalar que este fenómeno también involucra a los gobiernos (por ej. <a href="http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/">Informe sobre la trata de personas</a>, 2001), organizaciones internacionales (<a href="http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi">Índice de desarrollo humano</a>, 1990), y corporaciones (<a href="https://www.prsgroup.com/">Grupo PRS,</a> 1979).</p> <p>El Índice global de esclavitud se adhiere estrechamente a las estrategias y convenciones ya establecidas. Los fenómenos sociales, económicos y políticos complejos -como la estabilidad estatal y la discriminación- son fácilmente accesibles y mundialmente mensurables a través de la simplificación radical y el cálculo aproximado. Las características cualitativas se transforman en datos numéricos, que luego se comparan y evalúan en términos de órdenes de magnitud.&nbsp;<a href="http://africacheck.org/factsheets/factsheet-what-is-slavery/">Los conceptos que se caracterizan por ser complicados y controvertidos</a>—<a href="http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-myth-of-a-slavery-epidemic/16355#.VP2pXdLLd4c">como la esclavitud</a>—adquieren un significado concreto y no problemático, que se supone que puede ser aplicable de forma universal, independientemente del contexto cultural. Después de <a href="http://traccc.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Methodology-in-Trafficking.pdf">convertir crudamente el mundo social</a> a valores numéricos, el Índice global de esclavitud asigna una clasificación a los países, siendo el uno el peor y el 167 el mejor. Estas clasificaciones se organizan posteriormente en tablas, tanto mundiales como regionales y también se pueden encontrar en los «mapas de calor», en los que se asigna a los países tonos verdes, amarillos y rojos según su clasificación.</p> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/WF-mashup.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/WF-mashup.jpg" alt="" title="" width="420" height="420" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Heat maps and ranking tables from the Walk Free Foundation's Global Slavery Index 2014. Fair Use.</span></span></span></p> <p>Además de tratar de medir la prevalencia, el índice de 2014 asigna a los gobiernos una calificación que se basa en su desempeño en la lucha contra la esclavitud (es decir, AAA, AA, A, BBB, etc.) y utiliza una escala compuesta para tratar de medir la vulnerabilidad (de uno a 100). Tanto aquí, como en otros lugares, el Índice global de esclavitud presenta los hallazgos de manera similar a otros «referentes» que también utilizan sistemáticamente clasificaciones, mapas de calor, grados y baremos. Siguiendo con las convenciones, Walk Free hace referencia más extensa a la lista de los «top ten» (diez primeros), que es una estrategia popular utilizada para llamar la atención sobre los «mejores» o «peores» artistas. En un mundo en el que las listas de clasificación de los colegios y otros parámetros de medición se han generalizado, la idea de clasificar los países según su rendimiento es un concepto con el que ya estamos familiarizados.</p> <p>Los números son fundamentales para el atractivo político de la evaluación comparativa a nivel mundial. A diferencia de las palabras, que requieren interpretación, los argumentos numéricos son ampliamente difundidos con el fin de encapsular hechos objetivos. Tendemos a centrarnos exclusivamente en ciertos argumentos numéricos que crean un «efecto de anclaje» al establecer «atajos informativos» de gran repercusión mediática que consecuentemente condicionan la forma de abordar ciertos temas. Tomemos por ejemplo, la afirmación aún popular, —aunque también altamente especulativa— de que hay <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/27-million-slaves-world-hillary-clinton-703627">27 millones de personas esclavas en el mundo actualmente</a>. Esto se publicó por primera vez a fines de la década de 1990, y luego se asumió para siempre como un «hecho real» mediante la repetición pública. Cabe destacar también, la capacidad que tienen los números, de presentar la información en un formato de fácil acceso para audiencias poco expertas, las cuales podrían de otro modo verse abrumadas con detalles contextuales. El complejo trasfondo de cómo ciertos números se producen de forma sistemática se pierde una vez que estos números son de dominio público.</p> <h2>El índice global de esclavitud, el reconocimiento de marcas y el mercado del activismo</h2> <p>Las propiedades políticas de los números han contribuido a su creciente demanda. Esta demanda proviene del periodismo, la política, los equipos gestores, activistas y muchas otras personas. Cuando hay <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/genevieve-lebaron-neil-howard/introducing-beyond-slavery%E2%80%99s-month-on-forced-labour-in-g">una gran demanda, es muy probable que la oferta aumente</a>. Es dentro de este gran contexto que la evaluación comparativa se ha convertido en una estrategia generalizada entre las ONG. Gracias a la notable proliferación de las ONG desde la década de 1970, las personas activistas se han visto cada vez más obligadas a competir con sus pares para conseguir audiencia, alianzas e inversiones. La evaluación comparativa puede ser utilizada de varias formas dentro de este mercado tan competitivo. Especialmente, la evaluación comparativa puede ayudar a defender que determinada causa merece atención, a elevar el perfil de la organización involucrada y a promover su propia visión de lo que <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/joel-quirk/rhetoric-and-reality-of-%E2%80%98ending-slavery-in-our-lifetime%E2%80%99">«la causa»</a> es. Al reconocer que algunas «organizaciones pioneras» como Freedom House han mejorado su perfil y reputación, ciertas ONG como Walk Free han recurrido a la evaluación comparativa para ayudar a construir su propia marca, y promover sus propias ideas de cómo deben entenderse la esclavitud y la trata de personas.</p> <p>Cualquier persona que trabaje en temas de esclavitud y trata de personas puede afirmar que la cantidad de ONG enfocadas en este tema ha crecido enormemente en poco tiempo. Dentro de este mercado saturado, el Índice global de esclavitud impulsa la marca Walk Free en varios frentes. En primer lugar, evidentemente, el índice ayuda a desarrollar su propia imagen pública. Las evaluaciones comparativas son como hierba gatera para la prensa, por lo tanto publicar una evaluación comparativa atrae enormemente la atención de los medios, ya sea por la causa o por la organización que produce la evaluación comparativa. Además, las evaluaciones comparativas también ofrecen una plataforma útil para conseguir el aval y el apoyo de la gente rica y poderosa (el Índice global de esclavitud <a href="http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/endorsement/">ha sido respaldado por</a> Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Julia Gillard, Bill Gates, Richard Branson y Mo Ibrahim, entre otros).</p> <p>En segundo lugar, las evaluaciones comparativas han demostrado ser una herramienta efectiva a la hora de obtener una reputación de reconocida experiencia y credibilidad, que puede estar justificada o no. En el caso del Índice global de esclavitud, Walk Free ha tratado de reforzar sus credenciales incorporando a Kevin Bales, quien es conocido por dar la cifra de 27 millones de personas esclavas mencionada anteriormente. Finalmente, las evaluaciones comparativas también han demostrado ser populares entre las personas que proveen los fondos, y las ONG se han vuelto expertas en averiguar lo que estas personas buscan y en adaptar debidamente algunas de sus actividades (esto probablemente es una preocupación menor para Walk Free, que cuenta con financiamiento privado). Gracias en parte a la revolución digital de las últimas dos décadas, las evaluaciones comparativas también se han vuelto relativamente baratas además de fáciles de producir y difundir. No es necesario tener años de experiencia en el sector ni conocimiento de los idiomas locales. Lo que se requiere principalmente es la capacidad de compilar diferentes clases de datos secundarios, lo que a su vez implica agregar información de una evaluación comparativa con el fin de crear otra.</p> <h2>El costo de la simplificación radical</h2> <p>La fundación Walk Free es consciente de que el Índice global de esclavitud tiene un fundamento muy frágil, pero ha determinado que las ventajas de tener una evaluación comparativa para la esclavitud superan cualquier posible costo o complicación. La mayoría de las terceras partes que usan el índice tienen el mismo principio. Como hemos demostrado, las principales ventajas relacionadas con tener un índice de esclavitud son las ventajas políticas y organizacionales, más que las analíticas. Si bien las evaluaciones comparativas son útiles para incrementar el reconocimiento de una marca y dar publicidad, este éxito recurre al atractivo general de los «atajos informativos» que eluden cualquier clase de temas esenciales.</p> <p>No es posible tener un índice global de esclavitud sin simplificar antes fenómenos bastante complejos y concretos a valores numéricos y tablas estadísticas que son fácilmente comparables y de fácil acceso. Como consecuencia de este proceso de simplificación radical se pierde la profundidad temática y una gran cantidad de detalle. Mientras tanto, los datos incompletos y poco fiables adquieren una condición de &quot;hechos reales&quot; que en realidad no merecen. Este es el nivel de detalle imprescindible para formular y aplicar soluciones políticas efectivas. Además, la evaluación comparativa también tiende a asignar la responsabilidad de &quot;éxito&quot; y &quot;fracaso&quot; <em>a cada</em> país, y por lo tanto no logran involucrarse con las formas de dependencia recíproca <em>entre</em> diferentes partes del mundo. Tal como <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/author/siobh%C3%A1n-mcgrath">Siobhán Mcgrath</a> y <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/author/fabiola-mieres">Fabiola Mieres</a> <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/siobh%C3%A1n-mcgrath-fabiola-mieres/mapping-politics-of-national-rankings-in-movement-again">han argumentado</a>, el sistema de clasificación que utiliza el Índice global de esclavitud «implica que la culpa por las penurias de la ciudadanía se debe atribuir directamente a los gobiernos de los países menos desarrollados », y a su vez asigna el papel de «salvadores» a los países más «desarrollados» y «civilizados». </p> <p>Si bien, Walk Free y otras ONG son conscientes de algunos de estos problemas, son reacias a hablar sobre sus ramificaciones generales. Esto podría terminar arrojando dudas sobre sus hallazgos estadísticos (tal vez la esclavitud no es tan grave como lo reportaron), su visión de «la causa» (tal vez la esclavitud no es el mejor marco de referencia) y/o su organización (tal vez Walk Free no tiene la experiencia que proclama tener). Esto contribuye a crear un entorno en el que existe una gran renuencia a cuestionar seriamente los «hechos reales» estadísticos basados en fundamentos débiles, y que a su vez ofrecen una base ineficaz —o contraproducente— - para la consideración de intervenciones políticas más efectivas. </p> <p>El Índice global de esclavitud es una gran herramienta publicitaria, pero no es muy efectivo a la hora de ofrecer el nivel de análisis matizado que se requiere para dirigir el entendimiento o la política. Aquí se ha producido una disyuntiva entre el aspecto político y el analítico, y esto se debe reconocer públicamente. Con frecuencia, la simplificación radical se produce a expensas del entendimiento del contexto.</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta André Broome Joel Quirk BTS en Español Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Joel Quirk and André Broome 117607 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Los programas contra la trata de personas proporcionan una apariencia humanitaria a los controles nacionales contra la inmigración, pero las políticas migratorias y de ciudadanía de los Estados nación siguen siendo el mayor peligro al que se enfrentan muchas personas migrantes. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/nandita-sharma/antitrafficking-whitewash-for-antiimmigration-programmes">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/3154008188_2a99590c04_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Israeli-Egyptian border. Cornelius Kibelka/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/j-cornelius/3154008188/in/photolist-bXoL5d-4dj9M3-59JQNZ-4dj9J1-7oGnuU-bV53AP-dKkeai-8uKP1A-82PDw2-7oGnrU-amFMBV-c3Rzd-8g7hHc-GRHm-6iBoXe-cuXF4b-4sNWGn-eUu9Je-969npT-WcfmU-PRk1J-7ErAd-35L5U6-2WPq3-9HC4LM-eEg2uZ-eEg5P8-eUFuNu-eEn6AU-96chCh-fN73RD-eUFuMG-hqeXb-KpTDt-eEn8yU-3x3g-7wCvhV-7bcm-eEnaUQ-4ZKy6S-2Ggwb-2Z6EQW-5NH7Kw-dKkeZD-96cgX3-98UAjp-pQzn2X-dGjEFF-2LiaDo-nJ5Jyi">CC (by-sa)</a></p> <p>Las políticas migratorias nacionales y su aplicación constituyen los mayores peligros para las personas que intentan cruzar las fronteras nacionales. Además, las categorías en las que los Estados nación clasifican a la mayoría de las personas que emigran («ilegales» o «trabajadoras y trabajadores extranjeros temporales» son dos de los más utilizados) son las mayores amenazas a su libertad. Categorizarlas de «ilegales» o «temporales» es lo que atrapa a un número (y proporción) cada vez mayor de personas migrantes en trabajos precarios, al tiempo que limita gravemente sus derechos y su movilidad. En resumen, las políticas nacionales de inmigración legislan las condiciones que hacen que algunas personas sean «baratas» o «desechables». En pocas palabras: sin políticas nacionales de inmigración, no habría «personas migrantes» a las que subordinar, ni chivos expiatorios, ni abusos.</p> <p>Los relatos cada vez más abundantes sobre «trata de seres humanos» y «esclavitud moderna» no hablan sobre ninguno de estos peligros y abusos que se dan en la vida real. Hace tiempo que tengo curiosidad de saber por qué. Sospecho que tiene algo que ver con la forma en que las campañas contra la trata de personas convierten a los Estados nación en los «salvadores» de las «víctimas de trata», en lugar de mostrar que los Estados nación son el <em>origen</em> de muchos de sus males. Para aquellas personas cuya movilidad se ve seriamente amenazada por los controles migratorios y fronterizos; que han recurrido a pagar a alguien para que les ayude a cruzar fronteras cada vez más militarizadas; que se ven obligadas a trabajar por salarios de miseria en condiciones precarias; que son detenidas y deportadas cada vez con mayor frecuencia; y para quienes se preocupan por las personas que se han ahogado en el mar o han muerto de sed en los desiertos mientras intentaban llegar a otro lugar, la idea de que el estado nacional es un amigo de las «personas migrantes» es claramente <em>mortificante</em>.</p> <p>Las políticas de lucha contra la trata de personas perjudican mucho a quienes migran, especialmente a las personas más vulnerables. Desvían nuestra atención de las prácticas de los Estados nación y de los empleadores mientras canalizan nuestras energías para que respaldemos una agenda de respeto por la ley y el orden consistente en «ponerse duros» con los «tratantes». De esta manera, las medidas contra la trata son <em>ideológicas</em>: colocan a los controles migratorios y fronterizos fuera de los límites políticos y hacen que su abundancia no sea problemática. Las razones por las que cada vez es más difícil y peligroso para las personas desplazarse con seguridad o vivir con seguridad en nuevos lugares son ignoradas, mientras que los Estados nación se apresuran a criminalizar a los «tratantes» y (en gran medida) a deportar a las «víctimas de trata».</p> <p>Para tener una discusión útil sobre la «trata» y la «esclavitud moderna», necesitamos tomarnos en serio cómo los regímenes de gobernabilidad nacionales e internacionales y la legislación dan forma a las experiencias de las personas que intentan salir, desplazarse, o vivir y trabajar en varias sociedades nacionalizadas. Las <a href="http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/number-of-international-migrants-rises.html">Naciones Unidas estiman</a> que en el 2013 hubo 232 millones de personas migrantes a nivel internacional, 57 millones más que en el 2000. Hoy en día, gran parte de la migración humana (pero no toda) está determinada por las enormes disparidades <em>territoriales</em> en cuanto a prosperidad, paz y poder. En contraste con la «gran época de migración masiva» de finales del siglo XIX y principios del XX, cuando la migración provenía principalmente de Europa, la mayoría de la migración transfronteriza actual procede del «mundo pobre». Esto no es una sorpresa dado que la nacionalidad es un factor clave para predecir la disparidad de ingresos a nivel mundial. Branko Milanovic demuestra en su libro <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0691130515/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=6738&amp;creativeASIN=0691130515&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=opendemocra0e-21&amp;linkId=MZ7KNYYKX2ODZENE"><em>Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality</em></a> (Mundos separados: Medir la desigualdad internacional y global) que la ciudadanía de los Estados nación del «mundo rico» disfrutan de una enorme «prima de ciudadanía». Por ejemplo, una ciudadana de los Estados Unidos con unos «ingresos promedio del decil <em>inferior</em> de los EEUU está mejor que 2/3 de la población mundial» (Milanovic 2005, p. 50, énfasis añadido).</p> <p>¿Cómo han respondido los Estados nación, especialmente en el «mundo rico», a este crecimiento de la migración internacional y al crecimiento de las disparidades globales? No lo han hecho ayudando a las personas a desplazarse o haciendo que sus rutas migratorias sean seguras, sino aplicando controles migratorios y fronterizos más restrictivos y punitivos que nunca. Sin embargo, esto no ha impedido que la gente se mueva, y posiblemente no sea éste el objetivo de los estados. A medida que más y más personas se desplazan, estas tienen cada vez un acceso menor a derechos y privilegios. Por ejemplo, en Estados Unidos, la categoría más grande de «migrantes» (en una proporción de alrededor de 15 a 1) son las personas a quienes se les niega el permiso estatal para entrar o permanecer en el país. En Canadá, el grupo más numeroso de «migrantes» se clasifica como «trabajadoras y trabajadores extranjeros temporales» que no tienen libertad para elegir ni su empleador/a, ni su ocupación ni su lugar de residencia.</p> <p>Así, lejos de eliminar o incluso restringir severamente la <em>circulación</em> de personas, lo que han hecho las reformulaciones neoliberales de las políticas de inmigración y asilo es impedir que la gran mayoría de las personas que migran reclamen al estado (en términos de servicios sociales) o a quienes les emplean (en términos de salarios mínimos y condiciones dignas de trabajo). Así es como se crea una mano de obra «barata» y «desechable».&nbsp;<em>Esta</em> es la verdadera historia de la migración internacional en la era del neoliberalismo (a partir de finales de la década de 1960): la creación de un grupo de personas legalmente subordinadas etiquetadas como «migrantes».</p> <p>Es precisamente en este mismo período que han surgido las narrativas sobre «esclavitud moderna» y «víctimas de trata». No es ninguna coincidencia. Justo cuando los Estados nación han hecho casi imposible vivir y trabajar legalmente en sus territorios como personas con plenos derechos, se han incluido medidas contra la trata en las leyes nacionales. Las historias de «trata» (o «tráfico»), que han dado lugar a una mayor intervención estatal en la frontera y a medidas más punitivas para tratantes y/o traficantes, realizan el trabajo crucial de legitimar nuevos <em>controles </em>sobre la movilidad humana mundial, todo ello bajo la excusa de «ayudar» a las víctimas de la trata. Al filtrar ideológicamente sus esfuerzos a través de políticas de rescate, las campañas contra la trata proporcionan un barniz fundamental de humanitarismo a las prácticas explotadoras y represivas de los estados y las empresas. Debido a su carácter ideológico, las campañas contra la trata coinciden muy bien con las agendas oficiales contra las personas migrantes.</p> <p>En particular, las medidas de lucha contra la trata de personas no reconocen que hoy en día, ante controles fronterizos y de inmigración cada vez más restrictivos, para muchas personas es prácticamente <em>imposible</em> desplazarse sin la ayuda de otras personas dispuestas a ayudarles y capaces de hacerlo de una manera u otra. Es posible que para viajar necesiten documentos falsos (visados, pasaportes, etc.) Que necesiten ayuda para atravesar las rutas migratorias clandestinas y para conseguir un empleo remunerado. Es cierto que muchas personas migrantes sufren coacción e incluso abusos durante sus viajes, pero ciertamente no todas. También pueden experimentar cierto nivel de engaño al no ver materializados los empleos, salarios o condiciones de trabajo que esperaban. ¿Significa esto que son «víctimas de trata», como algunas ONG, casi todos los gobiernos nacionales y las Naciones Unidas quieren hacernos creer?</p> <p>No, no lo son. En cambio, la mayoría de las personas que emigran, especialmente las consideradas «ilegales» o «trabajadoras extranjeras temporales», son víctimas del funcionamiento cotidiano y banal de los mercados mundiales capitalistas de trabajo dirigidos por los Estados nación. Estas prácticas hacen de la migración una estrategia de supervivencia. Las prácticas de control fronterizo y las ideologías racistas, sexistas y nacionalistas victimizan aún más a las personas y hacen que sus experiencias de opresión y explotación se vuelvan <em>cotidianas</em> y no merezcan nuestra atención. Al vilipendiar al «tratante», los cruzados contra la trata <em>despolitizan</em> las políticas estatales de inmigración, los controles fronterizos y el mercado capitalista.</p> <p>Para abordar las necesidades y los deseos de las personas que se desplazan –y reconocer las disparidades globales existentes en cuanto a poder, riqueza y paz– necesitamos <em>volver a politizar</em>a los Estados nación y a sus controles migratorios y fronterizos. Esto requiere que abandonemos el marco de la lucha contra la trata y la legislación que le da cobertura. Sólo un número muy pequeño de personas migrantes ha obtenido un estatus legal temporal como resultado de su condición de víctimas de trata. Sin embargo, para la gran mayoría de las personas que migran, la atención prestada a los «tratantes» ha hecho que sus viajes clandestinos sean <em>más</em> caros y <em>más</em> peligrosos, ya que cada vez resulta más difícil evitar la detección y la detención. En lugar de objetivar a las personas que migran como «víctimas de la trata», tenemos que volver a centrar la atención en la forma en que la inmigración estatal y los controles fronterizos las han obligado a entrar en rutas migratorias peligrosas. También debemos ser conscientes de cómo la intersección de las legislaciones penal y de inmigración crea las condiciones propicias para la explotación de quienes necesitan ganarse la vida y formar nuevos hogares cruzando fronteras. Hacerlo conduce a reconocer que sólo podremos impugnar la explotación y el abuso a nivel mundial movilizándonos para terminar con las prácticas de desplazamiento, al mismo tiempo que nos aseguramos de que las personas puedan moverse de acuerdo con sus propias necesidades deliberadas y deseos. Tenemos que eliminar todos los controles de inmigración y erradicar las relaciones sociales organizadas a través del capitalismo mundial y hacer lo mismo con el sistema mundial de Estados nación. &nbsp;</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta Nandita Sharma BTS en Español Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Nandita Sharma 117603 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>La Alianza Global contra la Trata de Mujeres (GAATW) ha trabajado durante meses para hacer accesible en español el trabajo principal de Beyond Trafficking and Slavery. Averigua por qué. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/translating-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-backstory">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/35918892984_fad498d51e_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Shelling Brazil nuts in Peru. CIFOR/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cifor/35918892984/in/photolist-WJ2Hum-XMrkec-XoJRkh-XXSaiV-XMr8W2-XXS94a-XXS7Fa-WJ2J5j-WLgE8k-XoJokA-XXS71H-XoJUSh-XXS8nk-9AGj7e-BKSYZg-iYPoxp-aDkLt4-5MDHuF-5SB8bQ-dGKhmp-cTiczy-dFceyd-e18SWG">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>En agosto del 2017, Beyond Trafficking and Slavery (BTS) y la Alianza Global contra la Trata de Mujeres (GAATW) organizaron un taller en Bangkok para debatir sobre trata de personas, trabajo forzoso y «esclavitud moderna». A dicho taller acudieron profesionales de la academia, activistas y entidades miembros de la GAATW de todo el mundo.</p> <p>Durante dicho taller mencioné cuánto lamentaba que la mayoría de los artículos producidos por BTS solo estuvieran disponibles en inglés. Había leído excelentes escritos sobre temas complejos y estaba convencida de que tanto activistas como legisladoras y legisladores en América Latina podrían beneficiarse de los mismos si estos estuvieran disponibles en español. BTS no podía estar más de acuerdo conmigo. Compartían &nbsp;mi preocupación de que sus publicaciones fueran casi exclusivamente en inglés y mi entusiasmo por traducir su principal trabajo a otros idiomas. Así que decidimos colaborar y abordar esta vacío.</p> <p>Para dicha tarea seleccionamos 57 artículos relevantes y provocadores que han sido publicados en BTS, poniendo especial atención a aquellos que pudieran ser de particular interés para un público hispanohablante y, principalmente, latinoamericano. Elegimos artículos que, desafiando al pensamiento hegemónico, nos ayudaran a comprender mejor la migración, el trabajo, la explotación y el trabajo forzoso. Esta selección hace lo que la prensa convencional no hace; en lugar de presentar análisis simplistas y sugerir soluciones fáciles a problemas complejos, enfatiza en los factores subyacentes, intrincados y frecuentemente incómodos que crean dichos problemas. </p> <p>En un mundo donde se sobrevalora la gratificación instantánea y las soluciones rápidas, debatir, dialogar y reflexionar puede parecer una pérdida de tiempo. Sin embargo, el trabajo sobre la trata de personas que la GAATW viene realizando desde hace más de dos décadas deja claro &nbsp;que las soluciones inmediatas no son posibles. Muchos problemas tienen sus raíces en el patriarcado, en las economías que favorecen al 1% de la población más rica, en las desigualdades del mercado laboral y en los regímenes injustos de migración. Se podría decir que estos son asuntos mucho más amplios que los que puede abordar el marco de lucha contra la trata y sería cierto. Sin embargo, la respuesta a la trata pasa por reconsiderar el enfoque que se hace en vez de seguir adelante con más de lo mismo. Lo que se necesita es desterrar la idea de que la trata de personas y el trabajo forzoso (o la esclavitud moderna, como algunos lo llaman ahora) son aberraciones que se pueden arreglar con las medidas legales adecuadas para «asistir a las víctimas» y «castigar a los perpetradores». Mientras seguimos protegiendo los derechos de las personas objeto de trata y responsabilizando a los estados de sus obligaciones en virtud de la legislación contra la trata de personas y otras leyes, necesitamos urgentemente poner nuestra atención en los aspectos sistémicos del problema. </p> <p>Los textos publicados en openDemocracy hacen eso precisamente: cuestionan el supuesto generalizado de que la trata de personas es un problema que se puede solucionar tomando ciertas medidas aquí y allá, o simplemente aumentando cada vez más las sanciones para los que son considerados «tratantes». &nbsp;Sus artículos llaman nuestra atención sobre el mundo del trabajo, los derechos laborales y su violación, las políticas que crean desigualdad, pobreza, desplazamiento, migración por necesidad y, lo más importante, sobre cómo las organizaciones de trabajadoras y trabajadores y los movimientos de justicia social se resisten a tales políticas. &nbsp; </p> <p>GAATW surgió de los movimientos de mujeres y nuestro trabajo contra la trata pone el foco en su derecho a la movilidad y al trabajo. Como Alianza Feminista Internacional creemos firmemente en el poder que tienen los movimientos de justicia social. Es por tanto imprescindible que tratemos de conectar, más allá de las fronteras nacionales y lingüísticas, con organizaciones y personas de ideas afines para crear un entendimiento más sólido y matizado sobre la trata y el trabajo forzoso. Este es el objetivo que ha impulsado esta colaboración con openDemocracy (Democracia Abierta) y Translators without Borders (Traductores sin Fronteras), una organización sin fines de lucro que concibe &quot;un mundo donde el conocimiento no conoce las barreras del idioma&quot;.</p> <p>El idioma español está profundamente marcado por el género. Las formas masculinas se usan como neutras, por lo tanto, el masculino se usa para expresar pensamientos, ideas, sentimientos y experiencias, subestimando las voces y la existencia de las mujeres. Reconociendo esto, hemos trabajado estrechamente con TWB para hacer uso de la riqueza del idioma español y utilizarlo de una manera más inclusiva que nos permita representar a mujeres y hombres por igual, cada quien con relevancia por sí mismo.</p> <p>Hoy tenemos el placer y el honor de presentar una colección de 57 ensayos bien documentados que están relacionados con la movilidad, el trabajo forzoso, la explotación laboral y otros temas estrechamente relacionados con la trata de personas. Estamos convencidas de que estos artículos son un importantísimo insumo para la compresión de las interrelaciones entre dichos temas y nos hace muy felices poder compartirlas con la comunidad de habla hispana. </p> <p><em>Chus Álvarez,</em></p> <p><em>Responsable para América Latina de la GAATW</em></p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: el Índice Global de esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta Chus Álvarez BTS en Español Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Chus Álvarez 118156 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Translating Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: the backstory https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/translating-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-backstory <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW) has worked for months to bring much of Beyond Trafficking and Slavery’s core work into Spanish. Find out why. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/35918892984_fad498d51e_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Shelling Brazil nuts in Peru. CIFOR/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cifor/35918892984/in/photolist-WJ2Hum-XMrkec-XoJRkh-XXSaiV-XMr8W2-XXS94a-XXS7Fa-WJ2J5j-WLgE8k-XoJokA-XXS71H-XoJUSh-XXS8nk-9AGj7e-BKSYZg-iYPoxp-aDkLt4-5MDHuF-5SB8bQ-dGKhmp-cTiczy-dFceyd-e18SWG">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>In August 2017, Beyond Trafficking and Slavery and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) co-organised a workshop in Bangkok to bring together academics, activists, and GAATW members from around the world to discuss issues of trafficking, forced labour and ‘modern slavery’. </p> <p>In the course of this meeting I mentioned how regrettable it was that most of the articles produced by Beyond Trafficking and Slavery were available only in English. I had read many excellent pieces about complex issues there that I was sure would benefit the activists and policy makers in Latin America, if only Spanish versions were available. Their response was immediate and enthusiastic agreement. They shared my concern that their publishing takes place almost exclusively in English, and as it turns out had already been looking for opportunities to bring their core work into other languages. So we decided to work together to address this gap. </p> <p>We selected 57 relevant and thought-provoking pieces from the BTS archive that we thought would be of particular interest to a Spanish-speaking and especially Latin American audience. We chose pieces that challenge hegemonic thinking and deepen our understanding of migration, work, exploitation and forced labour. These do what many mainstream commentaries do not. Rather than presenting simplistic analyses and suggesting easy solutions to very complex problems, these emphasise the underlying, intricate, and frequently uncomfortable factors that create the problems in the first place.</p> <p>In a world of instant gratification and quick solutions, taking time for debate, dialogue and reflection can seem like a waste of time. Yet GAATW’s work on the issue of human trafficking for more than two decades tell us that no quick fixes are possible. The problems have their roots in patriarchy, economies that favour the richest 1%, labour market inequalities and unfair migration regimes. Some might say that those are all much bigger issues than what the anti-trafficking framework can possibly address. They would be right, but then the answer is to reconsider the approach rather than to push forward with more of the same. What is needed is a shift in our thinking that human trafficking and forced labour (or modern slavery, as some now call it) are aberrations that can be fixed with the right legal measures to ‘assist the victims’ and ‘punish the perpetrators’. Even as we continue to protect the rights of trafficked persons and hold states accountable to their obligations under anti-trafficking and other legislation, we urgently need to shift our focus to the systemic aspects of the problem.</p> <p>The pieces published in openDemocracy do precisely this: they question the mainstream assumption that human trafficking is a problem that can be fixed by taking a few measures here and there, or by simply raising the penalties ever higher for those deemed to be ‘traffickers’. They draw our attention to the world of work, to labour rights and their violation, to policies that create inequality, poverty, displacement, distress migration, and most importantly to the resistance to such policies by workers organisations and social justice movements. &nbsp; </p> <p>GAATW emerged out of the women’s movements and for more than twenty years has engaged with the issue of human trafficking by focusing on women’s rights to mobility and to work. As an International Feminist Alliance that believes in the power of social justice movements, it is imperative that we try to connect across national and linguistic borders with like-minded organisations and individuals and call for more grounded and nuanced understanding around trafficking and forced labour. This is the goal driving our current collaboration with openDemocracy and Translators without Borders, a non-profit organisation that envisions “a world where knowledge knows no language barriers.”&nbsp;</p><p>Spanish language is a strongly gendered language. The masculine forms are used as neutral, so masculine is used to express thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences. This underrepresents the voices and existence of women. We acknowledge that, and have closely worked with TWB to leverage the richness of the Spanish language to generate more inclusive ways of representation for women and men equally, each with relevance on her/his own.</p> <p>Today we have the pleasure and honour of presenting a collection of 57 well-researched essays related to mobility, forced labour, labour exploitation and other issues closely linked to human trafficking. We are convinced that these pieces greatly contribute to a better understanding of the interlinkages among such issues and we are very happy to share them with the Spanish speaking community. </p> <p><em>Chus Álvarez, </em></p> <p><em>GAATW Programme Officer for Latin America</em></p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n">Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Chus Álvarez BTS en Español Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Chus Álvarez 118155 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Trata de personas: de la indignación a la acción https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/anne-gallagher/trata-de-personas-de-la-indignaci-n-la-acci-n <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Para tener alguna posibilidad en el combate contra la trata, deberíamos trabajar para eliminar las comisiones por el reclutamiento de las personas trabajadoras, defender un salario mínimo global y buscar formas de criminalizar el conocimiento o el uso irresponsable de los servicios ofrecidos por víctimas de trata. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/5050/anne-gallagher/human-trafficking-from-outrage-to-action">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/37895084052_b17b8ef6d9_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Refugees' life jackets in Parliament Square, London. Howard Lake/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/37895084052/in/photolist-8HbxV7-VtVEQe-fMKnuG-ZJEdf9-xQF5CG-uMwib7-VBRzV9-MBTW6s-Amx3HQ-Amx3MN-rSgDEh-pi5Hmy-rZk8Tf-i6Vr1p-XpZiYr-pziyiH-i6VwHN-i6W14g-i6Vwch-i6VpZr-i6VuB3-sc8h1P-i6VnsT-i6Vx7J-CCkksw-shEnqF-XZ5UfT-HPD8P4-xQEakG-HvzhAY-Amx3LL-vsNrqP-wyBbpM-xvwuAk-wyvE2A-xdV3D1-s12V7G-xvwtun-xdUSMA-rkNrGZ-xe2kCt-LCwYHy-xe2qVc-xuHbou-xdUNSS-xdV297-t9DY5j-xe2nq6-xw87uH-XZ5FXr">CC (by-sa)</a></p> <p>En torno al tema de la trata de personas se dan muchas emociones, sentimientos y acciones de evangelización. Es muy fácil caer en la trampa de «me siento mejor porque me siento mal», imaginar que hablar sobre las injusticias es lo mismo que hacer algo para remediarlas y engañarnos pensando que si enviamos peticiones, tuiteamos o damos a un «me gusta», contribuimos a solucionar el problema.</p> <p>Una lección dolorosa que he aprendido durante los quince años que llevo trabajando en esta área es que el cambio real nunca es, ni será, fácil de lograr. He aprendido a sospechar de aquellas personas que proponen soluciones rápidas y persiguen grandes conquistas. Soy cautelosa con quienes abordan estos asuntos con un discurso elevado, grandes sumas de dinero o una sólida convicción de que su punto de vista es el correcto; de que el camino que proponen es el único camino.</p> <p>Para mí, esa es la receta de la decepción y la frustración. Las ideas de las que estamos hablando (los derechos humanos, el Estado de derecho, la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres, la justicia social) son conceptos nuevos que todavía son frágiles y que contradicen la historia y la experiencia humana que siempre han aceptado la dominación de la fuerza sobre la debilidad y de la riqueza sobre la pobreza.</p> <p>Estas ideas son revolucionarias porque —quiero que esto quede claro— estamos hablando de la redistribución del poder; de quitarles el mando a aquellas personas más fuertes, quienes tienen demasiado, y dárselo a quienes no tienen suficiente.</p> <p>La historia y nuestra propia experiencia nos enseñan que quienes tienen poder no renuncian a él fácilmente. Una vez que entendamos eso, también entenderemos que la lucha por los derechos humanos, la igualdad y la justicia no es batalla de una sola persona. Se trata de, poco a poco, remodelar las estructuras, actitudes y comportamientos que han definido la condición y las relaciones humanas durante mucho tiempo.</p> <p>En resumen: les invito a actuar de forma valiente y visionaria y a mantener esta actitud en el largo plazo. Que no quepa duda de que conseguiremos acabar con el VIH/SIDA y de que encontraremos una solución al calentamiento global mucho antes de que se termine con la explotación de seres humanos como forma de ganar dinero.</p> <h2>De dónde venimos</h2> <p>Comencé a trabajar contra la trata de personas en 1998 en la ONU. En ese momento, la información que teníamos provenía de <a href="http://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/India.htm,">informes</a> que recibíamos sobre <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/workingpapers/libe/pdf/109_en.pdf">la explotación en las fronteras</a> de niñas y mujeres jóvenes en el Sudeste Asiático y en Europa del Este. En aquella época no había una definición consensuada de «trata», no se consideraba que los hombres y niños también pudieran ser víctimas y se ignoraba que los fines de la explotación pudieran ser tan variados como lo es la cantidad de dinero que se puede ganar con ella.</p> <p>Además, es importante aclarar que, en ese momento, ni siquiera se discutía el problema de la explotación de personas en el sistema internacional. Cosas como los trabajos forzosos, la servidumbre, la explotación sexual y el matrimonio forzado ni siquiera se mencionaban.</p> <p>Los países escondían información, y rechazaban cualquier crítica o intento de averiguar lo que estaba sucediendo viendo tales hechos como una violación a su soberanía. No sabíamos lo que ocurría y no disponíamos de herramientas para actuar.</p> <h2>En la actualidad</h2> <p>Ahora todo esto ha cambiado. Hoy es políticamente imposible que un país defienda la explotación de personas extranjeras o nacionales en su territorio como si <em>no</em> fuera un problema de la comunidad internacional.</p> <p>Además es imposible que los países escondan lo que está ocurriendo, ya hablemos del <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Trafficking/A-68-256-English.pdf">tráfico de órganos</a> en Egipto, <a href="http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/women/publications-articles/reducing-violence/trafficking-of-women-for-sexual-purposes?HTML">la servidumbre por deudas</a> en la industria sexual de Australia, el <a href="http://freedomnetworkusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Farmworkers-FINAL-1.pdf">trabajo forzoso</a> en granjas de EE.UU, o <a href="http://www.refworld.org/docid/51c2f3b7c.html">la servidumbre</a> en India Hoy en día todo es diferente porque <em>sabemos lo que pasa</em>.</p> <p>Incluso hemos visto cómo la trata se ha <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Trafficking/Pages/GlobalSupplyChains.aspx">introducido en las cadenas de producción globales</a>. Todo lo que usamos, comemos y utilizamos para comunicarnos suele estar manchado por el trabajo forzoso y la explotación.</p> <p>Contamos con nuevas y mejoradas herramientas para combatir la trata de personas. Algunos <a href="http://www.unodc.org/unodc/treaties/CTOC/">tratados internacionales</a> y <a href="http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/197.htm">regionales</a> han servido como anteproyectos para nuevas leyes que, aunque no sean perfectas, implican un gran avance con respecto a lo que sucedía (o no sucedía) en el pasado.</p> <p>La combinación de una mayor concienciación más la presión interna y externa empujó a la mayoría de países a realizar cambios en lo que se refiere a la identificación y la protección de las víctimas y a la búsqueda de responsables. El gobierno de los Estados Unidos <a href="http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/210757.htm">informó de que</a> en 2012 hubo más de 4.700 condenas en todo el mundo por crímenes de trata y que se identificaron casi a 47.000 víctimas. Estas cifras son aún muy bajas, pero aumentan cada año.</p> <p>Los cambios que se han producido son muy importantes y merecen ser celebrados.</p> <p>Pero también soy realista y sé lo poco que se ha logrado en cuanto a cambios reales y duraderos, y parece muy probable que estos problemas, lejos de solucionarse, vayan a peor.</p> <p>Un desafío particular es la insuficiente respuesta judicial ante los actos criminales.&nbsp;Al igual que muchas otras injusticias que afectan principalmente a las mujeres, a personas marginadas y a las más indefensas, la trata de personas no es una prioridad para el sistema judicial de <em>ningún país</em>.</p> <p>El discurso ha mejorado notablemente, pero los cambios actitudinales e institucionales que son de verdad necesarios para poner fin a la impunidad y lograr justicia para las víctimas siguen sin darse.</p> <p>Debemos pedir más a nuestros sistemas nacionales de justicia. Tenemos que ser capaces de <a href="http://www.togetherletsstoptraffick.org/assets/OnlineDocuments/ICJR-GALLAGHER-HOLMES.pdf">hacer las preguntas incómodas</a>: por qué se identifican tan pocas víctimas, por qué hay tan pocas investigaciones que desembocan en un juicio real y por qué muchos de ellos fracasan; por qué es tan bajo el número de explotadores de alto nivel que ven sus bienes confiscados o que son encerrados en prisión. En palabras de <a href="http://www.trustwomenconf.com/">Trust Women</a>, debemos conseguir leyes que protejan a las personas objeto de trata. Cualquier cosa que esté por debajo constituye un fracaso.</p> <p>Otro desafío es combatir la indefensión que subyace en la trata de personas. A pesar de lo que Hollywood nos ha hecho creer, estas cosas no nos suceden a nosotras o a nuestras hijas. Las personas acaban envueltas en esta forma de esclavitud moderna cuando se ven obligadas a asumir riesgos a los que jamás estaremos expuestas.</p> <p>Es evidente que debemos hacer algo con respecto a las causas que originan esta desprotección, como la pobreza y la desigualdad. Sin embargo hay otros pasos a menor escala que podemos dar. Por ejemplo, prohibir las comisiones por contratación: ilegalizar el recargo que algunas agencias cobran a las trabajadoras y trabajadores por colocarles en puestos de trabajo en el extranjero <strong>y</strong> evitar que cualquier empresa e institución acepte la contratación de personal bajo estas circunstancias.</p> <p>Otra idea: en vez de mantener las proclamas paternalistas que promueve End Poverty Now (Acaba con la Pobreza Ya) cuando afirma que las personas pobres dependen de las demás para solucionar sus problemas, deberíamos luchar por un salario mínimo global ligado a la igualdad<strong> </strong>del poder adquisitivo o a alguna otra medida económica significativa. ¿Por qué un salario mínimo resulta beneficioso para nuestras sociedades pero no para aquellas personas que producen los artículos y proveen los servicios que utilizamos?</p> <p>Y, por último, debemos enfrentar el desafío de la demanda. La trata de personas alimenta a un mercado mundial que favorece el trabajo precario, irregular y explotable y los bienes y servicios que trae consigo.</p> <p>En el extraño mundo de la lucha contra la mercantilización indiscriminada del ser humano, las discusiones en torno a la demanda se centran en el trabajo sexual. El argumento se reduce a que eliminando esta demanda, eliminamos la explotación sexual. Personalmente, creo que este tipo de conclusión, que despierta en mí una profunda desconfianza, pertenece más bien a un discurso que solo propone parches y que desacredita la esencia del problema.</p> <p>Al mismo tiempo, me gustaría entender cómo es que aún no se han abierto camino otras propuestas más lógicas. Por ejemplo, ¿por qué no es ilegal conocer o usar los servicios prestados por personas objeto de trata?</p> <p>No cabe duda alguna de que la industria sexual, tanto en tu país como en el mío, implica que un número sustancial de mujeres y niñas se encuentran atrapadas en una situación de la que no pueden escapar —quizás por estar endeudadas o por coacción o intimidación. Son los hombres británicos y australianos los que están comprando algo que ha sido efectivamente robado y la ley no puede hacer nada, incluso contando con pruebas que delaten que el servicio adquirido no se ha producido libremente. Se les puede cobrar por una televisión pero no por una persona. Eso simplemente no es suficiente.</p> <p>Por suerte, parece que el diálogo y las acciones en torno a este tipo de demanda están adentrándose en nuevas parcelas. Por ejemplo, se intenta <a href="http://slaveryfootprint.org/">educar al público consumidor</a> para que cambie su forma de comprar y, además, se <a href="https://www.knowthechain.org/">busca asegurar el compromiso de las grandes empresas</a> para que manejen cadenas de producción libres de esclavitud. Este trabajo es positivo y relevante siempre que no de origen a toda una generación de activistas cibernéticas, y con esto me refiero a personas que tienen la creencia de que hacer clic en una petición por Internet ayuda en algo.</p> <p>También existen otros aspectos relacionados con la demanda que reciben menos atención. En mi trabajo me relaciono con diferentes gobiernos y sé que no podemos eximirlos de la culpa de generar y sostener esta demanda. Muchos países de destino se benefician de la mano de obra barata inmigrante, que la ley desampara y desplaza a conveniencia. Los países de origen suelen depender del dinero que generan sus trabajadoras y trabajadores en el extranjero y pueden ser reticentes a obstaculizar un sistema que les trae tantos beneficios económicos, aunque sepan que parte de su ciudadanía es gravemente explotada.</p> <p>Además, todo país que fracase en la protección de sus migrantes, sin importar si están o no en condiciones reguladas, debe asumir la responsabilidad por haber contribuido a crear un entorno que hace que la explotación sea posible y rentable. A veces se hace complicado e ingrato tratar estos temas con los gobiernos, pero es una parte fundamental del rompecabezas y no se puede ignorar.</p> <p>A modo de directrices y a grandes rasgos, propongo que:&nbsp;</p> <p>Primero, luchemos por hacer que la respuesta judicial sea más eficaz. ¿Cómo se atreven los gobiernos a tratar la compra-venta de personas como un crimen menor? En cuanto a nosotras y nosotros, debería darnos vergüenza considerar esto algo normal.</p> <p>Segundo, que intentemos entender la vulnerabilidad frente a esta práctica y podamos responder así de una forma que refleje las experiencias de las personas y no nuestras ideas sobre ellas o sobre lo que necesitan.</p> <p>Y, en tercer lugar, que rechacemos el enfoque actual polarizado y bochornoso de la demanda. Es nuestro deber examinar con atención el funcionamiento de los sistemas y las prácticas que alientan y recompensan la explotación.</p> <p>Me gustaría, para terminar, lanzar una sugerencia en forma de tres acciones específicas: que trabajemos para eliminar las comisiones que se obtienen por la contratación laboral, que defendamos un salario mínimo global y que logremos convertir en delito el consumo —o el conocimiento— de servicios que estén proporcionados por víctimas de trata.</p> <p>Al sugerir estas ideas me siento, sin embargo, obligada a insistir en la advertencia que señalé más arriba. Debemos cuidarnos de las personas encantadoras de serpientes que nos hacen creer que tienen el remedio definitivo y que el camino es fácil. Hemos de aceptar que no vamos a encontrar la solución a la explotación de seres humanos en dos días, pero quizás podamos conseguir que la situación avance aunque solo sea un poco.</p> <p>Creo que ese sería un buen resultado.</p> <p><em>Este artículo se publicó el 3 de diciembre de 2013 y es una versión adaptada del discurso de apertura brindado por Anne Gallagher en la <a href="http://www.trustwomenconf.com/">Conferencia de Trust Women</a> en Londres.</em></p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a><a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco">Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco»</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/joel-quirk-andr-broome/la-pol-tica-de-los-n-meros-el-ndice-global-de-esclavitud-y-el-m">La política de los números: el Índice Global de esclavitud y el mercado del activismo</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/nandita-sharma/lucha-contra-la-trata-de-personas-encubrimiento-de-los-programas-de-luc">Lucha contra la trata de personas: encubriendo los programas de lucha contra la inmigración</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta Anne T. Gallagher BTS en Español Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Anne T. Gallagher 117604 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Revisitando la «carga del hombre blanco» https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/es/kamala-kempadoo/revisitando-la-carga-del-hombre-blanco <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>La lucha contra la trata de personas es un movimiento imperialista contemporáneo que supone que «occidente» salvará «al resto del mundo», lo que parece una nueva versión de la "la carga del hombre blanco" (el supuesto deber de los colonizadores blancos de cuidar de persona indígenas en sus posesiones coloniales). El actual abolicionismo de la esclavitud, el feminismo abolicionista y el humanitarismo de las celebridades conforman este renovado imperialismo. <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/kamala-kempadoo/white-man%E2%80%99s-burden-revisited">English</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/920px-The_Anti-Slavery_Society_Convention%2C_1840_by_Benjamin_Robert_Haydon.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840 by Benjamin Haydon. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Anti-Slavery_Society_Convention,_1840_by_Benjamin_Robert_Haydon.jpg">Wikimedia Commons.</a></p> <p>A principios de los años 90, el debate sobre la trata de personas se limitaba a un puñado de feministas y giraba en torno a definir la «trata de mujeres» como un caso de migración laboral o de «esclavitud sexual femenina». Dos décadas después, el tema se ha convertido en una palabra familiar e implica un debate más complicado. Dentro de este aumento de atención a la trata de personas y a la esclavitud, se puede discernir una convergencia entre algunas de las campañas más resonantes y notables, que se asemeja alarmantemente a una nueva versión de la «carga del hombre blanco».</p> <p>La «carga» tiene, como mínimo, dos dimensiones. Una es que las campañas dominantes contra la trata de personas y la esclavitud están principalmente inspiradas por centros «desarrollados» del mundo, donde se localizan y desde donde se dirigen. Por ejemplo, el movimiento antiesclavista está dominado por hombres blancos de clase media o alta (en Estados Unidos, Gran Bretaña y Australia) que fundaron la mayoría de las organizaciones internacionales y poblaron los consejos ejecutivos y de dirección, con los recursos y el capital cultural para producir libros, noticias y películas sobre el tema. En sus campañas, las personas de color y los no occidentales son tratados como objetos de rescate y educación, «esclavistas» modernos o «líderes supervivientes».</p> <p>Con la incuestionable obligación y el derecho a intervenir, y convencidos de su honestidad, los hombres contra la esclavitud moderna no dudan en recorrer el mundo para salvar a los pobres. Las historias de los movimientos abolicionistas anteriores impregnadas de la culpabilidad blanca, el temor a la violencia por parte de personas negras, la desconfianza hacia los hombres negros, el paternalismo, los valores cristianos conservadores y la incómoda política entre blancos y negros sobre la igualdad social son temas que no se abordan. En lugar de esto, las campañas presentan a los valientes caballeros blancos moralmente obligados a salvar el mundo, sobre todo Asia y África, afirmando la masculinidad blanca como poderosa y heroica.</p> <p>El feminismo abolicionista extiende esta «carga» a las mujeres blancas de clase media y alta. Enraizado en el discurso blanco de la esclavitud del siglo XIX, que reproducía la tarea caritativa de rescate maternal feminista, el movimiento emplaza su obligación moral y responsabilidad cívica en el rescate de las pobres mujeres «prostituidas» y de las niñas y niños (víctimas) del privilegio, poder y lujuria masculinos (trata sexual). Reproduce un maternalismo colonial en relación con el mundo no occidental empobrecido, a la vez que reafirma a la mujer occidental de clase media como benevolente. La incómoda política entre el feminismo radical blanco y los feminismos negros y postcoloniales del «tercer mundo» queda relegada en favor de un concepto esencialista de mujeres victimizadas en todo el mundo.</p> <p>Ambos tipos de políticas abolicionistas impulsan campañas humanitarias de celebridades contra la trata de personas, protagonizadas por Demi Moore, Emma Thompson y Mira Sorvino, entre otras. El humanitarismo de las celebridades cuenta con una amplia difusión; los corazones están en el lugar correcto, los bolsillos son profundos y el estatus de estrella centra la atención en un problema considerado como uno de los más atroces del mundo. Sin embargo, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/dina-haynes/when-human-trafficking-becomes-cause-celebre">tal como señala Dina Haynes:</a> «a menudo, la desinformación que tienen sobre el problema y sus posibles soluciones da lugar a consecuencias imprevistas, una asignación de recursos errónea y servicios a las víctimas mal dirigidos», aunque se les llame «héroes o heroínas».</p> <p>Los galardones a este tipo de trabajo contra la trata de personas y la esclavitud incluyen un premio Pulitzer y un Emmy, doctorados honoríficos y premios al trabajo por la paz y los derechos humanos. Las personas activistas del hemisferio norte se aplauden y homenajean entre ellas. Las reglas del privilegio blanco.</p> <p>En segundo lugar, aunque la desigualdad mundial en la riqueza se reconoce como el contexto económico dentro del cual tiene lugar la trata de personas y la esclavitud, no se apunta al capitalismo mundial para su erradicación. Las personas corruptas y codiciosas, las «malas» corporaciones que infringen la legislación laboral y los gobiernos nacionales aislados que se oponen a «occidente» (por ejemplo, Cuba, Corea del Sur, Siria, Venezuela, Zimbabue, etc.) pasan a convertirse en el problema. El activismo trabaja para hacer que esos «canallas» cumplan las normas y los valores hegemónicos (occidentales, capitalistas).</p> <p>Las consiguientes normativas provocan una mayor criminalización en áreas de la vida humana más amplias, y dejan el origen de la desigualdad intacto. Como señala <a href="http://youtu.be/niZPU4JkHBA">un periodista americano</a>: «se necesita más capitalismo para sacar a más personas de la pobreza y [este] también puede ser la herramienta más efectiva para sacar a las personas de la esclavitud». Aún así, el planteamiento tipo &quot;Big Bang&quot;, la inyección de grandes sumas de dinero en zonas o comunidades pobres por parte de filántropos como Bill Gates o Jeffrey Sachs, no es una solución fiable. La caridad no es un desarrollo económico sostenible. Pero este trabajo encumbra a directoras y directores generales y alivia la culpa de quienes acumularon una riqueza grotesca a costa del sudor y la sangre de muchas otras personas. Al naturalizar el capitalismo neoliberal como «la única alternativa», como afirma Ilan Kapoor en <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0415783399/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=19450&amp;creativeASIN=0415783399&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=opendemocra0e-21"><em>Celebrity Humanitarianism: The Ideology of Global Charity</em></a>, la «carga del hombre blanco» no solo enmascara sino que también despolitiza el funcionamiento de la economía mundial.</p> <p>En resumen, el abolicionismo de la esclavitud moderna, los feminismos abolicionistas y el humanitarismo de las celebridades se combinan para crear una caballeresca cruzada blanca en todo el mundo, nacida a partir del sentido moral de la bondad, considerando a oriente y al Sur global «en vías de desarrollo» como vertederos para —lo que Barbara Heron llama en <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1554580013/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=19450&amp;creativeASIN=1554580013&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=opendemocra0e-21"><em>Desire for Development</em></a>— «las obligaciones de ayudar», que implican el rescate y la caridad. Cuerpos sufrientes son capturados, rehabilitados y devueltos a su hogar (preferiblemente con una foto de prueba de niñas y niños morenos o negros sonriendo). La ilusión de ayuda legitimiza las iniciativas como altruistas y humanitarias, ocultando la dependencia y reproducción del conocimiento racial acerca de los Otros. Este conocimiento se concentra en torno a los históricos tropos de la víctima pobre y sin esperanza, incapaz de satisfacer sus propias necesidades, y del sujeto blanco civilizador y benevolente que debe llevar la carga de intervenir en el Sur global. De esta forma se reimpulsa el imperialismo sin causar ningún efecto sobre las causas del problema y, de hecho, abogando por más regulación neoliberal y un capitalismo corporativo más fuerte.</p> <hr style="border-top: #0061BF 3px solid;margin-bottom:10px;clear:both;" /> <a href="http://gaatw.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATWlogo.png" width="110" alt="GAATWlogo.png" /></a> <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/TWB_Logo_RGB_920.jpg" width="220px" style="float:right;margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:15px;" /></a> <p><em>BTS en Español has been produced in collaboration with our colleagues at the <a href="http://gaatw.org/">Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women</a>. Translated with the support of <a href="http://translatorswithoutborders.org/">Translators without Borders</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LanguageMatters?src=hash">#LanguageMatters</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/es/chus-lvarez/traduciendo-beyond-trafficking-and-slavery-la-historia-detr-s-del-hecho">Traduciendo Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: la historia detrás del hecho</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery DemocraciaAbierta Kamala Kempadoo BTS en Español Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Kamala Kempadoo 117602 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The criminal law as sledgehammer: the paternalist politics of India’s 2018 Trafficking Bill https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/prabha-kotiswaran/criminal-law-as-sledgehammer-paternalist-politics-of-india-s-2018-tr <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>India's new trafficking bill relies exclusively on the stick to achieve its goals. It will fail.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/2833045873_f2fffacae1_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;"> Regalim/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/regalim/2833045873/in/photolist-5jm6Qv-a2bpBa-a438gH-9HFYDt-2Ygx3M-7RPXvP-9ExVrU-5nWBNC-68CNN-cMNZjo-UFxvoP-6gPVRp-5YyqiW-5rzvAr-7m8ibk-9DuDwh-foEKfw-QYjgy-foEkbN-7dkDdM-foEZEb-Qt6BS-dM4fHj-7bmCPF-5j2PAW-odS4Ug-DF2ZDo-9ZKJh7-7Tx3yN-dM4i9G-9NEYMC-dM4dLA-5XHPB5-foEtUJ-foqxdP-NoxaY-nWEr9u-hYQb9n-foqeYX-8moCuT-fzAn1W-6xJmrb-foqvE2-53RpJL-5nSoA8-7EUs2t-bpYLrL-DdCbB8-TDhjFF-foEBqW">CC (by)</a></p> <p>Smt Maneka Gandhi, the Indian minister for women & child development, is likely to table ‘The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018’ (hereafter, the bill) in the monsoon session of parliament scheduled to take place be-tween 18 July and 18 August 2018. The minister’s aspiration to make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking is laudable. Sadly, the tabled bill will, if enacted, fall far short of these expectations.</p> <p>Many civil society organisations have already expressed their concerns regarding the serious shortcomings of the bill. My critique seeks to complement these other interventions by offering a commentary on the criminal law provisions of the proposed bill. Parliament must fundamentally rethink the bill to produce a well-drafted, rights-positive legislation that positions India at the forefront of the quest to achieve sustainable development goal 8.7 by ending forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and the worst forms of child labour. </p> <h2>Building out the reforms introduced in 2013</h2> <p>The proposed bill seeks to build on section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (the IPC), which was amended in 2013 to include the stand-alone offence of trafficking. </p> <p>Section 370 reads as follows: </p> <div style="margin-left:25px;"> <p>(<em>1</em>) Whoever, for the purpose of exploitation, (<em>a</em>) recruits, (<em>b</em>) transports, (<em>c</em>) harbours, (<em>d</em>) transfers, or (<em>e</em>) receives, a person or persons, by—</p> <div style="margin-left:25px;"> <p><em>First</em>.— using threats, or</p> <p><em>Secondly.</em>— using force, or any other form of coercion, or</p> <p><em>Thirdly.</em>— by abduction, or</p> <p><em>Fourthly.</em>— by practising fraud, or deception, or</p> <p><em>Fifthly.</em>— by abuse of power, or</p> <p><em>Sixthly</em>.— by inducement, including the giving or receiving of payments or benefits, in order to achieve the consent of any person having control over the person recruited, transported, harboured, transferred or received, commits the offence of trafficking.</p> <p><em>Explanation 1</em>.— The expression “exploitation” shall include any act of physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.</p> <p><em>Explanation 2</em>.— The consent of the victim is immaterial in determination of the offence of trafficking.</p> </div> <p>(<em>2</em>) Whoever commits the offence of trafficking shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years, but which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.</p> </div> <p>In comparison to the international definition of trafficking housed in article 3 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (the Palermo Protocol), section 370 deleted a means of trafficking, namely, “abuse of a position of vulnerability” as well as a form of exploitation namely, “forced labour”. The Palermo Protocol also clarifies that the consent of a victim who is subject to any of the means listed in article 3 is irrelevant, whereas section 370 features a blanket denial of the consent of the victim – even if she/he has voluntarily decided to work under exploitative conditions. Section 370A, also introduced into the IPC in 2013 relates to use of a trafficked victim for sexual exploitation.</p> <p>In research conducted by myself and Neenu Suresh of the Centre for Labour Studies, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, we analysed a total of 62 appellate cases between April 2013 and August 2017 which showed that section 370 is often invoked in conjunction with various other legislation. The break-up is as follows: The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (17); The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 (8); The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 (8); IPC Provisions on Rape, Sexual harassment and Outraging modesty (17); The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (17); Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Of Children) Act, 2000 (17) and other provisions (45).</p> <p>Some of the cases relate to sex work but a few also deal with the exploitation of work-ers in other sectors, such as brick kilns, leather factories, domestic work, and Indian migrants to other countries (e.g. Malaysia). Appellate court judges have so far typical-ly dealt with section 370 in a procedural context; there has been little elaboration of the substantive provisions of the law. Interestingly, section 370 is used extensively be-yond trafficking cases. It often appears as an additional charge in criminal law cases relating to rape and sexual harassment, as well as in completely unrelated cases such as where a wife left her husband and took her child to live with another man. Section 370 is frequently used as a proxy offence for wrongful confinement. Exploitation for the purposes of section 370 is thus understood rather broadly. The true scope and ap-plication of section 370 is therefore dynamic.</p> <p>Additionally, there has been little substantive elaboration of Section 370A. The High Court of Andhra Pradesh (S. Naveen Kumar versus The State of Telangana. 2015 (2) ALD(Crl.) 156(AP)) has held that a customer of a sex worker could be charge-sheeted under Section 370A. The High Court of Gujarat has however clarified that this is dependant on whether the relevant facts are proved through investigation (Vinod vs. State of Gujarat and Ors, Criminal Misc. Application (For Quashing &amp; Set Aside FIR/Order) No. 8156 of 2017). Section 370A thus has the potential for being used to target customers of all sex workers whether trafficked or not.</p> <h2>What does the 2018 Trafficking Bill do?</h2> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>The proposed bill builds on section 370 by creating an offence of “aggravated trafficking”, which criminalises: </p> <p>• Trafficking for the purpose of forced labour or bonded labour (section 31(i)); </p> <p>• Trafficking for the purpose of bearing child (section 31(ii));&nbsp; </p> <p>• Giving narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, or alcohol, for the purpose of trafficking (section 31(iii)); </p> <p>• Administering chemical substance or hormones to a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity and exploitation (section 31(iv)); </p> <p>• Trafficking of woman/child for the purpose of marriage or after marriage (section 31(v)); </p> <p>• Trafficking causing serious injury amounting to grievous hurt or death of the victim including suicide (section 31(vi)); </p> <p>• Trafficking of a pregnant woman or resulting into pregnancy (section 31(vii)); </p> <p>• Trafficking causing life-threatening illness, including HIV/AIDS (section 31(viii));</p> <p>• Trafficking for the purpose of begging (section 31(ix)); </p> <p>• Trafficking of person suffering from mental illness or disability, or causing thereof (section 31(x)); and </p> <p>• Trafficking by encouraging/abetting illegal migration into India/of Indians abroad (section 31 (xi))</p> </div> <p>Aggravated trafficking is punishable with (i) rigorous imprisonment for not less than 10 years and extendable to life imprisonment and (ii) liable to a fine of no less than 1 lakh rupees (Section 32). The bill also creates a range of other offences both related to and unrelated to trafficking which are discussed below. </p> <h2>Critique: lacks harmony with previous law</h2> <p>Although the bill seeks to expand the remit of section 370 to several sectors, including any work involving forced labour and bonded labour, it is silent on its relationship with various laws dealing with bonded labour, contract labour, inter-state migrant work, and sex work. Section 59 declares that this bill is in addition to existing laws and that in case of inconsistency it overrides the operation of other laws. In practice this will raise many problems.</p> <p><strong>For example, section 31(i) criminalises trafficking for purposes of forced labour and bonded labour by listing out several means through which trafficking is achieved: violence, intimidation, inducement, promise of payment of money, deception, coercion, or use of subtle means. Several of these means are already present in section 370 (threat, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, inducement) so the list of means in section 31(i) seems redundant. Earlier drafts of the bill listed an element relating to exploitation in this offence (i.e. with or without payment of wages, or with payment of wages less than minimum wages; which reflects the Supreme Court’s views on forced labour in <em>People’s Union for Democratic Rights v Union of India</em> (1982) 3 SCC 235). This has been removed from the bill possibly to avoid the prosecution of employers for the ‘mere’ non-payment of minimum wages.</strong></p> <p><strong>Multiplicity of legal regimes:</strong> For example, consider the case of trafficking for sex work. Section 5 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 1986 (ITPA) criminalises procuring for purposes of prostitution with or without the consent of the victim. The punishment under section 5 is between three and seven years in prison with a fine of up to Rs. 2000. Section 370 of the IPC meanwhile lists several means necessary for the conduct of trafficking but also states that the consent of the victim is irrelevant. Trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation under section 370 attracts a punishment of a minimum of seven years. Where a person has trafficked a sex worker, it is unclear which law the police will in fact use. The bill aims to harmonise laws relating to trafficking but does not in fact offer any guidance on the crucial area of trafficking for sex work.</p> <p><strong>Inappropriate gradation of offences:</strong> For example, section 370 covers various forms of exploitation including “sexual exploitation” and “practices similar to slavery” (which under international law includes bonded labour). However while trafficking for sex work (a form of sexual exploitation) would attract a punishment of seven years under Section 370, trafficking for bonded labour is considered to be aggravated trafficking and attracts a much higher punishment of 10 years to life. Thus, the bill grades offences in an inconsistent manner.</p> <p><strong>Operational inconsistencies:</strong> Significantly, although on the face of it the bill includes trafficking for bonded labour and forced labour, the spirit of the labour law approach found in addressing extreme exploitation in the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 (BLSAA) is entirely missing. The bill relies heavily on the police at the central, state and local levels. Whereas earlier drafts of the bill provided for a bonded labourer to be brought before the labour officer or the district magistrate upon rescue, the bill now entirely relies on the police and magistrate’s court. Victims are sent to existing shelter homes, which can be designated as protection and rehabilitation homes under the bill. The BLSAA, on the other hand, emphasises the agency of the bonded labourer and requires the state to promote his or her economic independence through access to credit ensured by the district administration and vigilance committees rather than send him/her to a rehabilitation home. The carceral approach of the bill is thus a far cry from the administrative and labour law-oriented provisions of laws on bonded labour, contract labour and inter-state migrant work. Importantly, it is unclear which law would apply to a bonded labourer – the BLSAA or the Trafficking Bill, 2018? Does section 59 of the bill mean that it will, indeed, override BLSAA?</p> <h2>Tied to sex work exceptionalism </h2> <p>Although the bill does not explicitly concern itself with sex work, several of its provisions are formed in the carceral mould of the ITPA and are applied mindlessly to trafficking into other labour sectors. Take, for instance, the sections on keeping/allowing premises to be used for trafficking (section 34) and closure of premises where used for trafficking (section 35). These mirror, word for word, section 3 and section 18 of the ITPA respectively.</p> <p>Like in many common law jurisdictions, the sale of sex for money is legal in India under restricted circumstances. Courts have held that a woman practising sex work in a house that she owns, without public solicitation, is engaging in a lawful activity. The goal of the ITPA is to prevent the “exploitation of the prostitution of others”, hence it seeks to criminalise anyone other than the sex worker who benefits from her sex work. Thus sections 3 and 18 of the ITPA target landlords, owners, and lessors of property where sex work is carried out.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Such stringent provisions, if implemented, are likely to freeze entire areas of the economy.</p> <p>The bill lifts the content of these sections and applies it to trafficking into other sectors where the nature of the work itself is unproblematic (such as sewing garments, construction work, agricultural work). This means that landlords, lessors and lessees of properties where workers are trafficked into these sectors are now sought to be penalised. The absence of a clear-cut definition of exploitation in Section 370 or the bill and the broad application of Section 370 evident in case law so far means that these stringent provisions, if implemented, are likely to freeze entire areas of the economy. Worse still, these provisions will be meaningless especially when work is conducted in the household (domestic work) or in farms (agricultural labour). How can these premises be shut down? How then can these provisions prevent labour trafficking?</p> <h2>Departure from core principles of criminalisation and lack of constitutional safeguards </h2> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>The bill introduces numerous other offences (sections 33-45), which include:</p> <p>• Trafficking of persons on more than one occasion (section 33); </p> <p>• Promoting or facilitating trafficking of person (section 36); </p> <p>• Attempt and preparatory offences (section 44); abetting offence (section 37); dereliction of duty (section 38);</p> <p>• Buying and selling of person (section 39(1));</p> <p>• Publishing electronically obscene photos/videos/solicit tourists which may lead to trafficking (section 39(2))</p> <p>• Exploitation of trafficked persons (section 40); </p> <p>• Committing trafficking with aid of media (section 41(1))</p> <p>• Distribution of electronic/printed form of sexual exploitation/sexual abuse/rape for extortion/coercion (section 41(2))</p> <p>• Disclosing identity of victims through the media (section 42)&nbsp; </p> </div> <p>The bill relies heavily on the criminal law without many of the substantive and procedural safeguards that are integral to criminal law systems around the world, particularly in a country with a written constitution and robust constitutional safeguards protecting the life and liberty of citizens. </p> <p><strong>New offences unrelated to trafficking:</strong> The offence under section 41(2) has nothing to do with trafficking and amounts to censorship, especially when the terms “sexual exploitation” and “sexual abuse” have not been defined in the bill or under Indian law more generally.</p> <p><strong>Vaguely worded offences with disproportionate sentencing:</strong> The offence under section 39(2) speaks of soliciting or publicising electronically the distribution of obscene photographs or providing materials or soliciting tourists which “may” lead to trafficking. While the exact nature of the activity sought to be targeted is unclear, the punishment of 5 years’ imprisonment is disproportionate for an act that “may” lead to trafficking. </p> <p><strong>Anti-slavery provision re-incorporated:</strong> The offence under section 39(1) reinstates the offence under the original section 370 of the IPC, which dealt with the buying or disposing of any person as a slave. It is not clear why this offence is necessary given that slavery (such as during the transatlantic slave trade) is not practised in India.</p> <p><strong>Reversal of burden of proof and introduction of absolute liability offences:</strong> Section 19 of the bill states that:</p> <p style="margin-left:25px;">Where a person is <strong>prosecuted</strong> for committing or abetting or attempting to commit any offence under this Act in respect of a child or a woman or a person suffering from physical or mental disability, unless it is specified, the designated court <strong>shall presume that such person has committed</strong> or abetted or attempted to commit the offence, as the case may be, unless the contrary is proved.</p> <p>A presumption as to a culpable state of mind was first introduced in section 35 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, ostensibly to assist prosecutorial efforts and secure improved rates of conviction. However, section 19 goes well beyond presuming a culpable state of mind to effectively presume the commission of the offence unless otherwise proved; in other words, the defendant is presumed guilty unless proven innocent! The prosecution does not have to prove either the <em>actus reus</em> or the <em>mens rea</em> for affixing criminal liability, thus introducing an absolute liability offence as the prosecution only needs to bring frame charges against the accused. Similar provisions are to be found in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and in the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 in relation to aggravated rape but are constitutionally suspect. </p> <p><strong>Introduction of strict liability offences:</strong> In sections 34 and 35 of the bill, relating to the punishment of those managing premises or the closure of premises where trafficking occurs, there is a dramatic reversal of burden of proof. Whereas in the original sections of the ITPA (sections 3 and 18), the defendant is required to act knowingly and therefore possess a culpable mental state, in sections 34 and 35 of the bill, defendants have to prove that they exercised due diligence in order to avoid being prosecuted. This places an enormous burden on property owners and managers to exercise due diligence and ascertain whether trafficking is occurring on their properties, which is impossible given that core elements of the offence of trafficking are left undefined both in the IPC and in the bill.</p> <p><strong>High levels of punishment and lack of clear sentencing policy:</strong> Offences under the bill are cognisable, non-bailable and punishable with high, often minimum, mandatory sentences including life imprisonment for the remainder of one’s natural life. The gradation of sentencing under the bill, when read in conjunction with section 370 is furthermore not logical. Under Section 370(3), trafficking more than one person attracts a punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment. Section 370(5) punishes trafficking of more than one minor with between 14 years and life imprisonment. Section 33 of the bill, meanwhile, punishes trafficking on more than one occasion with life imprisonment for the remainder of one’s natural life. Thus the sentencing levels have gone up considerably even between 2013 (when Section 370 was passed) and 2018.</p> <p><strong>Weak punishment for employers:</strong> Section 40 of the bill states that whoever hires or otherwise obtains possession or lets to hire a person for purposes of trafficking shall be punished with imprisonment for between three and five years with a fine of not less than one lakh rupees. While the section seeks to hold employers accountable, it is unclear why the punishment for the employer is substantially less than that awarded to a trafficker. Why this discrepancy? This is also inconsistent with the punishment awarded to those who might harbour (this could include an employer) a trafficked person for purposes of exploitation by using the means listed out in section 370; there the punishment is a minimum of seven years. </p> <p><strong>Violation of right to property:</strong> Property owners under sections 34 and 35 are required to obtain the permission of the magistrate before they can let out their properties again. Whereas in the ITPA (on which sections 34 and 35 are modelled) such requirements for permission are time bound to a year (three years where a child is found at the premises), there is no such time limit in the bill. This is constitutionally suspect as an infringement on a citizen’s right to enjoyment of his or her property. </p> <p><strong>Provisions relating to bail presume guilt rather than innocence:</strong> The provisions on bail are also problematic. While in earlier drafts of the bill, bail was to be denied to a habitual offender or where the victim was a child, section 52(b) now requires that bail not be given unless the special public prosecutor is given an opportunity to oppose the application AND that the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence and is not likely to commit the offence. The requirement to pre-judge the case at the bail stage itself at this high objective standard of reasonableness (“reasonable grounds”) reiterates the presumption of guilt rather than of innocence. Provisions relating to anticipatory bail are also not applicable to those offending under the bill. </p> <h2>Raid, rescue and rehabilitate: old wine in new bottles </h2> <p>The bill embraces a law and order approach to trafficking (Section 20 (vi)) and envis-ages an elaborate institutional set up for dealing with prevention, prosecution, inves-tigation, protection, rescue and rehabilitation as illustrated in figure 1. The bill re-quires the creation of broadly two different kinds of agencies, namely, investigative agencies and rehabilitation agencies. The investigative machinery includes the Na-tional Anti-Trafficking Bureau, State Police Nodal Officers, State Nodal Officers, Dis-trict Police Nodal Officers, Anti-Trafficking Police Officers and Anti-Trafficking Units. Prevention is a code word for high levels of surveillance and “vulnerability mapping” (Section 20 (vii)). Further, police officers can, on mere suspicion that someone is being trafficked, conduct a raid and rescue operation. Victims are to be brought before the magistrate or the child welfare committee (where the victim is a minor) to be referred to protection homes and rehabilitation homes.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Police officers can, on mere suspicion that someone is being trafficked, conduct a raid and rescue operation.</p> <p>As many commentators have pointed out, the bill relies on a failed model of raids, rescue and rehabilitation. It envisages the creation of relief and rehabilitation agencies including the National Anti-Trafficking Relief and Rehabilitation Committee, State Anti-Trafficking Committees and District Anti-Trafficking Committees. Existing shelter homes may be designated as protection and rehabilitation homes under the bill.</p> <p>Central to the enforcement of the bill is the District Anti-Trafficking Committee (DATC) which has broad powers and has a role in preventing trafficking, and in con-ducting raids, rescues and rehabilitation. In relation to prevention, one of its tasks is to “coordinate with other State Departments and Panchayati Raj institutions, to keep a check on children who drop out from schools and those children who are covered by various schemes and have stopped accessing the benefits of those schemes ... and in-form such cases to the State Anti-Trafficking Committee” (Section 13(3)(iii)). The DATC is also required to engage in vulnerability mapping and produce action plans for the prevention of trafficking (Section 13(3)(v)). The DATC can assist in raid and rescue operations, provide interim relief, transfer victims to rehabilitation homes, arrange for the repatriation of bonded labourers within the country; it also has the final authority for disposing of cases for the care, protection, treatment and rehabilitation of victims. Unlike in earlier drafts, the DATC no longer has representatives from the labour department or the panchayati raj institutions, which is problematic given the broad mandate of the DATC to address trafficking and labour exploitation. Furthermore, there is extensive documentation of the abuses that occur in the shelter homes, so much so that even Ruchira Gupta, the head of the radical feminist group Apne Aap, has denounced this provision of the bill. Why then revert to failed shelter homes?</p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Kotiswaran-infographic.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;"><strong>Figure 1.</strong> Authorities to be established under the new bill. Graphic by Prabha Kotiswaran. CC-BY-NC.</p> <h2>Victims are forgotten </h2> <p><strong>Rollback on protection for victims:</strong> In previous drafts of the bill victims’ rights were robustly protected. For example, the rehabilitation fund was entitled to a budgetary allocation from the central government. The government was to bring out rules to ensure the accountability of the agencies in generating, disseminating and utilising funds from the rehabilitation fund. The DATC was required to visit protection and rehabilitation homes at least once a month. The victim could be reimbursed for travel to a trial. The victim was required to be given timely notice of trials; had the ability to summon production of materials from parties and be heard on matters relating to conviction, sentencing, and parole. Protection for the victim was to be reviewed periodically by the government and the government was required to take immediate action in respect of any complaint relating to harassment of the victim, witness or informant and pass appropriate orders on the very same day. Sadly, none of these provisions have been retained in the current bill. </p> <p><strong>Highly restrictive non-criminalisation clause that is contrary to the defence of duress under the Indian Penal Code, 1860:</strong> Under earlier drafts of the bill, the victim was protected by a non-criminalisation clause under both criminal law and administrative law. The victim could not be arrested or charged criminally or administratively for offences mentioned under the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Immigration Act, 1990 and the Passport Act, 1967.</p> <p>Under the bill however, the victim is not to be held criminally liable only for serious offences (punishable with death, life imprisonment or imprisonment for 10 years) IF he/she committed or attempted the act under coercion/compulsion/intimidation/threat/undue influence AND where the victim has reasonable apprehension of death/grievous hurt/injury to himself/herself or a person he may be interested in.</p> <p>The defence for the victim under the bill directly contradicts the current general de-fence of duress available under section 94 of the IPC. Under section 94, the defence is available for ALL offences except for murder and for offences against the state punish-able with death. Thus a victim of trafficking who is guilty of committing murder under circumstances of coercion would have a defence under the bill but not under Section 94.</p> <p>The defence under section 45 of the bill is also narrower than under the IPC. Where section 45 of the bill offers a defence only for serious offences, the IPC’s general de-fence of duress only excludes murder and offences against the state punishable with death. </p> <p>Both under section 45 of the bill and section 94 of the IPC, the duress has to result from some form of coercion, which causes reasonable apprehension of death/injury. This is an objective test. It is not necessarily how the victim himself perceives the threat but whether the threat can objectively be thought of as producing a reasonable apprehension. At the same time, the defence under section 45 is broader than the defence under section 94, in that the threat of grievous hurt <strong>and injury</strong> to the victim and <strong>someone he is interested in</strong> are also covered whereas to avail of the defence under Section 94, the defendant alone must apprehend instant death. </p> <p>This bill’s provisions are very unfortunate because the anti-criminalisation clause is a hallmark of all progressive anti-trafficking laws around the world. The dilution of pro-victim provisions in subsequent drafts of the bill demonstrates the lip-service that the government is paying to victims of trafficking.</p> <h2>Bill in antithetical to the sustainable development goals</h2> <p>The bill exemplifies a deep dissonance within the government on the question of trafficking. The federal agency responsible for implementation of sustainable development goal 8.7 against trafficking, Niti Aayog, has been highly critical of the ILO-Walk Free Foundation Global Estimates on Modern Slavery (2017) and suspicious of sweeping figures relating to the prevalence of modern slavery and forced marriage particularly in the developing world. The Ministry for Women and Child Development, on the other hand, is influenced by Indian neo-abolitionist groups. These align with Walk Free Foundation’s reliance on a highly carceral approach to eradicating what is essentially a problem of deep socio-economic inequality. </p> <p>This dissonance must be managed as India charts out how it can meet the SDGs, including by setting up suitable empirical baselines and benchmarks. So far, the Government of India has focused predominantly on SDG 8 rather than on SDG 8.7. Perhaps it assumes that where economic growth and the creation of jobs are ensured, trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery will be inevitably eradicated.</p> <p>States which have been tasked with proposing action plans for achieving the SDGs are similarly selective in whether they deal with SDG 8 or not. Where they deal with SDG 8, they are selective about which parts of the goal they deal with. Some deal with SDG 8.7 and other don’t. Even states that deal with SDG 8.7 have varied understandings of the underlying problem and how they propose to address it.</p> <p>Greater clarity on SDG 8.7 and, within that context, creative and effective strategies of dealing with trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery are essential. India might consider enacting a supply chain transparency clause, which has been enacted by the UK, the state of California and France and is under consideration in Switzerland and Australia. Paying attention to the full range of labour exploitation across the economy, including in international and domestic supply chains would be preferable to relying on a criminal justice system that appears tough on the face of it but which instead relies on failed models and institutions. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/prabha-kotiswaran/neoabolitionism-s-last-laugh-india-must-rethink-trafficking">Neoabolitionism’s last laugh: India must rethink trafficking</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/collected-activists-and-academics/no-easy-answers-for-ending-forced-labour-in-india">No easy answers for ending forced labour in India</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/neil-howard-mohan-mani/collective-bargaining-in-globalised-south">Collective bargaining in the Global(ised) South</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/igor-bosc/round-about-solutions-to-forced-labour-don-t-work">Why roundabout solutions to forced labour don’t work</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/alf-gunvald-nilsen/adivasis-in-india-modernday-slaves-or-modernday-workers">Adivasis in India: modern-day slaves or modern-day workers?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/prabha-kotiswaran-sam-okyere/role-of-state-and-law-in-trafficking-and-modern-slavery">The role of the state and law in trafficking and modern slavery</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/prabha-kotiswaran/law%E2%80%99s-mediations-shifting-definitions-of-trafficking">Law’s mediations: the shifting definitions of trafficking</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Prabha Kotiswaran Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Prabha Kotiswaran 116897 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Big brands: the missing voice in the fight to end gender-based violence at work https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/jennifer-rosenbaum-shikha-silliman-bhattacharjee/big-brands-missing-voice-in-fight-to- <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>New research shows why multinational corporations should support a ILO convention to stop gender-based violence in the workplace.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/27550734852_f1a547d6b5_k_0.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Garment factory in Bangaldesh. UNSGSA/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/unsgsa/27550734852/in/photolist-e5zPox-e5zM2K-e5FqXm-e5Fty9-pd6w2L-9ZJgY7-pRxngb-p62x7k-qvYqZE-qwcFtV-2rc7s-qNohLK-p61tob-qNDCCT-qNxpPt-e5Fqim-e5zMHT-cpo6i-psxHtW-naCfoa-9ZHDqY-9ZHJyW-9ZJ2FN-9ZF19z-9ZJzNb-9ZFArn-puiA4X-nm7Gti-HYyHBS-xm5t1h-J8q7fe-J8q9vr-TznqZG-J1TicD-vo32iC-vobKEK-HGQWwG-E2vpLA-9ZJm89-9ZF94g-9ZFvrT-5CW5f2-pd64Hq-5D1n9h-9ZHQmG-9ZFFs2-9ZJBcS-Lcxknw-BZoZTL-psxHJf">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>In the last week of May and first week of June 2018, trade unions, governments, and employers convened at the International Labor Organization’s 107th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva to negotiate an international standard on gender-based violence. The ILO Tripartite Committee ultimately decided to move forward towards trying to adopt a convention and recommendation at the close of negotiations in 2019.&nbsp; However, the position of employers at the negotiating table remained ambivalent and the voice of multinational brands was missing.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>Despite research by the <a href="http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---actrav/documents/publication/wcms_546645.pdf">ILO</a> and others showing patterns of gender-based violence across global value chains and sectors including <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/ilc/">garment</a>, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sarah-lyons/hands-off-pants-on-time-to-end-gender-based-abuse-in-hotel-industry">hospitality</a>, <a href="http://idwfed.org/en/resources/platform-of-demands-violence-and-harassment-against-women-and-men-in-the-world-of-work/@@display-file/attachment_1">domestic work</a>, and others, only <a href="http://www.bteam.org/announcements/ilo-convention-crucial-to-ending-gender-based-violence-at-work/">a handful of corporate voices</a> have spoken out in support of a convention – most recently from <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/05/female-garment-workers-gap-hm-south-asia">Gap and H&amp;M</a>. Indeed, the move toward a convention was adopted over the objection of employers. </p> <p>Newly released research by the <a href="https://asia.floorwage.org/">Asia Floor Wage Alliance</a>, <a href="http://www.globallaborjustice.org/">Global Labor Justice</a>, and partners shows the importance of brands and employers joining with unions and governments to support a strong convention. Research findings call for brands to recognize violence and harassment and take steps to end these violations through an approach that brings worker organizations to the table. </p> <h2>The spectrum of gender-based violence at work </h2> <p>In her piece, “<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/author/cathy-feingold">From #metoo to a global convention on sexual harassment at work</a>”, Cathy Feingold, the global director for the AFL-CIO, laid out the important initiative trade unions have taken to bring gender-based violence to the top of the ILO’s agenda. Additionally, their work has negotiated a strong convention that provides a framework for trade unions, employers, and governments to each play a role in eliminating gender-based violence in the workplace, broadly defined, and to strengthen freedom of association and worker organizations in critical ways.&nbsp; </p> <p>On 25 May 2018, our global coalition of trade unions, worker rights and human rights organizations, released new, factory level research detailing gender-based violence in <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Gap-May-2018.pdf">Gap</a>, <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-HM-May-2018.pdf">H&amp;M</a>, and <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Walmart-May-2018.pdf">Walmart</a>’s Asian garment supply chains. This report provides an empirical account of the spectrum of gender-based violence and risk factors for violence that women workers face in garment supply chains. This includes findings from a new investigation of gender-based violence in <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Gap-May-2018.pdf">Gap</a>, <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-HM-May-2018.pdf">H&amp;M</a>, and <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Walmart-May-2018.pdf">Walmart</a>’s garment supply chains, conducted between January 2018 and May 2018 in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; West Java and North Jakarta, Indonesia; Bangalore, Gurgaon, and Tiruppur, India; and in Gapaha District and Vavuniya District, Sri Lanka. </p> <p>The data was collected through focus group discussions with 150 women workers from 37 different factories supplying garments to Gap, H&amp;M, and Walmart, and found that women workers are routinely subjected to a broad spectrum of violence. Our research found that women garment workers may be targets of violence on the basis of their gender, or because they are perceived as less likely or able to resist. </p> <p>In particular, one respondent’s experiences offer specific insights into the risk factors that leave women workers in garment supply chains exposed to violence. Radhika, a woman worker employed in an H&amp;M supplier factory in Bangalore, Karnataka, India reported physical abuse associated with pressure to meet production targets. Radhika described being thrown to the floor and beaten, including on her breasts:</p> <blockquote> <p>On September 27, 2017, at 12:30 pm, my batch supervisor came up behind me as I was working on the sewing machine, yelling “you are not meeting your target production.” He pulled me out of the chair and I fell on the floor. He hit me, including on my breasts. He pulled me up and then pushed me to the floor again. He kicked me.&nbsp; </p> </blockquote> <p>Radhika filed a written complaint with the human resources department at the factory. She described the meeting between herself, the supervisor, and human resources personnel:</p> <blockquote> <p>They called the supervisor to the office and said, “last month you did the same thing to another lady – haven’t you learned?” Then they told him to apologize to me. After that, they warned me not to mention this further. The supervisor and I left the meeting. I went back to work. </p> </blockquote> <p>Radhika reported that the harassment from her manager did not stop, but that she continued to work at the factory because she needs the job: “My husband passed away and I have a physically challenged daughter who cannot work. That is why I need the job. I suffer a lot to earn my livelihood.”</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">He pulled me out of the chair and I fell on the floor. He hit me, including on my breasts. He pulled me up and then pushed me to the floor again. He kicked me.</p> <p>In the H&amp;M supplier factory where Radhika worked, women are concentrated in operator roles, as line tailors and helpers in the production department – a microcosm of gendered hiring practices in garment global production networks. Across Asia, women garment workers make up the vast majority of garment workers. In Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, women workers represent between 80-95% of the garment workforce. In India, women account for between 60-75% of the garment workforce. Women rarely, however, hold management and supervisory positions.</p> <p>The experiences of gender-based violence in garment supplier factories documented in these reports are not isolated incidents. Rather, they reflect a convergence of risk factors for gender–based violence in Asian garment supply chains that leave women garment workers systematically exposed to violence. </p> <p>Our research found that risk factors for violence in garment supply chains are a by-product of how brands like Gap, H&amp;M, and Walmart do business. The structure of production in global production networks (GPNs), involving several companies across multiple countries, allows brands and retailers to dictate sourcing and production patterns while deflecting accountability for how purchasing practices drive violence, harassment, and severe violations of rights at work. </p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/rosenbaum2.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Table 1: Spectrum of gender-based violence in the garment supply chain: Gap, H&amp;M, and Walmart</p> <h2>Concentration of women workers low wage, subordinate, machine operator roles</h2> <p>Women are disproportionately impacted by patterns of violence in garment supply chains because they make up the vast majority of garment workers in Bangladesh (80%), Cambodia (90-95%), India (60-75%), Indonesia (80%), and Sri Lanka (85%).</p> <p>Despite their numerical majority within the garment sector, women workers remain within low skill level employment and rarely reach leadership positions in their factories and unions. Detailed factory profiles reveal that at the factory level, women workers are concentrated in the production department, in subordinate roles as machine operators, checkers, and helpers in production departments. </p> <p>Researchers also completed in-depth factory profiles of 13 garment supplier factories, including five factories from Bangladesh, five factories from Cambodia, and three factories from India. These factory profiles provide a demographic snapshot of the garment supply chain workforce that demonstrates the concentration of women workers in temporary, low-wage production jobs within the garment supply chain. Factory profiles also sought to understand working conditions, presence of trade unions and dispute resolution mechanisms.</p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/rosenbaum1.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Table 2: Gendered production roles in garment supply chains in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and India</p> <h2>Risk factors for gender-based violence in Asian garment supply chains</h2> <p>The experiences of gender-based violence documented in our new reports on gender-based violence in <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Gap-May-2018.pdf">Gap</a>, <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-HM-May-2018.pdf">H&amp;M</a>, and <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Walmart-May-2018.pdf">Walmart</a> garment supply chains are not isolated incidents. Rather, they reflect a convergence of risk factors for gender-based violence in supplier factories that leave women garment workers systematically exposed to violence. </p> <p>Our research sought to document working conditions that place women garment workers at routine risk of gender-based violence. For instance, researchers documented extreme pressure to complete production targets where women face routine physical violence including slapping and throwing large bundles of clothes and smaller sharp projectiles, such as scissors; and verbal abuse. Researchers also documented barriers to reporting workplace violence, including high levels of job insecurity and threats of firing among temporary workers. Finally, by completing detailed ‘day in the life’ accounts, researchers documented deprivations of liberty including being forced to work through legally mandated breaks, forced overtime, and relocation of workers between factories and buildings without prior consent. </p> <p>Risk factors in garment supply chains are a by-product of how multinational corporations do business. These risk factors stem from the structure of garment supply chains, including:</p> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>• asymmetrical relationships of power between brands and suppliers in garment supply chains; </p> <p>• brand purchasing practices driven by fast fashion trends and pressure to reduce costs; and</p> <p>• proliferation of contract labor and subcontracting practices among supplier firms. </p> </div> <p>These routine industry practices have a profound impact on Bangladeshi, Cambodian, Indian, Indonesian and Sri Lankan women workers. By analyzing cases of violence reported by women garment workers, we identified a series of risk factors for violence and barriers to accountability. </p> <p><strong>Risk factors for violence</strong></p> <ol> <li>Short term contracts</li> <li>Production targets</li> <li>Failure to pay a living wage</li> <li>Excessive hours of work</li> <li>Unsafe workplaces</li> </ol> <p><strong>Barriers to accountability</strong></p> <ol> <li>Unauthorized subcontracting</li> <li>Denial of freedom of association</li> <li>Lack of independent monitoring</li> </ol> <p>Drawing upon <a href="https://asia.floorwage.org/workersvoices">our 2016 research</a> on violations of fundamental rights at work – including structured interviews with 745 workers employed in 105 factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and India –&nbsp;our reports demonstrate that these risk factors and barriers to accountability are widespread in the Gap, H&amp;M, and Walmart garment supply chains.</p> <h2>Where do we go from here? Brands must speak out</h2> <p>The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Standard Setting Committee is now <a href="http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_631787.pdf">halfway through its important work</a>.&nbsp; In June 2019, negotiations will begin again coinciding with the hundredth anniversary of the ILO with the goal of finalizing a convention and recommendation.&nbsp; </p> <p>Action from U.S.-based multinational brands is important.&nbsp; Walmart and other brands should join H&amp;M and Gap in publicly supporting and committing to proactively implement an ILO convention and recommendation on gender-based violence that includes the recommendations from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and partners.</p> <p>H&amp;M, Gap, and Walmart should also meet with the Asia Floor Wage Women’s Leadership Committee in the next three months to discuss the supply chain findings and next steps, including proactively working with the Asia Floor Wage Alliance to pilot women’s committees in factories that aim to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination from supplier factories.</p> <p>So far there has been no direct response.&nbsp; Gap and H&amp;M have said they will engage in internal audits with their suppliers.&nbsp; Disappointingly they have not reached out to the trade unions. It is not enough to have so-called corporate social responsibility policies, which <a href="http://globalbusinessofforcedlabour.ac.uk/report/">new research</a> further shows are insufficient to alone deliver decent working conditions to women workers.&nbsp; </p> <p>Women workers and their labor organizations are uniting across borders to demand work that is free of gender-based violence, pays a living wage, and promotes women’s initiative and leadership at all levels.&nbsp; Multinational corporations are expanding global supply chain models in many sectors. But it’s not only the corporations that are going global. Intersectional movements of workers, women, migrants and others are building cross-border networks and demanding change to a system that relies on poverty wages and gender-based violence to deliver fast fashion to the U.S. and Europe at the expense of the well-being of women garment workers and their families. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/cathy-feingold/from-metoo-to-global-ban-on-sexual-harassment-at-work">From #metoo to a global convention on sexual harassment at work</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/alex-j-wood/three-lessons-labour-movement-must-learn-from-fight-for-15-at-walmart">Three lessons the labour movement must learn from the Fight for 15 at Walmart</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/elena-arengo/it-comes-with-job-how-brands-share-responsibility-for-mass-faintings-in-c">It comes with the job: how brands share responsibility for mass faintings in Cambodian garment factories</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/aaron-halegua/sexual-harassment-at-walmart-s-stores-and-suppliers-in-china">Sexual harassment at Walmart’s stores and suppliers in China</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee Jennifer Rosenbaum Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:31:59 +0000 Jennifer Rosenbaum and Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee 118545 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Is the Global Compact for Migration truly doing justice to gender? https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/dorte-thorsen/is-global-compact-for-migration-truly-doing-justice-to-gender <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Global Compact for Migration is supposed to put gender concerns front and centre, but as the negotiations draw to a close it is clear that this has not happened.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/7901852056_c869bf2a53_o.jpg" width="100%" /> <p style="margin-top: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" class="image-caption">@Kata U/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/r_id/7901852056/in/photolist-d3g4jy-78ZyWk-rn7AvF-qqymzR-qqdvsa-5YApD2-r5Hvi1-fgDmE1-rn3y77-bUdaJc-qqfZxA-nXsEfB-oYf9hr-5vCxhZ-CKST7V-qqvycz-tdiFU7-dMgXAh-csFr1d-n8ELqv-rn9NNi-rnaCq2-n8Fo4r-7JEGcG-69pHcb-jJR5V-r5LZmw-4VDfxQ-9AeSiN-5i8YQA-qqmvig-5FBigD-rnhLNz-qqvSte-5uPjMA-We9PZN-m4QfcY-StEyZQ-hDbKq3-8bFucD-rmSWve-d6TBej-ctwL97-4GGyfS-rmTuhb-pk2Gav-W67mfB-r5HnWN-5ZsWVY-EbJ7B5">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>Since April 2017 the United Nations has been working to reach a new international consensus on migration that would support its positive aspects while lessening its accompanying risks. This agreement would be split across two different documents – the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – with both planned to be complete by December 2018.</p> <p>These compacts seek to offer an innovative response to a global policy agenda item, in part by applying a human rights-based and gender-responsive lens to the issue of migration. This is both welcome and laudable. However, as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration enters its last phase of intergovernmental negotiations, with one final round of talks scheduled for 9-13 July, it is important to emphasise that there is still a long way to go to crafting a truly gender-responsive agreement. </p> <h2>What does the compact say about gender?</h2> <p>One of the ten principles guiding the objectives and actionable commitments of the draft compact is that policy and programming should be gender responsive. This principle was under-developed in the zero draft but has been strengthened significantly in the <a href="https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/sites/default/files/180326_draft_rev1_final.pdf">revised draft</a>s, the latest published on 28 May. The aim is to ensure that migrants’ human rights are respected, that their specific needs are properly addressed, and that they are empowered as agents of change. All commitments should furthermore promote gender equality and have the empowerment of women and girls at heart.</p> <p>A gender-responsive approach is a step up from simply being gender-sensitive, as it must promote changes that lead toward gender equality and equity. Gender-responsive policy-making and programming considers the specific needs of women, men, girls and boys that are not only rooted in biological/sex differences but also in socio-cultural gender differences. Since gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, faith, age, (dis)ability, migrant status, etc., individual needs are not all the same.</p> <p>Consequently, a commitment to equality implies that legislation and policy will work to ensure that all women and men, girls and boys enjoy the same rights and opportunities despite their differing needs. In the context of migration, transformative actions must enhance equal access to mobility, employment, security and protection regardless of gender while reducing unfair and discriminatory barriers that prevent access for certain groups. This includes challenging stereotypes related to masculinity and femininity, harmful norms, and practices that nourish discrimination and marginalisation.<sup><a class="footnote" href="#fn1" id="ffn1">1</a></sup> </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">A commitment to equality implies that legislation and policy will work to ensure that all women and men, girls and boys enjoy the same rights and opportunities despite their differing needs.</p> <p>Even though gender-responsiveness is a guiding principle of the compact, it is granted more importance in some commitments that in others. The draft as it stands now is biased towards advocating gender-responsiveness in commitments aimed at changing the comportment of migrants. Thus, gender equality and gender-responsive policy and programming are invoked as means to reducing the ‘need’ for international migration and to enticing migrants to use only legal pathways to migration.</p> <p>Very few of the commitments focusing on how states conduct border control, deal with irregular migrants, and manage migration invoke the importance of gender-responsiveness specifically. A general call for reviewing how policies and practices may create, exacerbate or increase gender-specific vulnerabilities for migrants was added to the first revised draft, but this reminder may not result in the mainstreaming of gender-responsiveness if it is not repeatedly and specifically invoked in each of the relevant commitments. Since then, thankfully, a more imaginative approach has begun to form that strategically supports migration policies and practices that increase equity in migration. This approach can be strengthened further.</p> <h2>Data for evidence-based policies</h2> <p>The draft compact calls for the creation of a robust evidence base. Surprisingly, the development of what this actually means has not gone beyond the collection of basic statistical data on migrant stocks and flows disaggregated by sex, age, and migration status. This is wholly inadequate from a gender-responsive lens as such data cannot illuminate how migration affects the social relations, power hierarchies and inequalities that enable some people and constrain others. Nor can they gauge how policies and programmes to support or deter migration affect migrants and their home communities. Different types of data are needed.</p> <p>Qualitative research that unpicks gender dynamics and gender specific needs where migrants live, along migration routes, and in home communities is essential. By adopting a wider focus of migration-related data, the emphasis will not solely be on the migrant but also on the socio-economic and transformative effects of migration in migrants’ home communities. Migration is an integral part of processes of social change that not only affect the migrants themselves but also those with whom they interact. Gender-sensitive data on migration must be gathered with a wide-angle lens that can see, at the very least, what it means to be a migrant, an employee, a family member, a manager of remittances, and a beneficiary back home. </p> <p>However, improved data are not enough. <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/sdg-report">UN Women’s global monitoring report</a> on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) shows that gender-sensitive data can only instigate change <em>if</em> gender-responsive policies and programmes are developed, resources are mobilised to finance implementation, and accountability is strengthened. The Global Compact for Migration does not have this transformative edge yet.</p> <h2>Curtailing international migration</h2> <p>Despite its understanding of migration as a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development throughout history, the draft compact nevertheless promotes the idea that sustainable development and peace will reduce the need to migrate. The commitments to this end are divided between concerns about development, displacement and humanitarian response. These are all areas in which gender inequality has an adverse impact on certain groups of women and girls, yet a gender-responsive approach guides only a few commitments. Tellingly, one area where gender-responsiveness is notably strong is in a list of interventions that may help curtail migration. Taken together, these signals suggest that the draft compact assumes that empowered women and girls will remain in their home countries.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Data on stocks and flows cannot illuminate how migration affects the social relations, power hierarchies and inequalities that enable some people and constrain others.</p> <p>Research demonstrates that the nexus between migration and development is not one of simple causality. Enduring poverty and marginalisation rework gender and generational dynamics and sometimes this can cause new practices to develop. In West Africa, for example, senior women increasingly bear responsibility for food security. This has led to a gradual diminution of male power that allows many more women to migrate than in previous times. In turn, it has created a follow-on dynamic in which younger women and adolescent girls travel to support their mothers and to some extent also their fathers.<sup><a class="footnote" href="#fn2" id="ffn2">2</a></sup> Norms sketching out the distribution of responsibilities between spouses, and men’s liberties to court other women, allow both married and unmarried migrant women to help with the upkeep of their families. </p> <p>Women’s contribution to their natal household nourishes gradual empowerment as their social standing in their families change. Young women also gain some control over the fruits of their labour that they did not have in the past. Inevitably these changes are not only intergenerational, they also have enduring impact on the relationships among young people, impacting on their choices of intimate partners. Other processes of change further reinforce these on-going transformations, such as schooling and the introduction to other ways of living through the media. All of these have widened the options and horizons that young people pursue. Sustainable development may decrease the need for young people to support their families materially but not their interest in gaining a different status in society. Being able to control more of their income may even increase previously marginalised groups’ participation in international migration.</p> <h2>Different pathways for migration</h2> <p>With a mandate to regulate international migration, the compact predictably emphasises the creation of legal pathways for migration and the adverse effects of irregular migration. However, the dichotomy between regular and irregular pathways is neither helpful for understanding risks and vulnerabilities nor for grasping the broader effects of contemporary legal pathways.</p> <p>Evidence from guest worker schemes, trainee and intern programmes, and other forms of targeted programmes in East Asia up through the 1990s and 2000s reveals that vulnerability can be built into legal pathways to migration. The admission of migrant workers on selective visas – visas that are short term, for a narrow range of usually poor-quality jobs, and limited by quotas – does not necessarily lead to a reduction in the exploitation of migrant workers. In some cases, states waive labour legislation or shrink migrants’ exit options by locking part of their wages into savings accounts as a condition for obtaining a work visa. In other cases, temporary schemes have opened the door for a proliferation of migration industries serving employers and the state, and for bribery that favours state officials.<sup><a class="footnote" href="#fn3" id="ffn3">3</a></sup> Data show that regardless of gender and age, migrant workers frequently solve such problems by shifting employment, even if this moves them into irregularity as well. That is a cost many are willing to pay. They do not “fall into this position” (Objective 7i) but embrace it to actively resist exploitation.</p> <p>The draft compact commits to resolve some of these problems by promoting visas that are portable; by reviewing national labour laws, employment policies and programmes; and by engaging with relevant stakeholders. These are important initiatives but they need to be designed, implemented and evaluated with gender equality front and centre to meet the commitment to gender-responsiveness.</p> <h2>Safe, orderly and regular migration</h2> <p>The vision of safe, orderly and regular migration in the compact is the antithesis of irregular migration. Thus, certain facilitators of migration – notably smugglers and ‘traffickers’ – are so strongly assumed to have exploitative and illegal intent that they have no place within a safe, orderly and regular migration framework. Recruitment agents occupy a more ambivalent position. On the one hand, they are seen as vital sources of knowledge in foreign labour markets and, on the other hand, as sources of increased costs and vulnerability to migrants. The draft compact aims to prevent the latter. However, the boundaries between the different categories of facilitators are not clear-cut; some facilitators assist in both regular and irregular migration, and authorities often sustain normative and gendered perceptions of who the victims and perpetrators are. As a result, women are frequently seen as victims of ‘trafficking’ and young men as perpetrators who are using smugglers to cross borders illegally. Yet, the commitments are proposed as gender neutral.</p> <p>There is ample evidence that all types of facilitators can play a positive role in the journeys of migrants depending on the exact context. While not all recruiters act in the best interest of migrants, there is evidence from research in Southeast Asia and North Africa that many attempt to do so. Importantly, the context in which they operate is different depending on the gender of the migrant. For Indonesian women, recruiters have been found to facilitate domestic work in Singapore without upfront payment. They do this by creating a debt relationship between the employer and the employee, in which recruiters operate as guarantors. Employers thus pay the flight and visa fees against an agreement of being reimbursed by wage reductions for six to eight months. Men who go through recruiters, meanwhile, must usually pay fees and airfares upfront, often through borrowing money. These different types of debt relations often work to restrict the freedom of male and female migrants in different ways,<sup><a class="footnote" href="#fn4" id="ffn4">4</a></sup> and when things go wrong the recruitment agency is often one of the few actors to whom the migrant can turn for help. In some settings, recruiters have been known to help recuperate confiscated passports and withheld wages, for example, while in others they have covered costs of airfares initially paid by the employer. <sup><a class="footnote" href="#fn5" id="ffn5">5</a></sup></p> <p>Ample evidence from border zones around the world further show that migration facilitation is not the sole province of organised crime. While many migrants are indeed subject to extortion or deceit along their journeys, this evidence highlights the diversity of actors operating along the border as well as the moral aspects involved in facilitating international migration and work. Some assist undocumented border crossings out of solidarity and a concern for migrants’ well-being; others do so almost as casual workers to tide over income gaps. All motivations are situated within settings of gendered structural marginalisation pertaining to migrant status, the ability to find work and persistent stereotypes about race and gender.</p> <p>A gender-responsive approach to policies and programmes aimed at creating safe pathways to regular migration must have integrated, multi-sectoral strategies for implementing gender equality targets, as well as for creating equity across labour market, immigration, health and welfare policy and practice. It must also consider plausible exit options for both male and female migrants that maintain their status as migrants, so that migrants retain the ability to help themselves without leaping out of the pan and into the fire.</p> <style><!-- #footnotes.li {margin-bottom:10px;} --></style> <ol id="footnotes"> <li id="fn1">UN Women 2018. <em>Turning promises into action: gender equality in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development</em>. New York: UN Women, <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/sdg-report">http://www.unwomen.org/sdg-report</a>. <p>WHO 2009. _Integrating gender into HIV/AIDS programmes in the health sector: tool to improve responsiveness to women's needs,&nbsp;_Geneva, World Health Organization, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK143049/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK143049.pdf">https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK143049/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK143049.pdf</a> <a href="#ffn1">↩</a></p> </li> <li id="fn2">Buchbinder, L. 2013. After trafficking: Togolese girls’ orientations to life in a West African city. <em>Cultural Dynamics,</em> 25<strong>,</strong> 141-164. <p>Darkwah, A. K., Awumbila, M. &amp; Teye, J. K. 2016. Of local places and local people: Understanding migration in peripheral capitalist outposts. Brighton: Migrating out of Poverty Research Consortium.</p> <p>Jacquemin, M. Y. 2009. "Petites nièces" et "petites bonnes" à Abidjan. Les mutations de la domesticité juvénile. <em>Travail, genre et sociétés</em><strong>,</strong> 53-74.</p> <p>Lesclingand, M. &amp; Hertrich, V. 2017. Quand les filles donnent le ton. Migrations adolescentes au Mali. <em>Population,</em> 72<strong>,</strong> 63-93.</p> <p>Thorsen, D. &amp; Jacquemin, M. 2015. Temporalités, savoir-faire et modes d’action des enfants travailleurs migrants au sein de la parenté élargie en Afrique de l'Ouest. <em>Canadian Journal of African Studies/ La Revue canadienne des études africaines,</em> 49<strong>,</strong> 285-299.</p> <p>Whitehead, A. 2002. Tracking livelihood change: Theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives from north-east Ghana. <em>Journal of Southern African Studies,</em> 28<strong>,</strong> 575-598. <a href="#ffn2">↩</a></p> </li> <li id="fn3">Spaan, E. &amp; Hillmann, F. 2013. Migrations trajectories and the migration industry. Theoretical reflections and empirical examples from Asia. <em>In:</em> Gammeltoft-Hansen, T. &amp; Sørensen, N. N. (eds.) <em>The migration industry and the commercialization of international migration.</em> London and New York: Routledge. <p>Surak, K. 2013. The migration industry and developmental states in East Asia. <em>In:</em> Gammeltoft-Hansen, T. &amp; Sørensen, N. N. (eds.) <em>The migration industry and the commercialization of international migration.</em> London and New York: Routledge. <a href="#ffn3">↩</a></p> </li> <li id="fn4">Khoo, C. Y., Platt, M. &amp; Yeoh, B. S. A. 2017. Who Migrates? Tracking Gendered Access to Migration Within Households “In Flux” Across Time. <em>Journal of Immigrant &amp; Refugee Studies,</em> 15<strong>,</strong> 326-343. <p>Platt, M., Baey, G., Yeoh, B. S. A., Khoo, C. Y. &amp; Lam, T. 2017. Debt, precarity and gender: male and female temporary labour migrants in Singapore. <em>Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies,</em> 43<strong>,</strong> 119-136. <a href="#ffn4">↩</a></p> </li> <li id="fn5">Goh, C., Wee, K. &amp; Yeoh, B. S. A. 2016. Who’s holding the bomb? Debt-financed migration in Singapore’s domestic work industry. Brighton: Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme Consortium. <a href="#ffn5">↩︎</a></li> </ol><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/cameron-thibos-stacy-topouzova/global-compacts-detention-centres-and-safe-passage-can-">Global compacts, detention centres, and safe passage: can the world change course on migration?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/safepassages/cameron-thibos-michele-klein-solomon/interview-is-rights-based-good-migration-governan">Interview: is rights-based ‘good migration governance’ possible?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/safepassages/sarnata-reynolds/interview-making-global-compacts-on-migrants-and-refugees-worthwhile">Interview: making the global compacts on migrants and refugees worthwhile</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/safepassages/cameron-thibos-jenna-holliday/interview-dangerous-invisibility-of-women-migrants">Interview: the dangerous invisibility of women migrants</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/safepassages/cameron-thibos-sarowat-binte-islam/leaving-home-to-become-domestic-worker">Leaving home to become a domestic worker</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/jane-freedman/who%E2%80%99s-responsible-for-violence-against-migrant-women">Who’s responsible for violence against migrant women?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sine-plambech/drowning-mothers">Drowning mothers</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Dorte Thorsen Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Dorte Thorsen 118335 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Sexual harassment at Walmart’s stores and suppliers in China https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/aaron-halegua/sexual-harassment-at-walmart-s-stores-and-suppliers-in-china <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Neither CSR nor local laws are protecting the workers in Walmart’s supplier factories from exploitation and gender-based violence. We need an instrument with more teeth.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/2296786324_f0ba880fd8_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">A condom display in a Tianjin Wal-Mart. Matthew Stinson/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/portablematthew/2296786324/in/photolist-4uXCyd-2i5JKZ-7GvRza-4go1vt-9NJ4fy-2XSpy-bfs4U-ekC8wo-4tbEGB-dV3fhG-6cowsR-4h56EA-6inoY8-6hVLE7-ko8Wj-ko9ih-6hVKuQ-22cmL6Q-219NQxG-22cmKBo-219NRt9-MTg3om-ko8Ls-5XLWy6-5XM1gg-4DmvLu-b7XfZ-ZHjhqu-31H1q-219NT3G-8shQQh-5gFpEu-vZGUJ-4tbBUg-7gmdgb-8wFAT9-2GyqeJ-3VhLMy-22cmKhf-7j5G5Y-219NS4s-6inoHH-6cot6a-219NSY3-6csELh-5XLVb4-4oXytU-4oXynW-ToKTGq-22cmH2U">CC (by-nc)</a></p> <p>A coalition of labor groups, including <a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/">Global Labor Justice</a> and the <a href="http://www.asiafloorwage.org/">Asian Floor Wage Alliance</a>, issued a report last month documenting extensive sexual violence and harassment at Walmart apparel supplier factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Indonesia. In the study, ‘<a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Walmart-25-May-2018.pdf">Gender Based Violence in the Walmart Garment Supply Chain</a>’, women also reported retaliation when they refused sexual advances or complained about the mistreatment. The findings are based on interviews with 250 workers in 60 factories over a six year period.</p> <p>But what about labor conditions in the world’s <em>largest</em> exporter of apparel and countless other manufactured goods – China? Unfortunately, Walmart’s track record in that country is not much better.</p> <p>Reports of labor abuses at Walmart’s over 6,000 Chinese suppliers have persisted for well over a decade. For instance, a <em><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2004/02/08/chinese-workers-pay-for-wal-marts-low-prices/54d72114-6919-4eca-a950-d6f2032efda6/?utm_term=.8f8b3daeef7b">Washington Post</a></em> story from 2004 noted child labor and excessive overtime at these factories. A 2006 <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/business/worldbusiness/05sweatshop.html">investigation</a> into a factory producing Christmas tree ornaments for Walmart found hundreds of high school students working seven days a week, fifteen hours a day in noisy spaces lacking air-conditioning for as little as $110 per month.</p> <p>Labor problems still persist today. China Labor Watch’s 2016 investigation of <a href="http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/report/122">toy factories</a> producing for Walmart revealed illegal levels of overtime, illegally low wages, and unsafe, toxic working conditions. The same group’s <a href="http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/report/123">2017 report</a> on a kitchen appliance manufacturer that sells to Walmart alleges horrific abuses of college student employees that likely amount to forced labor – namely, withholding their identification documents and threatening to withhold wages if they leave. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">A 2016 investigation of toy factories producing for Walmart revealed illegal levels of overtime, illegally low wages, and unsafe, toxic working conditions.</p> <p>About one year ago, an American woman found a handwritten note in the purse she bought at an Arizona Walmart, which stated that the <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/05/02/mystery-note-jacket-may-point-china-worker-abuse/101219820/">Chinese prison inmate</a> who made the item worked 14-hour days and was subject to beatings. In response, a Walmart spokesperson <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/05/02/mystery-note-jacket-may-point-china-worker-abuse/101219820/">acknowledged</a> that finding “qualified suppliers who uphold our standards” remains a “significant challenge”, even after a decade of codes of conduct, third-party audits, and monitoring programs.</p> <h2>GBV in Chinese manufacturing</h2> <p>The “<a href="https://www.globallaborjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GBV-Walmart-25-May-2018.pdf">Gender Based Violence in the Walmart Garment Supply Chain</a>” report’s thorough investigation of this issue in a single company’s supply chain across multiple countries is unprecedented. No similar research into the prevalence of sexual violence and harassment at Walmart’s suppliers in China has been performed. Some groups, however, have examined China’s manufacturing sector more generally. A <a href="http://www.clb.org.hk/sites/default/files/archive/en/Image/research_report/sexual%20harassment%20survey%20sunflower%20centre.pdf">2013 survey</a> of 134 female factory workers in Guangzhou found that 70% of respondents reported experiencing “annoying whistling, shouts and lewd jokes,” 66% received “offensive comments about the body or appearance,” and 32% encountered “annoying touching” – causing 15% of respondents to leave their jobs.</p> <p>As the #MeToo movement engrossed China earlier this year, a female <a href="https://supchina.com/2018/01/26/i-am-a-woman-worker-at-foxconn-demand-system-opposes-sexual-harassment/">Foxconn employee</a> reported that the aforementioned behaviors are “prevalent” in her workplace and create a “sexual harassment culture.” For a <a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2142703/why-chinese-women-dont-speak-out-about-sexual-harassment">variety of reasons</a>, including career concerns and a fear of being ridiculed, many Chinese sexual harassment victims never come forward. However, <a href="http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/what-significance-of-chinas-metoo-movement">as I have written elsewhere</a>, even those willing to take legal action rarely prevail in China’s court system. In light of the above, and given the breadth of Walmart’s supply chain in China, it would be quite a shock if its supplier factories were somehow free of sexual harassment incidents.</p> <p>In addition to being an enormous purchaser of Chinese goods, Walmart has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/world/asia/across-china-walmart-faces-labor-unrest-as-authorities-stand-aside.html">400 retail stores</a> and over 100,000 employees in China. As an employer, Walmart has also been criticized for problems involving low wages, sexual harassment, and freedom of association. In terms of pay, while salaries for Walmart employees were initially quite competitive, the <em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/world/asia/across-china-walmart-faces-labor-unrest-as-authorities-stand-aside.html">New York Times</a> </em>reports that they now hover around the minimum wage, which is about $300 per month in some Chinese cities. As for sexual harassment, in 2012, female employees at a Nanjing store <a href="http://search.chinalaborlaw.com/case/AVdCCLDFNgDRCAkPwzBQ">complained</a> of a male employee who would rub his cheek against theirs, touch them on the shoulders, and text inappropriate messages. In that instance, to Walmart’s credit, the male employee was terminated for his actions. Yet, in other instances, female employees who complained of being inappropriately touched by store patrons were essentially ignored by managers, who told the workers that “<a href="http://www.szhgh.com/Article/gnzs/worker/2017-11-06/152197.html">the customer is always right</a>.”</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Female employees who complained of being inappropriately touched by store patrons were essentially ignored by managers, who told the workers that “the customer is always right.”</p> <p>Turning to the issue of worker representation, back in 2006, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions compelled Walmart to establish trade union branches in its stores; but these state-dominated unions did little to promote worker interests. As a <a href="http://www.clb.org.hk/sites/default/files/Walmart%20report%20Final.pdf">China Labour Bulletin report</a> details, over the last decade, Walmart employees have strived to establish independent organizations that represent and advocate for workers, but the company has consistently thwarted these efforts and retaliated against the most vocal workers. </p> <p>In 2016, Walmart’s decision to impose a new flexible hour working system, which would effectively deprive certain workers of overtime pay, set off employee protests, including a series of four strikes in four days. As noted by <a href="http://www.labornotes.org/2016/07/china-walmart-retail-workers-walk-out-over-unfair-scheduling">Kevin Lin</a>, an authority on Chinese labor issues, this mobilization was remarkable because labor organizing and coordination across workplaces and regions is very rare in China. Yet, once again, Walmart has worked to squelch this campaign, with the <em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/world/asia/across-china-walmart-faces-labor-unrest-as-authorities-stand-aside.html">New York Times</a> </em>reporting that the most vocal workers have been denied raises, reassigned, or even fired. The retaliatory measures have also included <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/world/asia/across-china-walmart-faces-labor-unrest-as-authorities-stand-aside.html">acts of sexual harassment</a>, including a supervisor photographing an outspoken female employee while she used the bathroom. Another female employee who protested the new policy experienced a <a href="http://www.szhgh.com/Article/gnzs/worker/2017-11-06/152197.html">barrage of posts</a> to a WeChat group comprised of many Walmart coworkers that alleged she had an inappropriate sexual relationship.</p> <p>The Global Labor Justice report, after documenting extensive abuse at Walmart suppliers, calls upon the International Labor Organization to adopt a convention addressing gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace, including specific measures to be taken by national governments and multinational corporations. The experience of Walmart in China only supports the need for such an instrument. Until now, neither the company’s corporate social responsibility programs nor domestic laws and policies have proven sufficient to protect Chinese workers from sexual harassment or other labor abuses.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/peter-bengsten/hidden-in-plain-sight-forced-labour-constructing-china">Hidden in plain sight: forced labour constructing China</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/ilc/jenny-chan-olga-martin-ortega/apple-way-to-make-products-response-to-apple-s-10th-supp">The Apple way to make products: a response to Apple’s 10th ‘supplier responsibility progress report’</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joanne-bauer/problem-with-corporate-social-responsibility">The problem with corporate social responsibility</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/genevieve-lebaron-neil-howard-cameron-thibos-penelope-kyritsis/confronting-root-caus-3">Confronting the root causes of forced labour: limited labour protection</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/penelope-kyritsis-anannya-bhattacharjee/david-and-goliath-in-global-supply-chains">The David and Goliath struggle in global supply chains</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Aaron Halegua Wed, 13 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Aaron Halegua 118292 at https://www.opendemocracy.net It comes with the job: how brands share responsibility for mass faintings in Cambodian garment factories https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/elena-arengo/it-comes-with-job-how-brands-share-responsibility-for-mass-faintings-in-c <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The people making clothes for export in Cambodia are fainting at their posts. Why?</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/16254115719_58d80ebb08_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">A garment factory in Cambodia. ILO in Asia and the Pacific/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/iloasiapacific/16254115719/in/photolist-qLjAjt-ccA7xS-q6LEbJ-r3Go1y-r3GmQs-q6LCzN-qLdE4L-cGVHWW-q6Zcng-r3GmFj-r3GmUA-cGVHQ5-r3C8WZ-qLcm4s-r3MbJZ-r3McnT-qLcnzJ-qLmnMi-qLdDWG-r1u4Ud-qLmo5x-qLckMf-r3Mdok-q6ZbAM-r1u4Zo-r3C87c-qLdFxN-qLjAyX-q6Zc6p-r3MdHP-q6LEkS-qLdFcC-r3Md3k-v3gmE7-vYDN67-vZhgoe-QJCuBg-vWXW2N-Qvyzvs-Qvyz7G-QJCuWz-QJCv9D-qLjAYp-vZFjZH-vGMCeR-vYDPe9-vZFkii-v3gmLu-vGEGmo-vWXWzm">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>On 28 May, once again, a factory in Cambodia was the scene of a now sadly familiar episode: more than 100 workers – the majority women – <a href="https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/more-100-workers-collapse-kandal-factory-mass-faintings?">fainted at the Starite Company in Kandal province</a>. The Chinese-owned facility, which has been operating for less than a year, employs about 1000 workers and produces bags for the U&amp;O brand.</p> <p>Incidents of mass fainting in factories have been <a href="https://cleanclothes.org/resources/national-cccs/shop-til-they-drop">alarmingly frequent</a> in Cambodia’s economically vital apparel and footwear industry in recent years. In 2017, the Cambodian National Social Security Fund <a href="http://www.nssf.gov.kh/default/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Binder1.pdf">reported</a> that some 1,603 workers had fainted while working. Other widespread incidents of mass fainting in export factories occurred in 2011, 2012 and from 2014 to 2016. The sector, which employs over 700,000 workers, 90% of whom are women, is the country’s number one export industry. Major apparel and footwear brands from Europe and the US source their products from Cambodian suppliers, largely motivated by the low cost of labour.</p> <p>Factory owners have tended to attribute the mass faintings to external causes, including chemical fumes from pesticides on nearby farms. <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-28/mass-faintings-at-cambodian-factory/3605194">One such incident</a> that occurred at the Hung Wah Cambodia Garment Manufacturing factory in Phnom Penh in 2011, in which 236 workers fainted, was attributed by provincial police to chemicals used “to prevent cockroaches from eating garments”. <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/business-14897130">In other past incidents</a>, factory managers have characterised fainting as “mass hysteria”, suggesting that panic grips the other workers when one worker falls ill. On other occasions, the faintings have been flat out denied. After 100 workers at a garment factory producing for H&amp;M were hospitalised in October 2011, in what workers and union representatives described as a mass fainting, a spokeswoman for the brand <a href="https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/stories-vary-latest-mass-fainting-incident">initially stated</a> that no fainting had occurred. Rather, “workers felt stressed after unfamiliar sounds from an exhaust fan.” She later clarified, saying “it seems to be mass sickness, rather than mass fainting, since workers reported to have felt weak, dizzy and nauseous”.</p> <h2>What happened at Starite</h2> <p>Cambodian labour rights groups point to harsh factory conditions as the main factor for workers fainting at their work stations. The <a href="http://www.central-cambodia.org/">Centre for the Alliance of Labor and Human Rights</a> (CENTRAL) – a 2018 recipient of the International Labor Rights Forum’s Labor Rights Defender Award – has been systematically tracking, documenting and investigating incidents of mass fainting at apparel and footwear factories, and advocating for the rights of the workers affected.</p> <p>Members of CENTRAL recently met with nearly 60 of the workers who fainted at the Starite factory to interview them about what happened. In their accounts, the temperature at the factory was extremely high, and that the facility was lacking in mechanical ventilation, relying only on windows for fresh air.</p> <p>In addition to oppressively hot working conditions, labour rights advocates have also pointed to worker exhaustion from excessive overtime and demanding work quotas, as well as poor nutrition stemming from low wages, as causes for mass faintings. Some companies have gone on the record as, at least partially, agreeing with this analysis. After the 2011 fainting in the Hung Wah factory – the third major incident that year – <a href="applewebdata://B8C05FB4-440D-4790-9EFD-922C786F2D1A/%28https:/opendevelopmentcambodia.net/news/police-prove-mass-fainting-at-phnom-penh-garment-factory/">an executive from Puma pointed to</a> “excessive hours of work as well as multiple health and safety violations stemming from inadequate health and safety management systems”, as an explanation for the occurrence. The factory was temporarily closed in order for the workers to have “an opportunity to relax.”</p> <h2>Who’s responsible: the factory or the brand?</h2> <p>One aspect that often gets overlooked in the analysis of the root causes of mass fainting is the complicity of the brands themselves in creating the conditions for excessive overtime, unreasonable production targets and deadlines, and poverty wages. They do this through their own business and purchasing practices, yet because of the buffers between them and their suppliers they are nearly always able to displace blame elsewhere. </p> <p><a href="http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---travail/documents/publication/wcms_556336.pdf">A study conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO)</a> last year found that purchasing practices by brands in supply chain industries – and especially in the textile, apparel and footwear industry – had direct, negative impacts on working conditions and workers’ rights in factories. These root causes of poor working conditions include short lead times for orders; last-minute changes in product specifications; unilateral requirements for supplier compliance with social and labour standards; and, most significantly, the ‘price squeeze’, or the prices paid by brands to suppliers that are too low to even cover production costs. The labour rights violations that result from suppliers adapting to these demands include poverty wages; poor health and safety conditions; irregular working hours; excessive and mandatory overtime; unrealistic performance targets; harassment and abuse by management; and lack of investment in training and proper equipment. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Prices paid by brands to suppliers are frequently are too low to even cover production costs.</p> <p>For example, more than 50% of the factories surveyed by the ILO in the textile, apparel and footwear industry were providing products to brands at prices below their costs of production. At the same time, only one out of four buyers were reported to be willing to make adjustments in their prices in order to increase the minimum wage paid to workers. It is no surprise, therefore, that workers <a href="https://cleanclothes.org/resources/national-cccs/shop-til-they-drop">cannot afford to buy sufficient food to meet nutritional requirements</a> when the minimum wage in Cambodia (the equivalent of U$170 a month) does not cover basic needs. </p> <p>The ILO study also traced excessive overtime back to brands’ purchasing practices, such as unclear product specifications from brands and insufficient order lead times. Almost 60% of the suppliers surveyed by the ILO identified the short lead times as a direct cause of overtime. In 2012, the ILO’s Better Factories programme found that 86% of factories in Cambodia were in violation of overtime limits. <a href="https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/03/11/work-faster-or-get-out/labor-rights-abuses-cambodias-garment-industry">Human Rights Watch reported</a> that workers were performing overtime far exceeding 12 hours a week, and that employers threatened them with dismissal or contract non-renewal if they sought exemption from overtime. At the same time, pressure to meet excessively demanding production targets prevented workers from taking bathroom breaks, drinking water, and resting. Many workers report being subjected to verbal harassment and abuse, and even physically intimidated if they are considered to be working too “slow.”</p> <p>Short-term contracts – common for workers in Cambodian apparel factories – are also a significant source of stress for workers. Short-term contracts and temporary work are often suppliers’ ways of dealing with brands’ fluctuating and unpredictable orders and peak-time production requirements. They are also an employer strategy for undermining trade unionism. </p> <p>The current political context in Cambodia is hostile to workers. The government has shut down democratic space, outlawing opposition and independent civil society organisations. The current Trade Union Law puts significant restrictions on workers’ right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Representative trade unions are blocked from registering and from acquiring the majority representative status required to be able to bargain collectively, for example for higher wages and improved conditions in workplaces. Conflicts at the factory level remain unresolved, as worker access to the independent Arbitration Council has also been restricted.</p> <p>Some brands sourcing from Cambodia <a href="https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/apparel-groups-including-hm-and-gap-urge-cambodia-garment-industry-reform-seek-meeting-hun">have expressed</a> their concern to the government about these alarming developments. But, in addition to pressing the government to restore full democracy and freedom of association, the brands themselves need to examine and change their own business practices that are contributing to poor working conditions and poverty wages for the workers who make their products. These conditions, workers’ advocates say, are the real root cause of the mass faintings.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/penelope-kyritsis/no-loopholes-no-exceptions">No loopholes, no exceptions</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/benjamin-harkins/changing-conversation-on-labour-migration-in-southeast-asia">Changing the conversation on labour migration in Southeast Asia</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/erin-o-brien-helen-berents/playing-games-with-child-trafficking-in-india">Playing games with child trafficking in India</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/caroline-robinson-sam-okyere/let-market-decide-ultimate-cop-out-in-fight-against-labou">&#039;Let the market decide&#039;: the ultimate cop-out in the fight against labour exploitation</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Elena Arengo Tue, 12 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Elena Arengo 118349 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Three lessons the labour movement must learn from the Fight for 15 at Walmart https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alex-j-wood/three-lessons-labour-movement-must-learn-from-fight-for-15-at-walmart <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Social media, the power of reputational damage, and effective communications are powerful tools for trade union organising.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/6278197326_ab1b1908f4_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">An OUR Walmart demonstration in 2011 outside the Walmart Home Office in Bentonville, Ark. Marc F. Henning/OUR Walmart/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ourwalmart/6278197326/in/photolist-ayMpku-qe3F3v-D5qk8-qecJkS-aYpCJF-pWQMLx-pWGZt9-qecF6W-qeg2y6-qeg6mX-pWFSmU-pWPz2t-phgN1m-qecGzh-qe5Q9P-ayJH7i-pWGb3W-ayJHgc-ayJJiv-ph4r8d-ayMq1h-ayJGQR-qe5ZhP-qbYBNL-ayJGLV-ayJGNk-qeg5bv-pWMcYZ-ayMpym-pWFZQw-pWHacC-phvjTB-phv4hr-phvdzV-qeg8GD-qbYCsb-qefTjR-phgUwN-ayMphb-ayJFKp-pgWgjE-qecKc1-qefYAn-pWGTi3-pWG4f7-ayJHbB-ayJGxx-qe5T34-bvknXN-pWCy9X">CC (by-nc)</a></p> <p>Across Europe trade union strength is diminishing. In many countries union membership is falling. Even where membership and collective bargaining appear robust this is mainly due to legal supports rather than unions’ retaining structural power. Sectoral agreements are being hollowed out and the problem for unions is structural. Union power in Western Europe was at its height in the 1960s – a period marked by large-scale industrial production and Keynesian economic policy. Since the 1970s new information, communication and transportation technologies have enabled networked forms of production, distribution and finance to develop in which product markets, corporate ownership and labour process are internationalised. In combination, these processes seriously undermine the possibility for effective formal collective bargaining in many sectors. </p> <p>If unions in the twenty-first century are to remain relevant, they must embrace what is an ever more connected and networked world. The Fight for 15 movement in the United States provides an illuminating example of some ways in which the internet can benefit organised labour. Below I discuss three lessons which UK trade unions should take from the early stages of the low-wage worker movement which shaped the ‘Fight for $15 an hour’. This mobilisation can be traced to the founding of the Organisation United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). OUR Walmart was founded as an independent worker association in 2011 by the United Food and Commercial Workers’ (UFCW) union, a union with a broad membership of more than 1.3 million across the retail, food processing and meat packing industries. This article draws on six weeks spent participating in the campaign in California and 43 interviews with workers and union officials (for a more academic account of this work see ‘<a href="mailto:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/irj.12103">Networks of injustice and worker mobilisation at Walmart</a>’ in <em>Industrial Relations Journal</em>).</p> <p>At the beginning of this decade the retailer Walmart was the world’s largest private sector employer with a global workforce of 2.2 million, 1.4 million of whom are hourly paid workers in the United States. Walmart was also renowned for its hostility to organised labour and its ability to defeat unionisation attempts. However, the UFCW had identified small numbers of workers at a number of stores who were fed up with their low pay and hours, and the prevalent managerial abuse which they routinely faced, and were open to a collective attempt at improving working conditions. With the unionised retail sector coming under pressure from the growth of Walmart, the UFCW decided to try something radical: instead of running a traditional union organising campaign aimed at collective bargaining recognition, the union would support workers in forming an independent organisation with the aim of pressurising Walmart to raise labour standards. The campaign was surprisingly successful. Walmart increased starting pay to $10 per hour in its wake, improving the pay of over 500,000 workers, and in addition the local minimum wages was raised in a number of jurisdictions. </p> <h2>Lesson 1. The transformative potential of social media for participatory organisation</h2> <p>Social media was crucial in enabling the existence of OUR Walmart. It provided a discursive space in which workers could interact and discuss their working lives, and in doing so they were able to develop new understandings of their situation. Walmart’s extreme hostility to unions made the existence of this space outside of the workplace crucial. Walmart not only expelled union organisers from stores but also operated a workplace regime of surveillance and fear. Workers faced high levels of monitoring and the threat of being punished if caught talking about unions or collective organisation. This made it extremely difficult for workers to discuss their grievances face-to-face with each other or with union organisers. The importance of social media in framing working conditions as unjust is illustrated by Facebook posts such as:</p> <blockquote> <p>23 April 2013</p><br /> <p><em>You have to be kidding. That’s 1,000 times what an average Walmart Associate makes</em> . . . [link]</p><br /> <p>Walmart CEO’s pay jumps 14.1 percent to $20.7 million</p><br /> <p>130 likes, 97 comments, 512 shares</p> </blockquote> <p>As a consequence of the fear of retaliation, those brave enough to join OUR Walmart ended up being a small number in each store and were thus dispersed across the company’s numerous different stores and/or different shifts. Social media provided workers with the opportunity to overcome this fragmentation and connect with each other and with union organisers. Through engaging in discussions over Facebook, workers were able to learn of similarities in their experiences and provide each other with practical and emotional support. In doing so they fostered identification with each other’s situation and interests. Akira, a recently terminated worker who was working as an organiser, explained this process particularly clearly: </p> <blockquote> <p>It is basically an outlet for, not only, frustration but also networking . . . seeing . . . what Walmart is doing now to other associates and comparing our similarities . . . just being there for one another so you know that you’re not the only one going through what you’re going through and spreading the word about trying to change Walmart and get others to join in. </p> </blockquote> <p>Tim, a worker in his late 20s, explained how realising that their sense of injustice was shared by others had a profound inspirational effect: </p> <blockquote> <p>You’re used to dealing with your individual store and then when you see it is nationwide and you’re talking to other people—it kinda blows your mind away. A lot of workers think that the problems they are experiencing are just this store or it’s just that manager, but everything else is great. </p> </blockquote> <p>A sense of group identity was further fostered visually by the uploading of videos on Facebook and YouTube of speeches by charismatic leaders and totemic actions. Importantly these connections were possible despite the network being geographically dispersed across a vast country. Bill, a senior UFCW official, explained how social media massively expanded worker communication and interaction: </p> <blockquote> <p>It’s been transformative . . . there’s thousands of conversations happening every day amongst members of OUR Walmart ... this campaign wouldn’t have been possible five years ago . . . it breaks down the barriers. </p> </blockquote> <p>OUR Walmart also made use of other internet-based forms of communication such as online video conference calls and voting apps. These online tools enabled workers from across the country to link together and discuss major issues, provide feedback and make decisions. By using a range of internet tools the mobilisation was able to take a novel participatory organisational form independent of the union.</p> <h2>Lesson 2. expansive solidarity and the power of reputational damage</h2> <p>A further advantage of social media is that it does not entail rigid organisational or communicative boundaries. In the case of OUR Walmart this enabled an expansive form of solidarity to develop in which community and church groups, as well as other low-paid workers and labour unions and advocates could easily connect to the mobilisation without themselves needing to be formal members of OUR Walmart. For example, social media enabled traditional and self-generated coverage of these actions to be widely disseminated. OUR Walmart claims there were over 300,000 posts on Facebook and 60,000 tweets on Twitter regarding their 2012 ‘Black Friday’ strike. Facebook ‘Events’ facilitated spreading the word about the dozens of disparate but simultaneous actions which workers undertook as part of the campaign and meant that significant solidarity was mobilised both physically and financially. For example, the sheriff’s department reported that at the main 2012 Los Angeles demonstration, there were around 1,000 supporters.</p> <p>The interconnection provided by social media enabled the amplification, coordination and aggregation of dozens of small disparate simultaneous actions. In sum this provided workers with a new form of collective voice: reputational damage. As two union organisers explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>Our goal is not to go to election and then [legally] represent but to get Walmart to publicly commit to certain standards <em>– Jenny, union organiser</em> </p><br /> <p>We are much more about taking direct action... and doing something about it now rather than waiting for the law [i.e. holding union certification elections] to do something <em>– Ali (union organiser)</em> </p> </blockquote> <p>The force multiplier effect of social media meant that a relatively small number of workers were able to cause significant reputational damage to Walmart. For example, the 2012 ‘Black Friday’ strike only involved around 600 workers out of a workforce of over a million. Nevertheless, working conditions at Walmart gained a significant level of media coverage. For example, during November 2011, the only coverage relating to working conditions at Walmart in the New York Times amounted to just 57 words in one article, whereas during November 2012, there were 2,089 words across six articles. According to a senior UFCW official, the print and website coverage generated by OUR Walmart alone was equivalent to $24 million of advertisements in 2012 and $31 million in 2013. As Michael Bender, president of Walmart West, put it: </p> <blockquote> <p>the media coverage created the illusion that Walmart’s associates were protesting instead of serving customers.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Lesson 3. Don’t bureaucratise communication but be aware of surveillance</h2> <p>Key to this mobilisation was the fact that the union did not attempt to use social media in a traditional hierarchical manner based around vertical downwards communication. Instead, the union acted as a facilitator of network participation, seeking to increase the bottom-up communication. Network forms of organisation do not require total autonomy but rather an orchestrator which can provide strategic oversight. This means that the orchestrator union must not attempt to bureaucratise communication and instead limit itself to allowing the quick and easy sharing of information across the network.</p> <p>OUR Walmart demonstrates how, despite the union being necessarily bureaucratic, it was still possible for it to engage with networks in a horizontal manner. &nbsp;Although the UFCW played a vital role in the decision making of the mobilisation, it did not do so in a bureaucratic manner. Instead, the network’s meetings, whether online or in person, were run in a participative manner, departing from the formal process-heavy manner typical of union meetings. Union organisers played the role of facilitators, actively seeking out workers’ views and encouraging participation. The result was that membership was experienced as empowering and workers felt ownership of OUR Walmart and the decisions it made. </p> <p>Another important role for unions is in providing workers’ protection from the risks entailed by such campaigning. For despite the potential of social media to renew the labour movement, the internet is not a neutral space; its infrastructure, especially social media platforms, is largely shaped by a corporate logic which can enable surveillance. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-walmart-union-surveillance/">Walmart hired Lockheed-Martin to analyse social media data</a> during the OUR Walmart campaign with many worker activists consequently being fired. Unions then must not only make greater use the internet but must also to take on a greater role in fighting for <a href="https://datajusticelab.org/">data justice</a>. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/antonia-bance/working-lives-of-under-30s-show-future-of-work-for-us-all">The working lives of the under-30s show the future of work for us all</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ANTONIA BANCE</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/abigail-hunt/back-to-future-women-s-work-and-gig-economy">Back to the future: women’s work and the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ABIGAIL HUNT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/jane-mansour/falling-through-gaps-insecure-work-and-social-safety-net">Falling through the gaps: insecure work and the social safety net</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANE MANSOUR</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sebastien-flais/new-unions-old-laws-why-flexibility-is-key-in-gig-economy">New unions, old laws: why flexibility is key in the ‘gig economy’</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">SEBASTIEN FLAIS</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/adam-fishwick/organising-against-gig-economy-lessons-from-latin-america">Organising against the gig economy: lessons from Latin America?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ADAM FISHWICK</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/becky-wright/gig/changing-world-of-work-and-trade-union-movement-s-response">The changing world of work and the trade union movement’s response</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">BECKY WRIGHT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-two">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part two</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/janine-berg-valerio-de-stefano/gig/it-s-time-to-regulate-gig-economy">It’s time to regulate the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANINE BERG<br />VALERIO DE STEFANO</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-one">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part one</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alex-j-wood/trade-unions-internet-and-surviving-gig-economy">Trade unions, the internet, and surviving the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALEX J. WOOD</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/daniel-tomlinson/it-s-not-gig-economy-stupid">It’s not the gig economy, stupid.</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">DANIEL TOMLINSON</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alice-martin/gig/crisis-of-control-what-should-on-demand-workforce-be-demanding">A crisis of control: what should the on-demand workforce be demanding?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALICE MARTIN</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/gig/same-as-it-ever-was-labour-rights-and-worker-organisation-in-modern-economy">Same as it ever was? Labour rights and worker organisation in the modern economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">TOM HUNT</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/building-up-bundle-of-sticks-new-ideas-for-union-organising">Building up the bundle of sticks: new ideas for union organising</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/lynzi-armstrong/almost-legal-migrant-sex-work-in-new-zealand">Almost legal: migrant sex work in New Zealand</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/jenny-andrew/embracing-data-is-key-to-future-of-unions">Embracing data is key to the future of unions</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/antonia-jennings/call-for-revival-of-political-and-economic-education">A call for the revival of political and economic education</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Alex J. Wood Labour rights in the gig economy Fri, 08 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Alex J. Wood 118198 at https://www.opendemocracy.net A call for the revival of political and economic education https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/antonia-jennings/call-for-revival-of-political-and-economic-education <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Political and economic education is pitiful, and via political parties, the education system and trade unions, it desperately needs to be revived.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/3187581564_ae66e1e5e8_o.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Christchurch City Libraries/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/christchurchcitylibraries/3187581564/in/photolist-5RFbWQ-9co5hb-8K5rif-YuAxJS-pe5jZw-7BvCnt-ajdENu-81h1hP-72Kwve-Ynxdj-mp4kqn-YNxxyS-8hzn1a-8hCzTj-6fFYP2-6z1pGR-H61R6V-S76UeU-o2BUfj-fjzgNy-7YeBNh-UBPEHV-pvyEMx-9sKgK9-6Ujcv3-bxpvCz-7xgnFQ-H1315-St6TzJ-7FGbnC-cg47iU-dngRnn-aVo7ea-ZEQgBq-6PnUHS-dVKavC-bBPD4D-cg4cb3-pQbQtx-ebZrpf-KLxG4-7qGQ6h-3P1tzm-dYCRsM-5w8q6x-feS8Yo-z76Zd-q9MLU-b9wKde-oP2kFB">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>One way we participate in democracy is by voting. Another may be protesting, or through supporting some trade union action. However we engage, we are doing so armed with some knowledge about the current state of affairs, and having made a judgement on how we would like them to be in the future. For all of government’s calls for us to be active citizens, engaging in a healthy democracy, it is less clear how we are expected to acquire the knowledge required to be adequately informed. Current political and economic education is pitiful in this country, and via political parties, the education system and trade unions, it desperately needs to be revived. </p> <p>After the age of 14, students in the UK need never study history, geography or English literature, subjects that are often a gateway into study of politics and economics (which are seldom available at GCSE level). Those who are studying economics and politics at post-14, post-16, and at university level are overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly white, and overwhelmingly from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Unsurprisingly, this is the demographic working professionally in politics and economics today. </p> <p>What is left for those who don’t happen to come from the backgrounds that choose these subjects? Bundled together in a bizarre mix there is the non-statutory subject (<a href="https://www.ecnmy.org/campaign/schools/pshe/">although there are calls for this to change</a>) of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) - a.k.a. sex ed alongside personal finance. PSHE is often sidelined within schools with the economics part of it sidelined further still, and often given only a few minutes a week, with <a href="https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2521218">reports</a> of it never being covered at all. </p> <p>In an attempt to remedy this, in 2002 the subject of ‘citizenship’ was made compulsory. Branded a <a href="https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/education/2016/08/strange-neglect-political-education-and-how-revive-it">‘national joke</a>’ by many, citizenship is treated in much the same way as PSHE, delivered by untrained teachers who are under a lot of pressure to make sure students get higher grades on ‘core’ subjects. In other words, our education system is organised in such a way that PSHE and citizenship are luxury subjects - to be taught once all the ‘proper’ education has taken place. How can we expect to diversify our political elite whilst treating political and economic education with such contempt?</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">How can we expect to diversify our political elite whilst treating political and economic education with such contempt?</p> <p>One answer may lie with trade unions. There is a <a href="http://www.unionhistory.info/britainatwork/narrativedisplay.php?type=tuandworkereducation">long and sadly diminishing tradition</a> of trade union education in this country, most notably scuppered by Thatcher’s break with the post-war social consensus in 1979. Prior to the second world war, political education was provided most notably by the Workers&#39; Educational Association (WEA) (founded in 1903), and the National Council of Labour Colleges (NCLC). After the second world war they were joined by organisations such as the TUC Education Scheme, and by initiatives such as the shop stewards training scheme. </p> <p>The history of these organisations is long and complex, but what they did provide was education for adults that better equipped workers and those without work to better understand the economic and political forces that shaped their lives. They helped to explain everything from the history of political parties in the UK to what real wages are. The topics covered in the courses provided by these groups seems more pertinent than ever today. For example, consider how the recent UCU pension strike may have unfolded differently had everyone both directly and indirectly involved had a solid grounding of the exact purpose of pensions, and their moral and ethical rationale?</p> <p>There are many questions to be answered when it comes to political and economic education. What, for example, is its primary purpose? Is it to emancipate the working class and give them the tools to be middle class? Or is it to overthrow the middle class? The answer to these questions will shine light on who we, as a society, believe should provide the education, and who should be given the power to check it for biases and inaccuracies. There are of course many groups who are already having this debate - <a href="http://ecnmy.org/">Economy</a>, <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/momentum-kids-jeremy-corbyn-labour-party-political-education-creche_uk_57def98be4b05d79137004ab">Momentum</a>, <a href="https://www.shoutoutuk.org/">ShoutOutUK</a>, <a href="http://www.rethinkeconomics.org/">Rethinking Economics</a> and the <a href="https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/">PSHE Association</a> to name a few. However, these groups are pitifully underfunded, and still exist on the fringes of mainstream debate. We urgently need to move this discussion onto the national stage. It has the potential to radically alter how we each view our place in society, what our leaders of tomorrow will look like and significantly improve the state of our democracy.</p> <p><strong>If you would like to respond to this piece and contribute to the series, please email us at <a href="mailto:beyond.slavery@opendemocracy.net">beyond.slavery@opendemocracy.net</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/antonia-bance/working-lives-of-under-30s-show-future-of-work-for-us-all">The working lives of the under-30s show the future of work for us all</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ANTONIA BANCE</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/abigail-hunt/back-to-future-women-s-work-and-gig-economy">Back to the future: women’s work and the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ABIGAIL HUNT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/jane-mansour/falling-through-gaps-insecure-work-and-social-safety-net">Falling through the gaps: insecure work and the social safety net</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANE MANSOUR</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sebastien-flais/new-unions-old-laws-why-flexibility-is-key-in-gig-economy">New unions, old laws: why flexibility is key in the ‘gig economy’</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">SEBASTIEN FLAIS</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/adam-fishwick/organising-against-gig-economy-lessons-from-latin-america">Organising against the gig economy: lessons from Latin America?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ADAM FISHWICK</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/becky-wright/gig/changing-world-of-work-and-trade-union-movement-s-response">The changing world of work and the trade union movement’s response</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">BECKY WRIGHT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-two">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part two</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/janine-berg-valerio-de-stefano/gig/it-s-time-to-regulate-gig-economy">It’s time to regulate the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANINE BERG<br />VALERIO DE STEFANO</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-one">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part one</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alex-j-wood/trade-unions-internet-and-surviving-gig-economy">Trade unions, the internet, and surviving the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALEX J. WOOD</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/daniel-tomlinson/it-s-not-gig-economy-stupid">It’s not the gig economy, stupid.</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">DANIEL TOMLINSON</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alice-martin/gig/crisis-of-control-what-should-on-demand-workforce-be-demanding">A crisis of control: what should the on-demand workforce be demanding?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALICE MARTIN</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/gig/same-as-it-ever-was-labour-rights-and-worker-organisation-in-modern-economy">Same as it ever was? Labour rights and worker organisation in the modern economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">TOM HUNT</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/building-up-bundle-of-sticks-new-ideas-for-union-organising">Building up the bundle of sticks: new ideas for union organising</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/jenny-andrew/embracing-data-is-key-to-future-of-unions">Embracing data is key to the future of unions</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Antonia Jennings Labour rights in the gig economy Thu, 07 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Antonia Jennings 118195 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Embracing data is key to the future of unions https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/jenny-andrew/embracing-data-is-key-to-future-of-unions <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Learning to read and predict our changing environment through strategic use of data is crucial for the survival of trade unions.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/8399042659_7c593f0073_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Mapped data in London. Thomas Corrie/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomascorrie/8399042659/in/photolist-dNchLk-nsruUs-qdgk5E-p8Hzwt-6Ria3Z-cwRQSG-sDHKcA-qs7dt9-abJFDU-oYYRBG-dNhRPS-24Nrswp-bWhMTd-CBVkRM-bXDNHG-6NN4ku-jnGwuy-6wenYG-eXDcc3-23eshBE-pHxN2B-efjiKk-bXDDEU-8gwMWT-8y7nsY-7JkLnm-H4DyPa-XTfhLK-dnR8LG-bXDXoE-21q6Xee-SCFePk-6omDY9-VknVg5-bXDvN1-YENgpU-bXDSad-9NKVq9-7icyVt-bXDAPf-YBkaR3-6nD8Y-HV51xG-WXnMKN-cbE8pq-23243st-7JMisR-nZZNzY-BpmeE-26K6Ned">CC (by-sa)</a></p> <p>“Will you be happy when the last union office turns its lights off? Is that what success looks like?” This is a challenge Mike Clancy, general secretary of <a href="https://www.prospect.org.uk/">Prospect</a>, sometimes lays down to employers and HR professionals, evoking an image that only the most hard-bitten anti-union ideologue would endorse. When he said it at the recent <a href="http://unions21.org.uk/events/2018-annual-conference">Unions 21 conference</a>, hot on the heels of a graph charting 40 years of declining membership, it had the ring of a warning to the movement. If we carry on like this, our extinction is a real probability. Adapt or die.</p> <p>If “the species that survives is the one that is best able to adapt to the changing environment in which it finds itself”, the evidence suggests that trade unions are not very good at adaptation. It’s time we took lessons from the modern masters of the art.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">If we carry on like this, our extinction is a real probability.</p> <p>Take Netflix, a chameleon of the digital age: from DVD rentals by post to an entirely cloud-based service. The changes to their business model have been choreographed to keep pace with the evolution of their customers’ behaviour. Netflix have mastered the art of survival by learning to diagnose and predict their changing environment, and by planning their adaptation in advance. They do it with smart, strategic use of data. Unions can learn it too.</p> <p>With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation, and in the wake of the Facebook data breach, I understand why unions have been treating their data more as a liability than an asset. But I believe, with the soul of a trade unionist and the mind of a data scientist, that it is a matter of our survival that we get data use on the front foot.</p> <p>So what applications of data would win your union round?</p> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>• Real-time state-of-the-union analysis</p> <p>• Five-year forecasts of income based on membership trends and demographics</p> <p>• Mobile notifications about branch membership</p> <p>• Geospatial analysis of membership clusters to plan staffing and target recruitment</p> <p>• Predictions of attrition rates for cohorts of members, such as new joiners</p> <p>• Diagnosis of seasonality in membership, demand and income for resource planning</p> <p>• Horizon scanning economic and industrial trends for new threats and opportunities</p> </div> <p>All this is possible, and more besides, but it will take an investment in data skills to get us there. Big businesses, from Netflix to premiership football teams, employ in-house data experts. However, with membership declining, and where ‘lean’ is the watchword, it would take a radical leap of faith for trade unions to start adding data specialists to the payroll.</p> <p>A practicable alternative is to build a data ‘toolkit’ that answers the business data needs of the union. The idea is that, if we can articulate the logic of what we want to learn from our data, we can invest in the human data skills up-front, and code them into software that does the work for us. No need to commit to the ongoing expense of an in-house data analyst. No need, even, to do the work alone. Not when the thinking, the cost, and the product could be shared by other trade unions with similar goals.</p> <p><a href="http://www.unions21.org.uk/">Unions 21</a> is exploring the requirements and appetite for a shared trade union data and analytics platform. We hope to engage the input of experts in all trade union functions: from organisers to general secretaries to administrators. We want to hear</p> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>• How unions currently use data</p> <p>• What limits their use of data</p> <p>• How they would like to use data if there were no limits</p> </div> <p>Good data science combines technical expertise with ‘domain expertise’. I have some technical insights that might help provide answers, but I’m counting on my trade union colleagues to provide some great questions. We want to understand how data insights can help reboot trade union activity. Ultimately, we would like to break down some of the practical barriers that prevent unions from making best use of the data available to them.</p> <p>Of course, the barriers to turning unions into data-driven organisations are not all practical ones. It is entirely possible that scientific analysis will tell us that some of our processes, structures and traditions are no longer fit for purpose. Forty years of decline should be enough of a clue that <em>something</em> isn’t working. If we identify practices that are broken, are we brave enough to fix them or scrap them? If we can’t or won’t adapt, are we ready to see the lights go out?</p> <p>Change can be a bitter pill for a movement that cherishes its heritage and its tradition. But if Darwin has a lesson for us it is this: there can be no posterity without survival.</p> <p>Our first priority as a movement, our responsibility to future generations of workers, is to survive and pass on our heritage. Learning to read and predict our changing environment through strategic use of data might just be the key.</p> <p><strong>If you would like to respond to this piece and contribute to the series, please email us at <a href="mailto:beyond.slavery@opendemocracy.net">beyond.slavery@opendemocracy.net</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/antonia-bance/working-lives-of-under-30s-show-future-of-work-for-us-all">The working lives of the under-30s show the future of work for us all</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ANTONIA BANCE</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/abigail-hunt/back-to-future-women-s-work-and-gig-economy">Back to the future: women’s work and the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ABIGAIL HUNT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/jane-mansour/falling-through-gaps-insecure-work-and-social-safety-net">Falling through the gaps: insecure work and the social safety net</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANE MANSOUR</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sebastien-flais/new-unions-old-laws-why-flexibility-is-key-in-gig-economy">New unions, old laws: why flexibility is key in the ‘gig economy’</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">SEBASTIEN FLAIS</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/adam-fishwick/organising-against-gig-economy-lessons-from-latin-america">Organising against the gig economy: lessons from Latin America?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ADAM FISHWICK</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/becky-wright/gig/changing-world-of-work-and-trade-union-movement-s-response">The changing world of work and the trade union movement’s response</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">BECKY WRIGHT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-two">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part two</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/janine-berg-valerio-de-stefano/gig/it-s-time-to-regulate-gig-economy">It’s time to regulate the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANINE BERG<br />VALERIO DE STEFANO</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-one">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part one</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alex-j-wood/trade-unions-internet-and-surviving-gig-economy">Trade unions, the internet, and surviving the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALEX J. WOOD</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/daniel-tomlinson/it-s-not-gig-economy-stupid">It’s not the gig economy, stupid.</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">DANIEL TOMLINSON</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alice-martin/gig/crisis-of-control-what-should-on-demand-workforce-be-demanding">A crisis of control: what should the on-demand workforce be demanding?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALICE MARTIN</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/gig/same-as-it-ever-was-labour-rights-and-worker-organisation-in-modern-economy">Same as it ever was? Labour rights and worker organisation in the modern economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">TOM HUNT</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/building-up-bundle-of-sticks-new-ideas-for-union-organising">Building up the bundle of sticks: new ideas for union organising</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Jenny Andrew Labour rights in the gig economy Wed, 06 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Jenny Andrew 118191 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Almost legal: migrant sex work in New Zealand https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/lynzi-armstrong/almost-legal-migrant-sex-work-in-new-zealand <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>New Zealand is lauded as the world's only country to fully decriminalise sex work, yet a catch makes that of little comfort to the temporary migrants working in the trade.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/10958019686_317d1ab418_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">A roadside mural in Auckland, New Zealand. Chris Christian/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiredforsound23/10958019686/in/photolist-hGjHtU-cnaGfU-hHUFaZ-9WuhDS-frVSvW-eAcQBV-chPK4L-rbTN8v-dqqPtE-bAqwUn-drbENK-ZcpqbP-hb8Mb3-aHXYmt-dcsA5Z-dcsCre-dmbKAN-dmbEGP-dcsBeb-dcsBnk-bhMBJz-9AAbnB-ej9DfG-dcsAyQ-dcsDgQ-dcsBre-dtRy5g-frR6jo-4iXqPV-fs29hb-8gxtE4-c1AbEL-frVxz7-frzNPP-5TBznz-RU6ejf-7kbo2q-afgCQt-bvPZrg-XcGjLV-chQ343-frR87A-uZ6VU-fs1ds9-e3mTRQ-dTrQkt-nZhodM-frLD58-ezrhzQ-eAfHc1">CC (by-nc)</a></p> <p>New Zealand is a unusual context in which to explore the dynamics of sex worker-led organising against exploitation and the influence and impacts of the anti-trafficking framework on sex workers’ lives. What makes the country’s context so unique is its legal framework. New Zealand became the first country in the world to fully decriminalise sex work when the Prostitution Reform Act (PRA) was passed in 2003. It is also distinct because of the central role played by the sex worker-led New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC). NZPC was established by a small group of sex workers in 1987. It has since developed into a strong, government funded organisation that is well respected as an authority on sex work issues. The organisation led a successful campaign for law reform which culminated in the decriminalisation of sex work in 2003. Thus, the situation in New Zealand is unique not only due to the legal framework in place, but also because of the impact sex worker organising has had on the government’s approach to sex work. </p> <h2>The power of decriminalisation </h2> <p>Since the passing of the PRA in 2003, <a href="https://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/otago018607.pdf">research</a> has highlighted the multiple benefits of decriminalising sex work. The <a href="https://academic.oup.com/bjc/article-abstract/57/3/570/2623927?redirectedFrom=fulltext">evidence</a> clearly indicates that sex workers are in a better position than they were prior to decriminalisation. Owing to this evidence, the decriminalisation of sex work is now widely supported by a range of international organisations, including Amnesty International and the World Health Organisation. The concrete benefits of decriminalisation are well illustrated by a <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9777879/Sex-worker-gets-25-000-over-harassment">2014 case</a> in which a sex worker, with the support of the NZPC, brought a case against a brothel operator for sexual harassment. This would be unthinkable in other countries where sex work is illegal. What’s more, she won the case and was awarded NZ$25,000 in compensation. The rights available to sex workers in the decriminalised context have clearly strengthened their capacity to challenge those who seek to exploit them. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The decriminalisation of sex work is now widely supported by a range of international organisations, including Amnesty International and the World Health Organisation.</p> <h2>A perfect law?</h2> <p>While it is indisputable that the law change has brought many positive benefits, and other countries would be well advised to adopt a similar framework, the law is still far from perfect. An infrequently discussed deficiency of the New Zealand model is the status of temporary migrants who work in the sex industry. Although it was (and still is) thought that migrants represent a minority of the overall sex worker population, in the latter stages of the law reform process some of those involved began to panic regarding risks of trafficking and a potential influx of sex workers into New Zealand. Subsequently, an amendment was introduced which prohibits migrants with temporary permits from working in sex work.</p> <p>Thus, as the law currently stands, people who hold temporary permits can be deported if they are found to be selling sex. While not aggressively policed, the possibility of deportation is not an idle threat. In 2012, eight brothels were raided and 21 sex workers were found to be working illegally. Two of these sex workers left the country voluntarily and 19 were served with deportation liability notices. A <a href="http://www.communityresearch.org.nz/research/occupational-safety-and-health-of-migrant-sex-workers-in-new-zealand/">study conducted in 2013</a> highlighted concerns regarding the precarious legal status of migrant sex workers – specifically that this situation could make migrant sex workers more vulnerable to exploitation. </p> <h2>A law of unintended consequences</h2> <p>Following on from this earlier work, I recently carried out nine in-depth interviews with NZPC representatives, sex workers, and a member of a faith-based organisation as part of the GAATW <a href="http://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex-workers-organising-for-change">multi-country project on sex worker organising and responses to risks of exploitation</a>. This research echoed concerns highlighted in the 2013 study, but also provided concrete examples of how this discriminatory aspect of the law manifests in sex workers’ working lives. For example, one migrant sex worker from China recalled being told by a client to provide a “good service”, or she risked him providing information on her work to authorities. Another sex worker described a situation in which a migrant co-worker had been blackmailed by an abusive client to provide services free of charge, and was too afraid to report this situation due to the risk of deportation. Sex workers interviewed were also concerned that the law opens up opportunities for brothel operators to exploit migrant workers through imposing long and inflexible working hours. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">One migrant sex worker from China recalled being told by a client to provide a “good service”, or she risked him providing information on her work to authorities.</p> <p>The interviews I conducted with the NZPC and the member of the faith-based organisation echoed these concerns. All participants felt strongly that the current law places migrant sex workers at increased risk of exploitation, instead of protecting them against it. While the clause that prohibits migrant sex work was introduced in part as an anti-trafficking measure, the insights gathered in this research suggest it has created conditions that are more likely to foster exploitation. The policy creates a significant disincentive for migrant sex workers who experience exploitation and violence to report these incidents. It is understandable that some migrant workers choose not to report adverse experiences when they could be asked to leave the country if immigration officials become aware of their sex work. </p> <h2>Supporting sex workers</h2> <p>This situation also presents a dilemma for NZPC in their work to support sex workers and challenge exploitation and violence. NZPC is a well-respected organisation that has developed relationships within government organisations, including the police, to champion sex worker rights and model best practice approaches to supporting sex workers. However, the valuable support that NZPC can provide is hamstrung by the current policy which fosters a fear of authorities among migrant sex workers. All interviewees felt that the law needs to change to ensure that <em>all</em> sex workers in New Zealand can fully benefit from a context that is explicitly intended to foreground their occupational health and safety. </p> <h2>A call for change</h2> <p>The framework in place in New Zealand is undoubtedly a good example for other countries to follow – decriminalising sex work has clear benefits. However, while it is important to learn from and celebrate the success of New Zealand’s model, we must also highlight its shortcomings and seek to address them. The discriminatory policy that is currently in place puts migrant sex workers at risk. If New Zealand is to live up to its reputation as a country that prioritises the health and safety of sex workers, then the law must change so that the protections of decriminalisation are available to all sex workers.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/borislav-gerasimov/sex-workers-organising-for-change">Sex workers organising for change</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/fraser-crichton/decriminalising-sex-work-in-new-zealand-its-history-and-impact">Decriminalising sex work in New Zealand: its history and impact</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/kimberly-walters/beyond-raid-and-rescue-time-to-acknowledge-damage-being-done">Beyond ‘raid and rescue’: time to acknowledge the damage being done</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/anne-gathumbi/helping-sex-workers-help-themselves">Helping sex workers help themselves</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/we-don-t-do-sex-work-because-we-are-poor-we-do-sex-work-to-end-our-poverty">We don’t do sex work because we are poor, we do sex work to end our poverty</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/hydras-peers/sex-workers-want-peer-knowledge-not-state-control">Sex workers want peer knowledge, not state control</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Lynzi Armstrong Wed, 06 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Lynzi Armstrong 118189 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Building up the bundle of sticks: new ideas for union organising https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/building-up-bundle-of-sticks-new-ideas-for-union-organising <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A mini-series of blogs, published by SPERI and openDemocracy, will present new ideas for how unions can organise and engage with the workforce.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/6216712707_6106c49a39_b.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">marcovdz/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcovdz/6216712707/in/photolist-atmh6R-6qsmAi-9jRuWb-boFq2b-9nDHrf-4fJTV-9jZtHq-9ka3hW-5Axiq4-oSM92y-s9e6W3-9mxG2D-nXKiHq-s9poos-4aqV4s-3JRr6h-9tSQau-9mAyi9-2w7rt-9jWp86-d5eqns-2Rt8S-9jWppi-dtMUhV-d5eggy-9jWr2t-9mAxD1-9jzkaG-2rc7v-9mAD2S-9iwJoo-2WJpH-9mAFdd-9k9buL-bVBx49-rqqaKH-75417i-h2cCBC-dFNjP-aKKg1R-4wXLne-9K6nHm-6PCnPG-9mxEoH-aKK41P-8vnTm5-HY5C1u-XPA6s-d5eEvG-2WJDM">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p><em>“A trade union is like a bundle of sticks. The workers are bound together and have the strength of unity … A worker who is not in a union is like a single stick. She can easily be broken or bent to the will of her employer”.</em></p> <p>The bundle of sticks story was often told by Mary Macarthur, the founder and leader of the <a href="https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137033536">National Federation of Women Workers</a>, a pioneering all-women trade union that existed between 1906-1921. In 2018, 100 years later, the UK workforce is increasingly comprised of ‘single sticks’. </p> <p>The UK has near full-employment but trade union membership has declined from over 13 million in 1979 to around 6.2 million people today in a total workforce of 32 million. 2017 saw <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/trade-union-statistics-2017">the overall number of union members increase slightly</a> but this followed the biggest annual decline in 2016 since records began. Despite this year’s increase the proportion of the workforce in a union fell to 23.2% in 2017, from 23.5% in 2016. Gavin Kelly and Dan Tomlinson have outlined <a href="http://resolutiontrust.org/inexorable-decline-or-moment-of-opportunity">the stark demographic challenge facing unions</a> as older union members retire and aren’t replaced. They argue that <em>just to stand still</em> and halt the decline will require an 80% rise in union membership among the under 35s by 2030.&nbsp;</p> <p>In parallel to declining membership there has been a decline in collective bargaining coverage. Just 15% of private sector workers are covered by a union-negotiated agreement. The absence of agreements denies workers the chance to have their say, collectively through their union, on issues including pay and working conditions but also about ways to improve the business model and increase productivity. Lone voices are easier to be ignored than many. </p> <p>These huge challenges for unions are bound up with structural shifts in the labour market that are making working life more individualised for many. Platform and ‘gig economy’ companies load risk onto the individual worker by classifying them as independent contractors and not as employees. This decouples work from hard-won employment rights like the minimum wage, sick and holiday pay, and means individuals often have no choice but to accept all the work they can. In more traditional low-pay industries like retail or warehousing – where union membership tends to be low – similar dynamics are at play. Hours are allocated by algorithm and the widespread use of flexible, casualised contracts means work isn’t guaranteed.</p> <p>New forms of non-standard, individualised employment risk changing people’s expectations about work. Unless challenged, today’s controversial working practices could become the norm tomorrow. And if that work takes place in a non-unionised environment then it will increasingly change people’s expectations about their (in)ability to have a collective say and any influence over their working life.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Unless challenged, today’s controversial working practices could become the norm tomorrow.</p> <p>None of this is news to trade unions and contrary to some commentary they are not standing still. Around the world and in the UK the labour movement is challenging unfairness and insecurity at work and developing innovative and collaborative responses.</p> <p>In Australia, United Voice, a large established trade union, has <a href="http://junkee.com/hospo-voice-hospitality-union/159371">just set up Hospo Voice</a>, a digital union for workers in the low-paying hospitality industry. IG Metall, the German Metalworkers Union, along with the Austrian Chamber of Labour, Austrian TUC and the Swedish union Unionen have established <a href="http://faircrowd.work/">faircrowdwork.org</a> which provides information for people working on online ‘crowdwork’ platforms about unions and their legal rights. Couriers in Austria working for Foodara in Austria, an app-based restaurant delivery service, <a href="http://faircrowd.work/2017/04/28/deutsch-oesterreich-foodora-fahrer-gruenden-betriebsrat/">formed a works council</a> with support from Vida, a transport and services trade union. UK, Dutch and Swiss seafarer unions have merged to form <a href="https://www.nautilusint.org/en/">Nautilus International</a>, a cross-border union to represent workers in a cross-border industry. Nautilus has since negotiated a global three-year pay deal with Shell International on behalf of workers from 49 different countries.</p> <p>In the UK, <a href="https://community-tu.org/community-indycube-pledge-give-power-self-employed/">Community union and Indycube</a> have partnered to provide representation and support for freelance and independent workers. In the courts, unions, <a href="http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/gmb-uber-victory">led by GMB</a>, have continued to secure victories to provide employment rights for workers in the gig economy. And later this year, ahead of their 150th anniversary, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) will announce the fruits of <a href="https://medium.com/@abance/prototyping-a-new-trade-union-offer-38810436c1c5">innovative research</a> to find new ways to organise young workers.</p> <p>At the recent <a href="http://unions21.org.uk/events/2018-annual-conference">Unions 21 national conference</a> the <a href="http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/">Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute</a> (SPERI), in conjunction with openDemocracy, organised a session to add to the conversation about new ways unions can organise and engage workers. For the rest of this week we will publish articles from the session’s speakers that set out their ideas. </p> <div style="margin-left:25px;text-indent:-8px;"> <p>• <a href="https://twitter.com/DrAndrewV2">Jenny Andrew</a>, a union organiser for <a href="https://www.prospect.org.uk/">Prospect</a>, argues that embracing data is key to the future of unions. Analysing data can enable unions to better understand their existing membership, identify new industrial trends, and plan recruitment. This will require substantial new investment in data skills. </p> <p>• Antonia Jennings calls for the revival of political and economic education and highlights the importance of trade union education. Understanding workplace issues and how they fit in a bigger picture is an important factor for encouraging members and non-union members to get involved in arguing for change for work. An example of this came recently when members of the University and College Union came together independently to develop <a href="https://ussbriefs.com/"><em>USS Briefs</em></a>, a bottom-up initiative to educate and inform union members about the recent pension strike at UK universities. </p> <p>• <a href="https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/alex-j-wood/">Alex Wood</a> from the <a href="https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/">Oxford Internet Institute</a> sets out three lessons that the labour movement must learn from the Fight for 15 campaign at Walmart in the US. He highlights the potential of social media to organise workers, the power of reputational damage to amplify the impact of industrial action, and the need for campaigns to avoid bureaucratising communication. The ways in which UK fast food workers in <a href="https://www.bfawu.org/mcstrike">BFAWU at McDonalds</a> and in <a href="http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/fair-tips-for-waiting-staff/tgi-fridays-fair-tips-hero-to-zero/">Unite at TGI Fridays</a> are shining a powerful spotlight on their unfair pay and demanding greater job security suggests these lessons are already being learnt.</p> </div> <p>Whilst unions have always developed new ways of organising, some things don’t change. <a href="http://unions21.org.uk/files1/YOUNG-PROFS-ECONOMY.pdf">SPERI’s research for Unions 21</a> suggests that the most effective way of reaching potential young members is through face-to- face communication at work, and ideally through colleagues who are already union members. Collective organising happens person-by-person through individual conversations. This was as true for factory workers 100 years ago as it is for couriers, academics, or warehouse workers today.</p> <p>When there are fewer union members in workplaces and when work is more individualised this becomes increasingly hard, but there are plenty of examples of how and where unions are responding. Today word can spread quickly, and campaigns and best practices from around the world should be learnt from and tested. Not everything will be a success but the key is experimentation and evaluation followed by investment in what works. For the union movement to renew and build up the ‘bundle of sticks’ it will require blending old principles and new ideas and techniques.</p> <p><strong>If you would like to respond to this piece and contribute to the series, please email us at <a href="mailto:beyond.slavery@opendemocracy.net">beyond.slavery@opendemocracy.net</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/antonia-bance/working-lives-of-under-30s-show-future-of-work-for-us-all">The working lives of the under-30s show the future of work for us all</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ANTONIA BANCE</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/abigail-hunt/back-to-future-women-s-work-and-gig-economy">Back to the future: women’s work and the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ABIGAIL HUNT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/jane-mansour/falling-through-gaps-insecure-work-and-social-safety-net">Falling through the gaps: insecure work and the social safety net</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANE MANSOUR</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sebastien-flais/new-unions-old-laws-why-flexibility-is-key-in-gig-economy">New unions, old laws: why flexibility is key in the ‘gig economy’</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">SEBASTIEN FLAIS</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/adam-fishwick/organising-against-gig-economy-lessons-from-latin-america">Organising against the gig economy: lessons from Latin America?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ADAM FISHWICK</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/becky-wright/gig/changing-world-of-work-and-trade-union-movement-s-response">The changing world of work and the trade union movement’s response</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">BECKY WRIGHT</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-two">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part two</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/janine-berg-valerio-de-stefano/gig/it-s-time-to-regulate-gig-economy">It’s time to regulate the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">JANINE BERG<br />VALERIO DE STEFANO</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/greetje-gretta-f-corporaal/gig/organising-freelancers-in-platform-economy-part-one">Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part one</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">GREETJE (GRETTA) F. CORPORAAL</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alex-j-wood/trade-unions-internet-and-surviving-gig-economy">Trade unions, the internet, and surviving the gig economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALEX J. WOOD</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/daniel-tomlinson/it-s-not-gig-economy-stupid">It’s not the gig economy, stupid.</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">DANIEL TOMLINSON</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/alice-martin/gig/crisis-of-control-what-should-on-demand-workforce-be-demanding">A crisis of control: what should the on-demand workforce be demanding?</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">ALICE MARTIN</span><hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/tom-hunt/gig/same-as-it-ever-was-labour-rights-and-worker-organisation-in-modern-economy">Same as it ever was? Labour rights and worker organisation in the modern economy</a><br /><span style="font-size:90%;">TOM HUNT</span><hr /> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Tom Hunt Tue, 05 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Tom Hunt 118179 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Nameless and un-mourned: identifying migrant bodies in the Mediterranean https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/ottavia-ampuero-villagran/nameless-and-un-mourned-identifying-migrant-bodies-in-medite <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The human right to identity of countless undocumented migrant bodies is being disregarded by the inadequate body management and identification efforts – more must be done.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/37895084052_b17b8ef6d9_k-%281%29.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Refugees' life jackets in Parliament Square, London. Howard Lake/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/37895084052/in/photolist-26xAexN-YGFTbf-bstmZU-ZJEdf9-YxHbmj-9xScWh-27z5ypJ-27z5xMm-26xAdod-27z5xe7-26xAdUU-27z5wrf-389FFp">CC (by-sa)</a></p> <p>Have you ever stopped to consider what happens to the bodies of undocumented migrants when they die trying to reach the shores of Europe? Who they are, who mourns their loss, where and how they are buried? </p> <p>The nameless and un-mourned bodies of undocumented migrants feature prominently in the lived experiences of the Mediterranean coastal towns where they wash up – the triangle connecting Tripoli, Zouara and Lampedusa has been nicknamed “<a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/11/tunisia-cemetery-unknown-refugees-161112103347956.html">the black zone</a>” by locals because of the countless corpses floating around – but they are conspicuously absent from the broader migration narrative and from the rhetoric of many influential actors involved in policy, academia, and the media. This blind spot is unsettling. Policy makers urgently need to discuss undocumented migrant body identification from a human rights perspective and to address the shortcomings of current management and identification efforts in European countries. </p> <p>The International Organization for Migration’s “<a href="https://missingmigrants.iom.int/">Missing Migrants Project</a>” estimates that there have been 16,003 migrant deaths and disappearances in the Mediterranean since 2014. Like the estimates on <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/CMW/Discussions/2013/DGDMigrationData_PICUM_2013.pdf">living</a> undocumented migrants, the true figure is likely to be much higher due to the difficulties of tracking those that do not wish to be tracked, and of counting bodies that have sunk below the surface of the waves. Most of those bodies will likely never be found. </p> <p>Those that <em>are</em> found will just as likely never be identified. This is partly because of the inherent difficulties of identification in this context: there is no readily available information on the migrant’s nationality, route, or family relations; any personal belongings or identification documents may be ruined or rendered illegible by the water; and the bodies that have drowned are usually found as they resurface from the sea floor during <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28934682">decomposition</a>, at which point they will have begun to lose physical attributes and appendages. Identification is also hindered by the lack of national legal provisions for dealing with migrant deaths – and the ensuing issues with funding, overlapping mandates, and incoherent policy – which means that there is currently no systematic collection or storage of information that would be useful for future identification efforts.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The triangle connecting Tripoli, Zouara and Lampedusa has been nicknamed “the black zone” by locals because of the countless corpses floating around.</p> <p>Identifying these bodies thus comes with many challenges, but it’s certainly not impossible. This has been proven by the success of Italian authorities’ identification efforts following three shipwrecks off the coast of Lampedusa. For one of these shipwrecks the Italian National Commission for Missing Persons and its team achieved an impressive <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29482110">58.5% identification rate</a> by rigorously following best practices for the treatment of the dead; by engaging in a multi-stakeholder process that combined a range of scientific approaches; and by utilising diplomatic and civil society to contact the victims’ families for ante-mortem information.</p> <p>In another case, forensic scientists and anthropologists managed to <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/12/identifying-refugee-victims-mediterranean-151221102203683.html">identify bodies</a> that had been submerged for a year within the vessel, thus proving that identification is possible with DNA technology even in the advanced decay or skeletonisation stages of decomposition. “With a little bit of money, a lot of goodwill and some hard work”, said Vittorio Piscitelli, the head of the Italian Commission, “it can definitely be done”. The next logical step is to provide this service to as many dead migrants as possible, not just those on large-scale shipwrecks that receive political and media attention. </p> <p>European states have the specialised bureaucracy and the technological capacities required to improve their attempts at identifying migrant bodies. They also have the money, considering that the EU’s <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/budget-proposals-migration-border-management-may2018_en.pdf">budget</a> for the management of external borders, migration and asylum will increase from €13 billion to €34.9 billion in the coming years. As a start, <a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22047&amp;LangID=E">experts</a> recommend establishing a centralised database to collect the relevant information (photographs, gender, nationality, DNA, burial locations), as well as standardising the procedures for body management and identification. The feasibility of identification only strengthens the human rights argument of properly attempting to identify the migrant bodies for the sake of the individuals, the families, and the states involved. </p> <h2>Rights after death</h2> <p>The right to be identified after death is universally recognised in domestic and international law. Beginning with the 1949 Geneva Conventions, a range of international frameworks have been developed for dealing with identification after death, including the 1956 UN Handbook of Vital Statistics Methods, the ICRC <a href="https://www.icrc.org/en/document/guiding-principles-model-law-missing-model-law">Guiding Principles on the Missing</a>, and Interpol’s <a href="https://www.interpol.int/INTERPOL-expertise/Forensics/DVI">Disaster Victim Identification</a>. The common imperative of these frameworks is that identity and identification is a human right that extends past death. But states’ recognition of this human right seems to be dependent on the circumstances surrounding the migrant deaths; the deaths of ‘regular’ migrants (tourists, students, businessmen) in accidents and disasters are met with large-scale international responses that include advanced technological equipment and specialised teams while the deaths of ‘irregular’ migrants are met with bureaucratic ambiguity and administrative inaction. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Identity and identification is a human right that extends past death.</p> <p>The contrast is striking, and it emphasises the differences in value that societies place on human lives. An undocumented migrant is implicitly considered, as <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2339-judith-butler-precariousness-and-grievability-when-is-life-grievable">Judith Butler</a> put it, “an ungrievable life, one that cannot be mourned because … it has never counted as a life at all”. More systematic and concerted efforts for undocumented migrant identification would remedy the state of invisibility that many have been subjected to during their journey by restoring the name, story, and humanity that they had previously been stripped of. The naming that comes from identification efforts would also push back against the normalisation of undocumented migrant death and the securitisation narrative that surrounds them.</p> <h2>Right to mourn</h2> <p>Identification efforts would also restore dead migrants’ links to their families and communities after death and provide closure for those who were close to them. The <a href="http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/36/39/Add.2">families</a> have to live every day without knowing the fate of their missing loved ones, and this often leads to psychological or psychosocial problems, as well as economic and administrative complications regarding funeral arrangements, remarriages, inheritances, guardianships, and land ownerships. </p> <p>Taking these many burdens into account, it seems crucial to incorporate the families into the narrative of migrant death and the process of undocumented migrant identification. This would facilitate access to practical information and acknowledge the emotional component inherent in the passing of a loved one. It would also improve the visibility of the families, who are rarely able to exert political pressure to demand accountability, justice, and commemoration. </p> <h2>State commitments to human rights</h2> <p>Even the states involved in the management of undocumented migrants are likely to benefit from promoting identification efforts. The current policy vacuum around dealing with migrant bodies has created a dissonance between the values that states proclaim and the actions they take to uphold them. This dissonance has human rights implications because of the way in which it consistently undermines the rights to human dignity, freedom, and equality of dead migrants.</p> <p>With states choosing to frame undocumented migrant deaths as accidents rather than direct consequences of their intensified border control policies, it is no wonder that some critics have gone so far as to call the Mediterranean the <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/mediterranean-graveyard-european-values-150422050428476.html">“graveyard of European values”</a>. Developing and implementing specialised policies for the identification of undocumented migrants would provide much needed coherence to states’ approaches to migration, as well as facilitate social inclusion by proving to the living migrants they are hosting that their lives are worth the same as those of their own citizens.&nbsp; </p> <p>Until now, the issue of undocumented migrant death identification has been lost in the wide and complex narrative of migration. But it is important that we begin to consider the human rights implications of ignoring this topic, as well as the inherent value of implementing policies that facilitate identification. There are human rights in life and in death for all human beings, and the consistent denial of these migrants’ identity – of their name, their family, and of the life they fought so hard for – through inadequate identification systems should be considered a human rights violation. For the sake of the individuals and their families, and for the credibility of the European project, more can and must be done to address this. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/frances-grahl/at-crossroads-homeless-and-undocumented-people-in-paris">At the crossroads: homeless and undocumented people in Paris since the Calais evictions</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/alessandra-sciurba/serbia-waiting-between-trapped-migrants-and-eu-enc">Serbia waiting: between trapped migrants and EU enclosures</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/ludek-stavinoha-vanessa-marjoribanks/send-us-to-moon">Send us to the moon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/mana-aliabadi/snapshots-of-other-asylum-seekers-at-oinofyta-refugee-c">Snapshots of the ‘other’ asylum seekers at Oinofyta refugee camp</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mediterranean-journeys-in-hope/leonie-ansems-de-vries-marta-welander/calais-demolition-mission-accom">Calais demolition: ‘mission accomplished’, the politics of exhaustion and continued struggles for mobility</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Ottavia Ampuero Villagran Mon, 04 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Ottavia Ampuero Villagran 118180 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Sex workers organising for change https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/borislav-gerasimov/sex-workers-organising-for-change <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sex workers around the world are teaming up to accomplish what so few policymakers are willing to do: make their working lives better.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Nokupila_920.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Sex workers protest in front of the Western Cape High Court during the trial of Zwelethu Mthethwa case for the murder of sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo. Date: 16 March 2017. Photo taken by: Lesego Tlhwale. Used with permission, all rights reserved.</p> <p>In February 2018 the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) published our new report ‘<a href="http://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex-workers-organising-for-change">Sex workers organising for change: self-representation, community mobilisation, and working conditions</a>’. The report documents how organising has enabled sex workers to deal with the on-going stigma and discrimination they face from society and the authorities, and to prevent and address the violence, coercion, and exploitation occurring in the sex industry.</p> <p>The report presents the findings of a feminist participatory action research project conducted in seven countries. At least one sex worker organisation in each country took part: Stella and Butterfly (Canada), Brigada Callejera (Mexico), Hetaira and Genera (Spain), SWEAT and Sisonke (South Africa), SANGRAM and VAMP (India), Empower (Thailand) and New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (New Zealand). These countries were chosen because they represent different world regions and cultures, span both the global north and global south, and are considered as both countries of origin and destination for migration and trafficking.</p> <div style="width:230px;font-size:90%;float:right;padding-left:10px;margin-left:10px; padding-bottom:10px;border-left:1px solid #EDEDED;border-bottom:1px solid #EDEDED;"><a href="http://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex-workers-organising-for-change"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/GAATW_cover.jpg" width="230" alt="flex_frontcover.jpg" style="border:1px solid black;" /><a><br /><span style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Download the full report <a href="http://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex-workers-organising-for-change"><em>Sex Workers Organising for Change: Self-representation, community mobilisation, and working conditions</em></a> as a PDF.</span></a></a></div> <p>The precise research methodology varied somewhat across the different countries but generally involved individual interviews and focus group discussions with three types of respondents: representatives of the organisations; current or former sex workers; and representatives of other organisations or individuals who have cooperated with the sex worker organisations. Between nine and 32 respondents were interviewed in each country. In some countries, additional information was provided to the researchers by email. The interview questions related to the benefits of organising, to their understanding of human trafficking, and to the challenges for sex workers in the country. We further asked how the organisations respond to these challenges, and requested specific examples of mobilisation of sex workers. </p> <p>Below are some of the main findings. </p> <h2>Sex work as a livelihood strategy </h2> <p>Our findings confirmed those of previous research that show sex work is first and foremost a livelihood strategy. For many women, sex work is not the only, or primary, work they do. For instance, one of the women interviewed in Mexico is a waitress in a bar who, after her shift ends, sometimes has sex with customers to supplement her income. In India, it was reported that a street vendor may search for customers while selling vegetables, and a dancer at marriages may also take clients. In Spain, one of the research participants works as a freelance shipping courier but earns extra money during the weekends as a sex worker. </p> <p>Participants pointed out that for most women sex work is not <em>the only</em> option for making a living. It is, however, preferable to the generally lower-paid jobs available to them, such as domestic work, factory work or farming. In Thailand, sex workers’ incomes are generally two to 10 times the national minimum wage. In South Africa, women earn on average six times more from sex work than domestic work – often the default occupation for poor black women without a formal education. </p> <p>Abolitionists’ incessant claims that sex workers have no other options infuriates sex workers. One of the Spanish sex workers shared her frustration:</p> <blockquote> <p>When you say that you are a sex worker, people have to find a reason, an excuse: ‘Because she is trans, she was sexually abused as a child, is a single mother’. When I was working in Mercadona [a supermarket chain] as a single mother, nobody said, ‘Poor girl, she is being exploited here because she is a single mother’. But when you are a sex worker, people wonder, ‘Why is she a sex worker?’ It sucks to have to explain my life. Nobody questions why I’ve worked in other jobs.</p> </blockquote> <p>Furthermore, several women reported that while they were initially forced into selling sex, they chose to continue to do so after leaving the exploitative situation. During a focus group discussion in South Africa, after the researcher explained the definition of trafficking, several of the women realised that they had been trafficked into sex work. For example, someone had promised them a different job, helped them come from Zimbabwe to South Africa, and made them provide sexual services for money as a way to repay their travel debt. They told the researcher that the experience had been painful. But, once they were working independently and earning enough to provide for their children and families they opted to continue with selling sex. One of them describes herself now as a “proud migrant sex worker”. </p> <p>In India, VAMP related the case of a young Bangladeshi woman who was brought to India by a friend who had promised her a job in a garment factory, but who then sold her to a madam in a brothel instead. She was initially shocked that she was expected to sell sex, but later decided that it was the only way she could make a decent living and send money back home. After a while, she also got married to a man and they moved in together, but she continued selling sex. </p> <h2>Stigma and criminalisation</h2> <p>When asked about the main challenges that sex workers face, stigma and criminalisation were the most commonly mentioned issues. Stigma leads to criminalisation, which in turn perpetuates further stigma. As one of the interviewees in Thailand said, “the real problem is that our work is illegal, so it makes people pity us… People look down on us and think we must be trafficked”.</p> <p>Sex workers clearly see the links between stigma, criminalisation, and the range of problems they experience, including: harassment and abuse from police, clients, intimate partners, acquaintances and community members; exclusion from health and other services; social marginalisation and stress, and psychological pressure. Stigma also extends to sex workers’ children, leading to low self-esteem, poor academic performance and fewer life opportunities. In Mexico, the research documented how sex workers’ family members extort them for money by keeping their children away from them. In Spain, sex workers are threatened by family or acquaintances with outing and similarly extorted for money. In Canada, one respondent noted that “when you work in such a stigmatised way, you can’t have a resume, you can’t necessarily have access to banking, you can’t have access to housing because you can get turned away”.</p> <p>Stigma, while still present, was the lowest in New Zealand where sex work is decriminalised. Our research confirmed what other studies have found, namely that decriminalisation had improved the attitudes of police, health and social services, as well as the community.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">“Our work is illegal, so it makes people pity us.”</p> <h2>A range of exploitative conditions: ‘at least I’m not in Taken’</h2> <p>Sex workers and sex worker organisations didn’t gloss over the industry or deny that exploitation exists. They identified a range of exploitative conditions imposed by managers and brothel owners, such as: long working hours; wage deductions or fines for not adhering to rules; being cheated out of the earnings due to them; high rents; and insufficient physical protection. These were largely attributed to the stigmatised and criminalised nature of the industry. In New Zealand, participants shared that exploitative conditions were more likely to affect migrant sex workers, who are not allowed to work legally.</p> <p>In all the countries studied exploitative practices were described as relatively common. However, many of our participants pointed out that the government and media’s obsession with human trafficking and ‘sexual slavery’ obscures more mundane but more pervasive forms of exploitation. As one sex worker from New Zealand said:</p> <blockquote> <p>The kind of exploitation that most of us are facing is the exploitation of working long hours, the uncertain pay, of management trying every trick they can to scam every dollar out of you that they can. … It’s not the exploitation of being chained to a bed and raped for twelve hours straight … and in saying that that’s what we’re experiencing just invalidates when something bad does happen to you. It makes it hard to recognise when bad things are happening when you’re always thinking, “well at least I’m not, you know, at least I’m not in ‘Taken’”. </p> </blockquote> <h2>Talking about us without us</h2> <p>Many of our respondents expressed frustration with their exclusion from political participation and representation, especially when it comes to policies that concern them. Some prostitution prohibitionists claim that sex workers can’t or don’t speak on their own behalf. Sex workers who have become involved in the business side of the industry, including the management of safer and less exploitative working conditions for sex workers, are treated with derision. The constant struggle to be recognised and accepted as a human being with dignity and reason who can speak for herself is exhausting. “When we are simply asked to contest or justify our existence”, a Canadian sex worker said, “it’s fucking tiring”.</p> <h2>On trafficking: “It’s just an excuse to arrest us”</h2> <p>Most sex workers had at least a basic understanding of what trafficking is, and could explain that it entails movement, through deception or control, for exploitation. Respondents from several countries, however, noted that it is not a concept that came from within the industry. Trafficking, as they saw it, is something that has been introduced by outsiders and propelled along by a moralistic western agenda. Sex worker organisations have thus found themselves obliged to understand it, above all in order to counter the harmful impact of anti-trafficking interventions. In India, for example, VAMP was dealing internally and collectively with perceived injustices, informed by a shared sense of ethics. The arrival of foreign-initiated anti-trafficking interventions required them to change their approach if they were to effectively engage with this confusing new legal paradigm, and as a consequence they have made a concerted effort to understand the law. </p> <p>In the experience of the sex workers and sex worker organisations, the anti-trafficking machinery has not been helpful to them. On the contrary, it has resulted in multiple violations. For example, a Honduran migrant in Mexico described how she worked in a bar that was raided by the police. There were only two women there, so the police decided to brand one the victim of trafficking and the other the perpetrator, despite the fact that neither had been involved in trafficking. The so-called perpetrator was ordered to sign a confession. The so-called victim was committed to a shelter, and ordered to testify against her friend. The wrongly accused ‘perpetrator’ was sentenced to three years in prison. Now released, she is unable to find work because of her criminal record. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The kind of exploitation that most of us are facing is the exploitation of working long hours, the uncertain pay, of management trying every trick they can to scam every dollar out of you that they can.</p> <p>In Spain, a sex worker who earned extra money by driving sex workers to work was prosecuted for human trafficking (she was later acquitted because of lack of evidence); in another case, a former client who sold snacks to street-based sex workers was questioned by the police and dubbed an exploiter by the media.</p> <p>Some of the organisations shared that they have tried to engage with other anti-trafficking stakeholders but success varied. In India, VAMP’s contribution to preventing trafficking is recognised by some police officers. In Spain and South Africa, however, the organisations had tried to join their national anti-trafficking networks but were either not accepted or later had to leave due to hostilities. </p> <h2>Raid and rescue </h2> <p>The chapters on Thailand and India document in detail two ‘raid and rescue’ operations led by western anti-trafficking NGOs. The raiders were accompanied by the media, who published sensationalist articles along with dramatic pictures of sex workers, thus exposing their identities publicly. The fact that representatives from the foreign NGOs had posed as clients adds another layer of prurience to the cases. In both cases, only a few underage women were found (who are classified as victims of trafficking, even if they were not coerced), and attempts were made after the fact to ‘manufacture’ victims to justify the raid. In both cases, the raids were stressful and traumatising to the ‘rescued’ women. They were detained like criminals and placed in government facilities without the ability to contact their families or without access to life-saving medication. </p> <h2>Sex worker organising: by, with, and for sex workers</h2> <p>While the sex worker organisations in the seven countries operate in different contexts, they fundamentally have the same approach to supporting sex workers. All provide a space which serves as a low-threshold, drop-in centre. This is a safe, discreet and free space where community members can hang out, eat, drink, and establish friendships. They can also access a range of services, from language classes to support groups, counselling, legal advice, and health services. All the organisations conduct outreach to where sex workers work, during which they listen, advise, intervene and refer, as dictated by the individual’s needs. </p> <p>Importantly, the sex workers interviewed indicated that they would approach these organisations for assistance with a range of concerns, including exploitative or coercive working conditions, and problems with brothel-owners, managers or madams. There was also a strong sense among sex workers that being connected to each other, even in an informal way, was protective and supportive. Stories emerged of how sex workers look out for each other in their workplaces, be it the parks of Madrid, the brothels of Sangli, or the bars of Chiang Mai.</p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Gerasimov_Mexico.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">Independent sex workers march on 1 May 2017, International Labour Day, in La Merced, Mexico City. Photo credit: Brigada Callejera. Used with permission, all rights reserved.</p> <h2>Sex workers’ contributions to anti-trafficking</h2> <p>The report documented several cases where sex worker organisations came into contact with potential victims of trafficking and took the necessary action to help them. In South Africa, SWEAT peer educators learnt that a local gangster had abducted the teenage daughters of two sex workers and drugged them, with the intention of exploiting them. After the police refused to take the case, the peer educators sought help from another local gangster who strong-armed the first one to release the two girls. </p> <p>In India, the VAMP conflict redress committee (TMS) was approached by the madam of a brothel, who suspected that a girl brought to her by a pimp was a minor. When TMS members came to the brothel to investigate, the pimp took the girl and ran away to another brothel area. They alerted the TMS in that area, who made the taxi driver tell them where the pimp took the girl. TMS members found her, verified that she was indeed a minor, contacted her parents, provided counselling to them and the girl, and referred them to the police. The pimp never returned to that community again. </p> <p>What these cases and others documented in the country chapters have in common is that the solutions are not always obvious or conventional; in some cases, sex workers have to get creative in order to find the best solution to the concrete situation.</p> <h2>The power of many: organising for change</h2> <p>The report also documented cases where sex worker organisations mobilised sex workers to stand up for their rights and oppose injustice and oppression. In Canada, the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform was formed in 2012 by a small group of activists following the legal challenge against several criminal code provisions regarding sex work. After the Supreme Court struck down these provisions, and the conservative government proposed a bill to criminalise clients, the alliance organised a number of protests, published information sheets for policy makers, and three guides for sex workers to help them understand the legislative process and take an active part in it. Although the conservatives managed to push through their agenda, the alliance continues its active work with the new liberal government and in the meantime has grown to 28 organisations and continues to grow. In Mexico, Brigada Callejera and the Mexican Network of Sex Work organised a number of protests to demand the recognition of sex workers as non-salaried workers, which was finally achieved in 2014. </p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>Ultimately, our report demonstrates that sex worker organisations are worker rights organisations whose primary mandate is to ensure that the human, economic, social, political, and labour rights of their constituents are recognised and respected by state and non-state actors. In this sense, the agendas of sex worker organisations, anti-trafficking organisations and labour rights organisations are not contradictory if one takes care not to conflate sex work with trafficking. The conceptual conflation of sex work with trafficking prevents many anti-trafficking and labour rights organisations and unions from seeing the similarities between their work and that of the sex worker rights organisation. </p> <p>It is our hope that this report is a small step towards bringing together these different organisations in order to ensure rights and justice for all women workers.</p> <p><strong>The complete report and the separate country chapters can be downloaded <a href="http://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex-workers-organising-for-change">from the GAATW website</a>.</strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/kimberly-walters/beyond-raid-and-rescue-time-to-acknowledge-damage-being-done">Beyond ‘raid and rescue’: time to acknowledge the damage being done</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/barnali-das/rescue-by-force-or-rescue-by-choice">Rescue by ‘force’ or rescue by ‘choice’</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/kimberly-waters/rescued-from-rights-misogyny-of-anti-trafficking">Rescued from rights: the misogyny of anti-trafficking</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/using-intersectional-approach-to-raid-and-rescue">Using an intersectional approach to raid and rescue</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/nicolas-lainez/modern-vietnamese-slaves-in-uk-are-raid-and-rescue-operations-appropria">Modern Vietnamese slaves in the UK: are raid and rescue operations appropriate?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/runa-lazzarino/freeloaders-blackmailers-and-lost-souls-rescued-sex-trafficking-survivo">Freeloaders, blackmailers and lost souls: rescued sex trafficking survivors in the hands of the assistance</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/kimberly-walters-neil-howard/interview-forced-rescue-and-humanitarian-trafficking">Interview: forced rescue and humanitarian trafficking</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/vibhuti-ramachandran/critical-reflections-on-raid-and-rescue-operations-in-new-delhi">Critical reflections on raid and rescue operations in New Delhi</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/anne-gathumbi/helping-sex-workers-help-themselves">Helping sex workers help themselves</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/we-don-t-do-sex-work-because-we-are-poor-we-do-sex-work-to-end-our-poverty">We don’t do sex work because we are poor, we do sex work to end our poverty</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sws/hydras-peers/sex-workers-want-peer-knowledge-not-state-control">Sex workers want peer knowledge, not state control</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/simanti-dasgupta/amnesty%E2%80%99s-proposal-to-decriminalise-sex-work-contents-and-discontents">Amnesty’s proposal to decriminalise sex work: contents and discontents</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/fraser-crichton/decriminalising-sex-work-in-new-zealand-its-history-and-impact">Decriminalising sex work in New Zealand: its history and impact</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Borislav Gerasimov Sat, 02 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Borislav Gerasimov 118173 at https://www.opendemocracy.net From #metoo to a global convention on sexual harassment at work https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/cathy-feingold/from-metoo-to-global-ban-on-sexual-harassment-at-work <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We need a binding global convention on violence and harassment in the world of work.</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/14742247590_65742f14c9_k.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">A hatchery in India. World Fish/A. W. M. Anisuzzaman/Flickr. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaid_images/14742247590/in/photolist-osHSAA-4z9NVY-YNThpj-XQjiSc-addjj5-7gPBGo-NSBwZ-dkh7yS-8jo6AH-5ZwMYA-fGoSp-d21PZN-dgS9ko-dZde4k-46wkMo-rjZSa3-21rzBAF-SnNti2-486arR-71fUtK-U59P3C-bGphBp-dkvRL7-25HyqhL-3pF5To-9XNgBv-6nD8K-95xn34-sdBG9U-YsRQFA-4QDHXw-2SW84S-6Tz3-5WNoEG-7Nn6La-48A45h-deem94-TAEEfd-7J5haA-UT5Ndg-XLMUSJ-7WUWXC-2cD89L-kL4fjJ-YMjpyq-YRuehK-5YArGt-cYrSLs-UPwJVC-864vUS">CC (by-nc-nd)</a></p> <p>Labor unions around the globe are heading to the International Labor Conference to demand a new global standard to end violence and sexual harassment in the workplace. This epidemic of unwanted touching, sexual comments, requests for sexual favors and sexual assault happens in palm fields in Honduras, garment factories in Cambodia and <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sarah-lyons/hands-off-pants-on-time-to-end-gender-based-abuse-in-hotel-industry">hotels in the United States</a>. Violence in the workplace hurts both women and men, but women and workers with nonconforming gender identities experience the highest rates of violence. </p> <p>Media accounts around the world have cast a spotlight on the systemic abuse made possible by global production systems built on cheap, flexible labor provided by women. Women workers have less power, and so are often unwilling or afraid to speak out about sexual assault, harassment or violence. Many women fear losing their jobs, or public shaming by co-workers or families. Social class, race, ethnicity, migrant status, age and ability can all tilt the power balance further away from working women and toward abusers. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Women workers have less power, and so are often unwilling or afraid to speak out about sexual assault, harassment or violence.</p> <p>Labor unions can help level the playing field for working women worldwide, because it is possible to stand strong when we stand united. Statistics tell us that women with a union are more likely to raise and address issues of harassment, sexual assault and violence. At the same time, collective bargaining agreements can protect women who report abuses from being fired or retaliated against, yet only 7% of the global workforce benefit from a formal union or worker association. </p> <p>The most vulnerable workers are those who lack unions and who work in precarious arrangements with little or no oversight or accountability. We can help more workers address violence in the workplace by strengthening the freedom of workers to join or form unions and to bargain collectively. A binding standard needs to address the issues of all workers, including those in the informal economy like home-based workers to the most formal economy workers.</p> <p>The International Labor Organization recently released <a href="http://www.ilo.org/actrav/info/pubs/WCMS_546645/lang--en/index.htm">research</a>&nbsp;on violence and harassment at work in 80 countries in preparation for the upcoming conference. Twenty countries surveyed had no measures in place to protect victims who reported sexual harassment from retaliation, and 19 did not even have a legal definition of sexual harassment at work. A strong legal framework that defines sexual harassment and protects victims can help workers and employers identify and stop the violence. </p> <p>Social media has allowed women to raise the visibility of sexual harassment and violence, even in industries with low union density and despite other challenges. The time is ripe for labor unions, governments and employers to build on the momentum of the #metoo, #yotambien, #quellavoltache and other campaigns to improve the safety of all workers in all workplaces.&nbsp; </p> <p>The time is right for a new International Labor Organization global standard aimed at ending violence and sexual harassment at work. Years of advocacy from unions and our allies have yielded a commitment to a two-year, tripartite negotiation process between unions, employers and governments. The result will be a new ILO standard, possibly a binding convention, directly focused on violence and sexual harassment in the world of work. Other human rights instruments address gender discrimination or violence in the workplace, yet this ILO standard will be unique because it brings both issues together with a sole focus on the world of work. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Twenty of 80 countries surveyed by the ILO had no measures in place to protect victims who reported sexual harassment from retaliation.</p> <p>ILO standards are negotiated by governments, unions and employers and are widely useful. Governments use them to draft and implement labor and social policy laws. Employers use them to create a set of best practices that can be used anywhere around the world. Labor unions use them to advocate for better protections at work. </p> <p>Unions support a convention, which is a binding legal instrument that can be ratified by members of the ILO, accompanied by a recommendation that provides more detailed guidance and best practices. A binding convention is necessary, because of the prevalence of sexual harassment across all sectors and workplaces. Unions are advocating for a standard that would cover all workers from domestic workers to autoworkers. A binding convention will make sure countries have the necessary tools to develop and implement laws, as well as develop systems of accountability so the improvements actually have an impact on workers in all workplaces.</p> <p>Women and sexual and gender minority workers have suffered because of a lack of legal frameworks and a severe power imbalance for too long. No worker should endure violence because the risk of speaking out is too great. No one should endure humiliations and abuse to keep a job. This month, governments and employers have an opportunity to join with unions to start the process of creating a strong new convention and global standard. We can protect millions of workers, and build a future free of workplace sexual harassment and violence. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/american-federation-of-labor-and-congress-of-industrial-organizations-international-la">Introducing a special theme series on gender-based violence in the workplace</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/unite-here-local-8/seattle-fights-hotel-worker-harassment-with-new-law">Seattle fights hotel worker harassment with new law</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/judy-gearhart-penelope-kyritsis/gender-based-violence-at-work-when-boss-is-threat">Gender-based violence at work: when the boss is the threat</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/penelope-kyritsis-cassandra-waters/protection-lotto-against-gender-based-violence-in-u">The protection lotto against gender-based violence in the US</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/penelope-kyritsis-iris-mungu/gender-based-violence-in-central-american-agricultural-in">Gender-based violence in the Central American agricultural industry</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/cathy-feingold-penelope-kyritsis/national-trade-unions-in-globalised-world">National trade unions in a globalised world</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/gscpd/cathy-feingold/cathy-feingold-yes">A binding convention on decent work: the first step to workers&#039; rights</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Cathy Feingold Tue, 29 May 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Cathy Feingold 118118 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Playing games with child trafficking in India https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/erin-o-brien-helen-berents/playing-games-with-child-trafficking-in-india <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The computer game (UN)TRAFFICKED puts the fate of a 13-year-old potential trafficking victim in the player’s hands, without ever allowing the girl to speak for herself.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Waiting-room.jpg" width="100%" /> <p class="image-caption" style="margin-top:0px;padding-top:0px;">All images are screen captures from <a href="https://bharatyatra.online/untrafficked/">(UN)TRAFFICKED</a>. Fair use.</p> <p><a href="https://bharatyatra.online/untrafficked/">(UN)TRAFFICKED</a> is a browser-based, choose-your-own-adventure video game that allows players to control the fate of Alisha, a 13-year-old Indian girl at risk of being trafficked into slavery. Developed by the foundation of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, and available in both English and Hindi, it is designed to raise awareness of child trafficking as part of a much larger campaign. It has been reported that the game has been played <a href="https://qz.com/1131165/untrafficked-if-you-want-to-know-what-its-like-to-be-a-child-trafficking-victim-in-india-play-this-online-game/">more than 100,000</a> times since its launch, with most players being based in India.</p> <p>While the Satyarthi Foundation’s efforts <a href="https://qz.com/1131165/untrafficked-if-you-want-to-know-what-its-like-to-be-a-child-trafficking-victim-in-india-play-this-online-game/">have been widely praised</a>, there are problems with the way in which players get to toy with the exploitation of a girl child. Like so many recent campaigns to raise awareness of trafficking, the design of the gameplay invites players to see themselves in the story as the potential hero, rather than concentrating on getting them to empathise with the victim. In this game, the player is not acting as the victim, they are acting upon the victim.</p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Here-she-is.jpg" width="100%" /> <p>The gameplay follows the well-trodden path of ‘innocence lost’ found in many media reports, press releases, and popular movies. It begins by giving players the option to choose a name for the girl and the region of India she is from. These choices have no impact on the events of the game, but do grant the player a troubling element of ownership over the child, in the same way that a player might customise their avatar’s hair colour or clothes. If players decline the choice, we are introduced to “Alisha”, who lives in “rural Bihar with her family”.</p> <p>In her clearly defined role of victim, Alisha is ‘ideal’: young, female, virginal, and passive. The abuses she is forced to suffer, meanwhile, primarily trace back to adult strangers with criminal intent – the villains of the game. This overall setup inescapably makes her the victim of individual ‘baddies’, and in doing so truncates any sustained reflection upon the larger forces working to put girls in positions of vulnerability and precarity in India, such as poverty, debt, or dispossession. </p> <p>The inevitability of Alisha’s exploitation, and powerlessness of her situation, is emphasised through a ‘hearts bar’ positioned at the top right of the screen. In a traditional video game, this would represent an avatar’s ‘health’ or how many ‘lives’ they have left. When bad things happen in this game, such as a policeman refusing to help or a neighbour remaining silent, Alisha loses two hearts. An animation shows the hearts break and then fall away, accompanied by the sound of a gasp or sob.</p> <p>This momentary sob is the only voice afforded to Alisha in a game where she is both the central character and a mere prop illustrating the consequences of the choices of others. While this may be an intentional demonstration of the helplessness of the victim, it creates a completely disempowered Alisha who is victim not only to exploitation, but to a life in which none of the choices were ever hers. The only characters in the game with any agency are those who make decisions about her: the victim’s father, the victim’s friends, an employment agent, the wife of an employer, a sex work customer, or a police officer. For Alisha, there are no choices, no options, no agency.</p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Hearts-bar-breaking.jpg" width="100%" /> <p>The depiction of the characters empowered to make choices in Alisha’s story does, however, set (UN)TRAFFICKED apart from the majority of anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. So often in public representations of trafficking the hero is a rescuer from the Global North. They are the <a href="https://ijm.org.au/police-bust-trafficking-network-operating-in-a-north-kolkata-hotel/">anti-trafficking NGO worker</a> one step behind local police in a brothel raid, the <a href="http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/sunday-nights-matt-doran-goes-undercover-with-operation-underground-railroad-to-bring-down-haiti-child-sex-ring/news-story/dcecf5950ca5b6d501c48ed927127bc3">former military commando</a> posing as a brothel client who ‘buys time’ with a girl in order to rescue her, the white western journalists like <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/19/opinion/leaving-the-brothel-behind.html">Nicholas Kristof writing his own saviour story</a>, or the Northern anti-trafficking advocates raising money and lobbying governments to save the girl child or wounded woman of the Global South. </p> <p>In (UN)TRAFFICKED, however, the potential heroes of the story are members of Alisha’s own community. At home, they are her parents and friends. In the city they are the employment agent who decides where she will be sent. In one scenario, she is sent to work in a massage parlour, where a customer is framed as a potential hero if he refuses to have sex with her. In an alternate scenario Alisha is sent to be a domestic worker at the home of a man who sexually abuses her, while his wife is offered the choice to send her home. In both scenarios, the police have the choice of recognising her plight or looking the other way. If these characters fail to act, or make the wrong choice, the story ultimately leads to the sexual assault of Alisha, reinforcing a stereotypical understanding of sexual violence as a mandatory feature of the trafficking experience.</p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/fathers-choice.jpg" width="100%" /> <p>The binary options that the gameplay relies upon are extremely limited from a learning standpoint. They fail to capture the complexity of the larger factors that condition ‘choices’, and suggest that every decision has a purely right and a purely wrong side. For example, at the very beginning of the game Alisha’s father is offered the choice of sending her to the city with a strange man, or of keeping her at home. If the player makes the ‘correct’ choice and keeps her at home, the text simply reads “well done, Alisha’s safe”. The game has already been ‘won’, but it then proceeds to play out the ‘wrong’ choice anyway as a didactic exercise. If the player chooses to send her to the city from the get-go, the player is provided with an information box explaining that parents of children aged between 6 and 14 years old are “legally obliged to make sure they have access to an education”, and that children over 14 years of age can investigate “skill-building programs”.</p> <p>The choice presented to Alisha’s father in this opening scene greatly oversimplifies the conundrum faced by parents struggling to provide an education or a future for their children. This binary choice also subscribes to a frequent assumption of anti-trafficking policy that potential victims can be saved by keeping them at home. Seeking opportunities elsewhere, especially for young women, is defined as unacceptably dangerous without much consideration of whether or not the situation at home is any safer or better. This deflects attention from the task of ensuring that young women can travel, migrate, and pursue opportunities, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/jane-freedman/who%E2%80%99s-responsible-for-violence-against-migrant-women">while also remaining safe</a>. </p> <img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/Trafficker.jpg" width="100%" /> <p>Browser-based and app-based games are increasingly used by advocacy organisations as a form of ‘virtual humanitarianism’, designed to raise awareness and mobilise popular and political support. (UN)TRAFFICKED is not the only game to have been released to deal with child labour and slavery in recent years. In 2014, the European Union supported the creation of the <a href="http://banhumantrafficking.com/en/play-the-game">Balkans ACT Now</a> online and smartphone game depicting trafficking into a range of exploitative practices, while in 2016 ‘<a href="http://gamedev.nasscom.in/game/missing-game-cause">Missing: Game for a Cause</a>’ was released portraying the story of a girl trafficked into the sex industry.</p> <p>These games are all designed to educate, however the practical impact of these efforts are hard to measure. Just like more traditional advertising campaigns on television or in print, they have the chance to expose audiences to previously unknown issues. The key sticking point, however, remains the kinds of stories that games such as (UN)TRAFFICKED convey to players. While Alisha’s story is based on real experiences of Indian girls who have been exploited, it is not the only story. Games that claim to allow insights into the lives of others in radically different circumstances need to be very careful about reproducing simplistic and potentially damaging narratives. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/garrett-nagaishi/from-utah-to-%E2%80%98darkest-corners-of-world%E2%80%99-militarisation-of-raid-and-re">From Utah to the ‘darkest corners of the world’: the militarisation of raid and rescue</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/joel-quirk-julia-o%27connell-davidson/introduction-moving-beyond-popular-representations">Introduction: moving beyond popular representations of trafficking and slavery</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/joel-quirk/rhetoric-and-reality-of-%E2%80%98ending-slavery-in-our-lifetime%E2%80%99">The rhetoric and reality of ‘ending slavery in our lifetime’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/kerwin-kaye/shilling-fantasy-as-reality-review-of-%E2%80%98trade%E2%80%99-and-%E2%80%98holly%E2%80%99">Shilling fantasy as reality: a review of ‘Trade’ and ‘Holly’</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/vibhuti-ramachandran/rescued-but-not-released-%E2%80%98protective-custody%E2%80%99-of-sex-workers-in-i">Rescued but not released: the ‘protective custody’ of sex workers in India</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Helen Berents Erin O’Brien Thu, 24 May 2018 22:00:00 +0000 Erin O’Brien and Helen Berents 118046 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Why is Ireland still placing people detained for immigration-related purposes in prisons? https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/emily-cunniffe/why-is-ireland-still-placing-people-detained-for-immigration-related-pu <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Research from Nasc sheds light on the treatment of those refused ‘leave to land’ at Irish borders and individuals held in detention for immigration-related purposes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u563152/3772941382_e770441408_o.jpg" alt="" width="100%" /><span class="image-caption">stephane333/flickr.&nbsp;<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(CC BY-SA 2.0)</a></span></p><p>On 18 July 2017, <a href="https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/galway-family-left-distraught-by-arrest-of-former-au-pair-1.3160547?mode=sample&amp;auth-failed=1&amp;pw-origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.com%2Fnews%2Fcrime-and-law%2Fgalway-family-left-distraught-by-arrest-of-former-au-pair-1.3160547">Paloma Aparezida Silva-Carvalho</a>, a 24-year-old Brazilian woman, was detained at Dublin Airport. Paloma was entering Ireland to visit the Muller-Wieland family in Galway, for whom she had worked as an au pair the year before. However, despite evidence of her return flight and providing the contact details of the Muller-Wieland family, she was accused by immigration officers of entering Ireland to work without a valid permission. She was subsequently denied entry to Ireland (‘refused leave to land’) and detained in Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison in the Dóchas Centre.&nbsp;</p> <p>Paloma spent the night in prison. However, following significant media attention and political pressure garnered by the Muller-Wieland family and their community, she was released and granted 10 days to stay in the country in a discretionary decision by the Minister of Justice and Equality.&nbsp;</p> <p>The ensuing public outrage and shock at Paloma’s treatment demonstrated how little is known and discussed about immigrant detention and refusals of leave to land in Ireland. Yet, Paloma’s experience is far from exceptional, with <a href="http://www.thedetail.tv/articles/a-nation-of-welcomes-assessing-the-republic-of-ireland-s-record-on-asylum-and-immigration">over 28,000 individuals</a> refused leave to land between 2008 and 2016. Of that figure, Brazilian is the nationality most frequently refused entry, despite the fact that people from Brazil do not require a visa to enter Ireland.&nbsp;</p> <p>In comparison to many countries in Europe, the number of individuals detained for immigration-related purposes in Ireland is<a href="https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/regions-subregions/europe"> relatively low</a>. Yet, Ireland is one of the <a href="https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/regions-subregions/europe">few countries in Europe </a>that continues to use prisons as designated spaces for immigration-related detention. That is, for individuals who have neither been accused or convicted of a crime in the state.</p> <p>Ireland has faced continuous international criticism for its practice of immigration detention, most notably from <a href="https://www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/ireland?desktop=false">the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)</a>. But despite this criticism, Ireland continues the practice of placing individuals detained for immigration-related purposes in criminal facilities.</p> <p>In February 2018, <a href="http://www.nascireland.org/">Nasc</a>, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre based in Cork, released the ‘<a href="http://www.nascireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Nasc-Immigration-Detention-Border-Control-in-Ireland.pdf">Immigration Detention &amp; Border Control in Ireland: Revisiting Irish Law, Policy and Practice</a>’ report, which takes as its starting point <a href="https://idcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/irc-detention-report-2005.pdf">Mark Kelly’s seminal research</a> on the area of immigration-related detention in Ireland, first published in 2005. The 2018 report is based on over two years of research, which included interviews with migrants and asylum seekers detained due to refusals of leave to land, as well as those detained as protection applicants and pending deportation. Throughout this research it became clear that little has changed in the area since 2005, and there continues to be a lack of safeguards and transparency in border control practices and immigration-related detention in Ireland.</p> <h2><strong>Border controls: a two-tiered, discretionary system</strong></h2> <p>The system of border control in Ireland today developed in an ad hoc manner and relies significantly on the discretionary decisions made by immigration officials on duty. In our report, we examined what happens after an individual is refused leave to land by the on-duty immigration officer and the safeguards in place for those individuals following their refusal and subsequent detention. These safeguards are based on those employed in Kelly’s 2005 report, key international human rights legislation, EU legislation, and principally, CPT recommendations.</p> <p>The key safeguards examined include: (1) the right to not be held incommunicado; (2) access to legal representation; (3) access to medical attention; (4) access to information on the reasons for detention and an explanation of one’s rights once in detention; and, (5) access to a right of appeal.</p> <p>With the above five safeguards as points of analysis, the report demonstrates how very few of these safeguards and protections are granted in law under the Immigration Acts (2003; 2004) to assure the rights of those refused leave to land at ports of entry. Strikingly, it is only when an individual is admitted to a prison that some of these key safeguards are met.&nbsp;</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">It is only when an individual is admitted to a prison that some of these key safeguards are met.</p> <p>Eight individuals who had been refused leave to land at Dublin Airport and were being detained at Cloverhill Prison in Dublin were interviewed for this report between 2015–2017. On the whole, these individuals reported that the majority of the above five safeguards were not met at Dublin Airport when they were denied entry.</p> <p>Although all eight individuals interviewed knew the reasons for the refusal of leave to land, five of the eight did not understand why these reasons applied to them. In addition, a number expressed difficulty in understanding the refusal due to a language barrier, with, in some cases, no interpretation being offered to those refused and in other cases, the wrong language for interpretation being used.</p> <p>Of particular concern is the lack of access to justice and to communicate with a third party once an individual has been refused leave to land. Of the eight interviewed, six expressed frustration with the confiscation of their phones and their subsequent inability to contact a third party of their choice.</p> <p>A further area of concern is the lack of access to justice once an individual has been denied entry. In Ireland, the venue for an appeal of a decision of refusal of entry is the High Court, where cases typically take a number of years to be heard. Thus, reviews are highly unlikely to take place and result in a grave financial and temporal burden – not only on the individual but also on the state and its resources. Of the eight individuals interviewed who were refused leave to land, only one individual was pursuing legal action.</p> <p>With very few High Court proceedings pursued following a refusal of leave to land, there is not only a concerning lack of recourse for individuals refused entry but also a resultant lack of accountability for the wide powers of discretion available to and exercised by immigration officers. There is an urgent need for the establishment of clear right of appeal against a decision to refuse leave to land.</p> <p>Given the absence of legal safeguards and basic rights, such as access to a lawyer; medical treatment; or a lack of a real and substantial review of a decision, the people detained in the airport, especially those held for protracted periods of time, are effectively detained in a no man’s land and in a setting that sits outside the law.</p> <h2>Verifying information at the border</h2> <p>In the context of Nasc’s research, it was communicated to us by those we interviewed in the Department of Justice and Equality that every effort is made by border control officials to verify information supplied to them by people seeking to enter the country.</p> <p>Nonetheless, many of those interviewed for this research reported that not every effort was made by the acting immigration officer to verify their information, nor was all information taken into account before a final decision was made. Two Hong Kong nationals refused leave to land who were travelling to Ireland to attend an English course were deemed to have insufficient funds. They felt that the immigration officer did not take all information into account:</p> <p class="blockquote-new">“They didn’t allow us to prove we had some funds. I told them we had money in Hong Kong. I can’t give the certificate now, because it is in China. How do you know I don’t have enough funds, if you don’t give me a chance to show you, if you don’t give me time?”</p> <p>Further to this, border controls in Ireland currently operate on a two-tiered system wherein Dublin Airport has recently civilianised their border control management with civil servants from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, while all other ports of entry continue to be operated by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (a wing of the Irish police force). With different training and institutional structures, we would be concerned with regard to the consistency of decisions made at ports of entry. </p> <p>An area of particular concern in verifying information is access to the asylum system. In law, any individual who presents at the border has the right to seek asylum in the state. However, our research found that not all claims for asylum are being heard at the port of entry, with a concerning number of individuals from regions of conflict or humanitarian concern being refused leave to land or ending up in prison before their case for asylum can be submitted. Of the previously mentioned figure of 28,000 individuals refused entry between 2008 and 2016, <a href="http://www.thedetail.tv/articles/a-nation-of-welcomes-assessing-the-republic-of-ireland-s-record-on-asylum-and-immigration">over 2000 of these individuals </a>were from areas of conflict and/or of humanitarian concern.&nbsp;</p> <p>One detainee interviewed while in Cloverhill Prison wished to seek asylum in Ireland. He travelled from Sudan on an Eastern European passport and was refused leave to land on the basis that it was not a valid passport. He felt that the immigration officers were not receptive to his side of the story: “I said, ‘I want to seek asylum.’ They said no, because of the passport. They didn’t want to listen. They said ‘Yes, yes sit down there.’ I answered things, but they didn’t listen. They didn’t want to know about my situation, my country.”</p> <p>Immigration officers need to be sufficiently trained to recognise individuals who may be interested in applying for asylum, including in situations in which the language may not be explicitly used. An inability to recognise applicants for asylum and subsequently refusing them leave to land, would mean Ireland is in violation of a key tenet of the 1951 Geneva Convention for Refugees and the subsequent protocol of non-refoulement.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Places of detention: prisons and garda stations</strong></h2> <p>In his 2005 report, Mark Kelly criticised that Ireland’s only spaces of detention were Garda stations and prisons. Thirteen years on, the spaces of detention for immigration-related purposes remain the same in Ireland.</p> <p>The report found that those being refused leave to land are unnecessarily being held in prisons and are not being returned on the next available flight back. In the case of a Somali man with refugee status in a Scandinavian country, there was no flight back that day. He was told he might be removed two days later. He offered to buy his own ticket back home but was informed that “that’s not how it works”. Another detainee, from Ukraine, flew on his Romanian passport (considered a fake by immigration authorities) from Bucharest and had a return flight booked for 10 days later. He stated, “It is my first time in prison. I am very frightened. There have been many flights every day. Why is it taking so long? For three days I am here.”</p> <p>From the outset, it is important to recognise that there have been <a href="http://www.iprt.ie/key-issues">strong calls for prison reforms more broadly in Ireland</a>, particularly with regard to overcrowding and high levels of criminality. Although beyond the scope of our report, we recognise and align ourselves with those broader calls for reform.&nbsp;</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">"if you don’t speak English, they play with you.”&nbsp;</p> <p>In our research, those detained for immigration-related purposes reported their experiences of this overcrowding and levels of criminality. A Congolese man detained in Cloverhill for a total of 2 months reported that during his time in prison the rooms were overcrowded: he was the fourth individual in a room for three, and he explicitly stated that he stayed away from Irish prisoners as a “fight always broke out.” Another Somalian individual who was detained in Cloverhill Prison stated that he got hit on the back of his head in the prison pool room and that “if you don’t speak English, they play with you.”</p> <p>One interviewee from Pakistan in Cloverhill Prison awaiting deportation stated that he began a job in catering in the prison kitchens, but he described the job as dangerous as “there were no cameras, it was easier to take you down. There were many knives. There were misunderstandings. Someone tried to bully me. I am a peaceful person. I don’t look for fights.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Prisons are inappropriate places of detention for individuals who have neither been accused or convicted of a crime in the state. Nonetheless, it is paradoxically in prisons where individuals detained for immigration-related purposes in theory have the most rights and protections in the whole immigration detention process.</p> <h2>The future of immigrant detention in Ireland</h2> <p>The Nasc report makes a number of key recommendations to the Irish government in the fields of border control and immigrant detention. We call for the granting of access to key safeguards from the outset of a refusal of leave to land and throughout the detention process, including the right to access medical attention, to not be held incommunicado and to access the asylum procedure, among others.</p> <p>The report strongly advocates for the use of alternatives to detention, which are already legislated for in Irish law, and the need for greater transparency within border control and detention practices with the regular publication of relevant statistics and information.</p> <p>Finally, Ireland has signed but not ratified the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), which addresses monitoring and transparency of detention and borders, and it is strongly recommended that this is ratified this as soon as possible.</p> <p>With Ireland set to open its first immigration detention facility at Dublin Airport in 2018, and <a href="http://www.thejournal.ie/dublin-airport-immigration-3959990-Apr2018/?utm_source=shortlink">the tender for this construction announced earlier this week</a>, our report urges the Irish government to ensure that this centre is not a criminal institution and is a space in which all legal safeguards and the material and psychological conditions recommended by the CPT are met.</p> <p>To read the full report, please click<a href="http://www.nascireland.org/feature-reports/immigration-detention-border-control-ireland/"> here</a>.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sp/jennifer-dewan/pushing-for-safe-passage-in-ireland">Pushing for safe passage in Ireland</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/safepassages/cameron-thibos-ben-lewis/interview-detention-as-new-migration-managem">Interview: detention as the new migration management?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/cameron-thibos-stacy-topouzova/global-compacts-detention-centres-and-safe-passage-can-">Global compacts, detention centres, and safe passage: can the world change course on migration?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/5050/chris-nash/locked-limbo-detention-stateless-europe">Locked in limbo: the prolonged detention of stateless people in Europe must end now</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/safepassages/leeanne-torpey-daniela-reale/time-for-clear-roadmap-for-states-to-end-child-immigratio">Time for a clear roadmap for states to end child immigration detention</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Emily Cunniffe Thu, 26 Apr 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Emily Cunniffe 117497 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The impact of the 'Swedish model' in France: chronicle of a disaster foretold https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/nicola-mai-calogero-giametta-h-l-ne-le-bail/impact-of-swedish-model-in-france-chronicl <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>What happens when policymakers are guided by their biases, instead of the voices of the people they are trying to help?</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u563152/JOY%20NICO%20NEW%20%281%29_0.jpg" alt="" width="100%" /><span class="image-caption">Still image from Travel (2016, 63min) a participative ethnographic documentary by Nicola Mai. Used with permission from Nicola Mai.</span></p><p class="Body">Between March 2014 and March 2015, two of the authors (Mai and Giametta) conducted a survey with 500 migrant and non-migrant sex workers in France in order to understand their views on the proposed law aiming to criminalise their clients. The law was discussed by the French Parliament recurrently in 2014 and 2015, before its final approval in April 2016 (law n° 2016-444). This survey was part of the project <em>Emborders: Problematising Sexual Humanitarianism through Experimental Filmmaking</em>,<em> </em>based at the Laboratory of Mediterranean Sociology at Aix-Marseille University between January 2014 and December 2015. The project adopted a participative ethical approach, by including people working in the sex industry and organisations representing and supporting sex workers in various stages, including the formulation of the research questions, as well as the gathering and analysis of the interview material. We compared the effects of humanitarian interventions targeting migrant sex workers and sexual minority asylum seekers in the United Kingdom and France.</p> <p class="Body">The main aim of <em>Emborders</em> was to understand the effects in France and the United Kingdom of ‘sexual humanitarianism’, a concept developed by Nicola Mai to analyse how migrant sex workers are impacted by policymaking and social interventions based on their presumed vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation. Crucially, the concept of sexual humanitarianism refers to the global hegemony of a neo-abolitionist discourse, which systematically conflates prostitution with trafficking, framing prostitution as “<a href="https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/legal-incursions-into-supplydemand(19e2e2bc-7a7b-439c-b89c-72d1eda5eb1a).html">paradigmatic of a system of male power</a>” and seeking its abolition by removing the demand for sexual services. This trend is best exemplified by the global resonance of the “Swedish model” – a policymaking framework aiming to reduce the demand for prostitution by decriminalising sex work and criminalising the purchase of sex – as an ideal instrument to fight trafficking. </p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The concept of sexual humanitarianism refers to the global hegemony of a neo-abolitionist discourse, which systematically conflates prostitution with trafficking.</p> <p class="Body">One of the main problems with the dominant neo-abolitionist discourse and the resulting policy solutions is that they ignore the priorities and needs of migrant and non-migrant sex workers. They contribute to their heightened socio-economic vulnerability and exploitability, as well as risks of destitution and deportation. The aim of the survey we undertook in 2014–15 was to move beyond these mainstream understandings of sex work, and to instead centre the perspectives of people selling sex in France on the government’s proposed criminalisation of clients. Unsurprisingly, ninety-eight per cent of the surveyed sex workers, both migrants and non-migrants, were against it.</p> <p class="Body">Many respondents, both migrants and non-migrants, reported having started to suffer the effects of law n° 2016-444 before it was even implemented, as a result of extensive media coverage of the issue well before 2016. As early as 2014, rates for sex work had already begun to decrease and many clients stopped calling for fear of being fined. The words of a 27-year-old French woman working as an escort in Paris further illustrate this:&nbsp;</p> <p class="blockquote-new">“The threat of criminalisation in the near future has already scared away some of my clients: the most respectful ones”. (Paris, 2014)</p> <p class="Body">And the words of a 40-year-old Algerian transvestite selling sex on the streets of Marseille echo similar concerns:</p> <p class="blockquote-new">“It already happened. Every time there they talk about the law on TV clients go down, and then they come up again, slowly. I now do for 20 what I would not have even considered doing for 40 just a year ago. I get on cars I would not have gotten into. There are no clients. So you have to get what you can.” (Marseille, 2015)</p> <p>The anticipated negative effects of this law have been confirmed by new research undertaken between April 2016 and April 2018 jointly by <a href="https://www.sciencespo.fr/ceri/fr/cerispire-user/13161/14567">Hélène Le Bail</a> researcher at Sciences Po-CERI Paris and <a href="http://www.lames.cnrs.fr/spip.php?article329">Calogero Giametta</a>, postdoctoral researcher for the ERC-funded <a href="https://sexualhumanitarianism.wordpress.com/">SEXHUM project</a> (<em>Sexual Humanitarianism: Migration, Sex Work and Trafficking)</em>. Directed by Nicola Mai, the SEXHUM project extends the original focus of the <em>Emborders</em> project by comparing the effect of sexual humanitarian policies and intervention in Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States.&nbsp;</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">I now do for 20 what I would not have even considered doing for 40 just a year ago.</p> <p class="BodyA">This study was initiated by a few NGOs supporting sex workers in France, which then commissioned the two researchers to cooperate with them in conducting a survey. The research produced qualitative interviews with 70 sex workers, five focus groups with sex workers, 24 interviews and focus groups with sex worker groups or other supporting organisations – mostly constituting of community health organisations – and a quantitative survey undertaken between January and February 2018 involving 583 sex workers. Its results confirmed the disastrous consequences anticipated by the 2014-2015 survey in France and by <a href="http://swexpertise21.nl/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Levy-2014-Swedens-abolitionist-discourse-and-law-effecten.pdf">existing research</a> on the impact of the criminalisation of clients in Sweden.</p> <p class="BodyA">The main aims of the law were to decrease the number of sex workers and to protect them by abolishing the previous criminalisation of public soliciting, and shifting criminality to the clients instead. However, the law ended up achieving the opposite of its intended aims. The majority of those interviewed believe that the criminalisation of clients is more detrimental to their well-being and safety than the previous laws against soliciting. They feel that they have far less control over their working conditions because of the falling number of clients since the new law came into effect.&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">And in many cases, sex workers feel pressured by the police to report clients and, if they are undocumented, also experience threats of deportation if they do not comply. Moreover, the study shows that at a local level the law has not always suspended municipal bylaws and regular identity checks, which has resulted in sex workers being pushed away from their usual work places and city centres into more dangerous, isolated and unknown places.&nbsp;</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">The law has pushed sex workers to operate under riskier conditions with dangerous implications for their physical and mental health.</p> <p class="Body">Besides its failure to produce a decrease in the number of sex workers in France, the law has had a detrimental effect on the safety, health and overall living conditions of sex workers. It has pushed sex workers to operate under riskier conditions with dangerous implications for their physical and mental health. The law has impoverished many sex workers, especially those who were already experiencing economic difficulties and particularly migrant women working in the street. The falling number of clients and increased competition among sex workers has caused rates for sex work to fall.</p> <p class="Body">To avoid fines for clients, the negotiation process with clients has been pushed indoors, severely reducing sex workers’ ability to evaluate and select their clients. Sex workers have been increasingly obliged to accept clients whom they would have previously refused. Generally, the decreasing time available to negotiate with clients has made it harder for sex workers to impose their conditions. Many interviews highlighted a worrying decrease in condom use as well as increased difficulties continuing treatment for those who are HIV positive. Stress created by worsening working conditions is also at the root of various psychosomatic health issues, from alcohol and drug consumption, to depression and suicidal thoughts.</p> <p class="BodyA">The results of the qualitative research also reveal that cases of violence, of all kinds, have increased and that impoverishment, increased health risks and increased exposure to violence form a vicious circle. All of these negative dynamics could have been avoided if politicians had listened to sex workers, trusted the results of the 2014-15 survey and relied on the existing scholarly literature on the impact of the ‘Swedish Model’. They prioritized their sexual humanitarian, neo-abolitionist agenda instead of taking seriously the concerns of the people they purported to help.</p> <p><em>The executive summary for the 2018 ‘What do sex workers think about the French prostitution act?’ report is available <a href="https://www.medecinsdumonde.org/sites/default/files/ENGLISH-Synth%C3%A8se-Rapport-prostitution-BD.PDF">here</a>.</em></p> <p><em>The full&nbsp;2018 report (in French is available) <a href="http://www.medecinsdumonde.org/fr/actualites/france/2018/04/12/travail-du-sexe-la-loi-du-danger">here</a>.</em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img alt="bracelet-280.jpg" width="100%" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u555228/bracelet-280.jpg" /></p> <div style="font-size: 85%;"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/giulia-garofalo-geymonat-pg-macioti/sex-workers-speak-who-listens">Sex workers speak: who listens?</a>GIULIA GAROFALO GEYMONAT<br />P.G. MACIOTI <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/international-committee-on-rights-of-sex-workers-in-europe/for-decriminalisation-and-j">For decriminalisation and justice: sex workers demand legal reform and social change</a> INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF SEX WORKERS IN EUROPE <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/ava-caradonna-x-talk-project/we-speak-but-you-don-t-listen-migrant-sex-worker-organisi">We speak but you don’t listen: migrant sex worker organising at the border</a> AVA CARADONNA and X:TALK PROJECT <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/roses-dacier/what-gives-them-right-to-judge-us">What gives them the right to judge us?</a> ROSES D’ACIER <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/gail-pheterson/at-long-last-listen-to-women">At long last, listen to the women!</a> GAIL PHETERSON <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/syndicat-du-travail-sexuel/french-state-against-sex-workers-security-and-racist-logic">The French state against sex workers: a security and racist logic</a> SYNDICAT DU TRAVAIL SEXUEL <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/hydras-peers/sex-workers-want-peer-knowledge-not-state-control">Sex workers want peer knowledge, not state control</a> HYDRA’S PEERS <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/committee-for-civil-rights-of-prostitutes/sex-work-is-social-and-not-criminal-issue">Sex work is a social and not a criminal issue!</a> COMITATO <hr /> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/sws/netochka-nezvanova/trafficking-discourses-and-sex-workers-mobilisation-in-eastern-euro">Trafficking discourses and sex workers’ mobilisation in eastern Europe and central Asia</a> NETOCHKA NEZVANOVA </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/empower-foundation-sam-okyere-liz-hilton/what-would-make-sex-work-decent-work">When is sex work &#039;decent work&#039;?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/rebecca-angelini/if-you-control-movement-you-control-sex-workers">If you control movement, you control sex workers</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sam-okyere-essi-thesslund/false-promise-of-nordic-model-of-sex-work">The false promise of the Nordic model of sex work</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Can Europe make it? Hélène Le Bail Calogero Giametta Nicola Mai Wed, 25 Apr 2018 20:41:13 +0000 Nicola Mai, Calogero Giametta and Hélène Le Bail 117420 at https://www.opendemocracy.net No loopholes, no exceptions https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/penelope-kyritsis/no-loopholes-no-exceptions <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Domestic workers and farmworker women join forces to end sexual violence in their industries, leaving no one behind.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u563152/IMG_3547_0.JPG" alt="" width="100%" /><span class="image-caption">Photo provided by author.</span></p><p>On 24 April 2018, over 200 domestic workers, farmworker women and allies came together for the <em><a href="https://unstoppable.domesticworkers.org/">Unstoppable Day of Action</a></em> at the U.S. capitol, calling on lawmakers to pass sexual harassment protections for all workers. After a press conference in the morning, a delegation of women led by the <a href="https://www.domesticworkers.org/">National Domestic Workers Alliance</a> (NDWA) and the <a href="https://www.alianzanacionaldecampesinas.org/">Alianza Nacional de Campesinas</a> (National Farmworker Women’s Alliance) visited over 60 members of Congress&nbsp; from both chambers <em>to discuss legislative solutions to sexual harassment. Specifically, they are calling on employers, lawmakers, and advocates all over the United States to:</em></p><ol><li>Close legal loopholes so that workplace harassment and abuse is deemed unlawful in every workplace – no exceptions.</li><li>Make it simple and safe for workers to report sexual harassment and file complaints.</li><li>Provide funding for culturally and linguistically appropriate resources for domestic workers and farmworkers who file complaints.</li><li>Promote policy reform to ensure that farmworkers and domestic workers are covered by anti-sexual harassment and retaliation laws.&nbsp;</li></ol> <p>For decades, domestic workers and farmworker women have been systematically excluded from labour protection laws and have faced extensive barriers to justice for sexual harassment, among other forms of abuse. Most have no human resources department to turn to, and are not covered by Title VII, the federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits sexual harassment, as the law currently only applies to workplaces with <a href="https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm">15 employees or more</a>. Since most workers in the care sector are the only or one of just a few employees in their workplace, they – along with independent contractors – fall beyond the purview of this federal labour protection instrument. </p> <p>&nbsp;“It’s happening to us because we are invisible workers,” said Teresa Arredondo, farmworker leader from Alianza de Campesinas. Throughout the 32 years that Arredondo worked in the fields, she experienced multiple kinds of exploitation and discrimination, including sexual violence in the workplace. As Arredondo concluded her statements at the podium, farmworker women and domestic workers stood holding a banner with the words “THESE SURVIVORS WANT SAFETY AND DIGNITY IN ALL WORKPLACES” and chanted “We see you. We love you. Thank you.”&nbsp;</p> <p>The isolated and invisible nature of farm work – which occurs on remote fields or packing houses, with limited access to public transport – and domestic work, which often takes place behind the closed doors of the employer’s home, makes it especially difficult for these workers to organise and access the very limited recourses available to them for reporting instances of sexual violence in the workplace.</p> <p>“Many of them don’t even know about the existence of the limited law we are trying to expand,” Myrla Baldonado, an organizer of the LA-based <a href="http://pwcsc.org/">Pilipino Workers Center</a>, told <em>Beyond Trafficking and Slavery</em> after the rally, further highlighting the need for resources to be more accessible to all workers, regardless of their cultural, linguistic and migratory background.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the NDWA emphasised the historical significance of the <em>Unstoppable</em> campaign, which brings together two of the groups that are most commonly excluded from labour protections “What’s amazing about this moment is that we are not alone,” &nbsp;said Poo, “our solutions leave no one behind.” Actress, producer, and <a href="https://www.timesupnow.com/">TIME’S UP</a> founding member Olga Segura, who was also present at the action, echoed this point, stating: “If the law does not protect all of us, then the law is not good enough and must change”.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Our solutions leave no one behind.</p><p>As the experience of these women has shown, immigrants and women of color are especially vulnerable to sexual harassment in the workplace. During her turn at the podium, longtime&nbsp;immigrant-rights&nbsp;activist and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal&nbsp;(WA-07) acknowledged that low-income, immigrant women of color bear a disproportional burden of the injustice, and spoke about the need for comprehensive immigration reform to address some of the root causes of sexual and labour abuses.&nbsp;</p> <p>The legacies of exclusion that now shape the conditions of domestic and farm work were a recurrent theme throughout the press conference. June Barnett, home care worker, organizer, and leader with the <a href="https://www.domesticworkers.org/initiatives/we-dream-black">We Dream in Black</a> program of the NDWA, poignantly said: “Our work has deep roots in slavery. They still see us as the help. Nothing is different.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Monica Ramirez, President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas reiterated Barnett’s point: “Farmworkers and domestic workers –most of which are immigrant women and women of color – cannot pretend that we were accidentally written out of the federal laws that guarantee protections to other workers.”&nbsp;</p> <p>As such, implementing the <em>Unstoppable</em> campaign’s demands entails much more than simply improving an inadequate system, it would also be what Baldonado considers “correcting a historic wrong”.&nbsp;</p> <p>As public and political attention on the issue of sexual violence in the workplace increases with the continued flow of #MeToo disclosures, domestic workers and farm worker women are shining a light on solutions for workers who have been historically and systematically marginalised and excluded from existing labour laws. The <em>Unstoppable</em> campaign is particularly significant, as it constitutes an important example of what organising across sectors can achieve.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Want to take action? Click <a href="https://www.actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-congress-extend-title-vii/">here</a> to tell Congress to extend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the federal employment law that prohibits discrimination, so that all workers are covere</em>d.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sabrina-marchetti-giulia-garofalo-geymonat-eileen-boris-jennifer-fish/beyond-maids-and-madams-can-em">Beyond ‘maids and madams’: can employers be allies in new policies for domestic workers’ rights?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/penelope-kyritsis/why-boycott-wendy-s-ask-women-farmworkers">Why boycott Wendy’s? Ask women farmworkers.</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sameera-hafiz/beyond-survival-lessons-from-domestic-worker-organising-campaigns-agains">Beyond survival: lessons from domestic worker organising campaigns against human trafficking and labour exploitation</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/dws/ai-jen-poo/out-from-shadows-domestic-workers-speak-in-united-states">Out from the shadows: domestic workers speak in the United States</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/sameera-hafiz-michael-paarlberg/new-report-sheds-light-on-human-trafficking-of-domesti">New report sheds light on the human trafficking of domestic workers in the United States</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Penelope Kyritsis Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Penelope Kyritsis 117474 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Subcontracting and forced labour in Italy: a tale of depoliticised labour relations https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/lucilla-salvia/labour-subcontracting-and-forced-labour-in-italy-tale-of-depoliticised- <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Helvetica;">In Italy, discourses around labour subcontracting in the agricultural sector serve an important purpose: obscuring the root causes of labour exploitation.</span><!--EndFragment--> </p> </div> </div> </div> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u563152/3338754961_2d3bcb5a60_o.jpg" alt="" width="100%" /><span class="image-caption">Luigi Galiazzo/flickr.&nbsp;<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)</a></span></p><p class="Standard">Over the last few years, issues of labour subcontracting and forced labour in the Italian agricultural sector have gained significant traction, especially after the <a href="http://www.redattoresociale.it/Notiziario/Articolo/491577/Caporalato-almeno-10-i-braccianti-morti-in-Italia-tra-luglio-e-settembre">shocking deaths</a> of agrarian workers were brought to light in 2015. Discussions around these events have been dominated by the view that labour subcontracting and extreme labour exploitation somehow deviate from standard labour relations and are instead related to illegal activities perpetrated either by networks of organised crime – the (in-)famous Italian Mafia – or by a few 'bad apple' employers, infecting the otherwise smooth functioning of the economic system. This perspective has had major policy repercussions, successfully obscuring one inescapable reality: labour subcontracting and forced labour, far from being exceptional, are part and parcel of contemporary agricultural production in Italy.</p> <h2><strong>Discourses and policy implications</strong></h2> <p class="Standard">In 2010, the so-called ‘<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/11/italy-rosarno-violence-immigrants">facts of Rosarno</a>’ marked an important turning point in Italy as the moment when appalling labour conditions for farmworkers began receiving attention in media and policy circles. This was after a violent riot erupted in a little town in southern Italy between migrants – that were mostly employed in the surrounding fields – and the local population, following a racist attack perpetrated against two men from Togo. Crucially, this outbreak prompted the media and policymakers to increasingly invoke ‘slavery’ or ‘coercion’ in their narrative of the <em>caporalato </em>system. The contemporary significance of <em>caporalato</em> refers to the practice of 'illegally' recruiting and coercing workers, especially immigrants, by&nbsp;<em>caporale</em> (gangmasters).</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Labour subcontracting and forced labour, far from being exceptional, are part and parcel of contemporary agricultural production in Italy.</p> <p class="Standard">In the summer of 2011, another important episode drew attention to these informal systems of labour recruitment and forced labour: the two-week labour strike of about 400 migrant farmworkers in the southern agrarian village of Nardò, who were demanding better pay, decent working hours, and fair labour conditions. While this certainly helped raise public awareness around the dire working conditions faced by many workers in the informal economy, the strike led to one single concrete result: a law against 'illegal labour brokerage and labour exploitation', otherwise known as the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/gunewsletter/dettaglio.jsp?service=1&amp;datagu=2011-09-16&amp;task=dettaglio&amp;numgu=216&amp;redaz=11A12346&amp;tmstp=1316417614599"><em>Caporalato Law</em></a>, according to which:</p> <p class="blockquote-new">'<em>anyone carrying out an organised brokerage activity, either by recruiting workers or organising their labour activities characterised by exploitation, through violence, threat or intimidation (emphasis added), taking advantage of workers' vulnerability, is punished with five to eight years of reclusion, and with a 1.000,00 to 2.000,00 euros fine per recruited worker</em>'.</p> <p class="Standard">One of the most important features of this law was the creation of 'exploitation indexes', one of the first attempts in Italy to define labour exploitation in concrete terms, based on four sub-categories:&nbsp;pay;&nbsp;working hours and conditions; safety, hygiene and health protection at work; degrading housing conditions.&nbsp;However, these exploitation indexes initially applied only to cases involving an explicit act of coercion – through violence, threat or intimidation – which needed to be reported and proved. The law therefore excluded cases of ‘economic coercion’ resulting from extreme poverty, or the need to face unexpected expenditures, two scenarios where workers may seek out <em>caporals</em>&nbsp;voluntarily and accept labour exploitation due to their limited options.</p> <p class="Standard">Even when the <em>caporalato </em>law was amended to expand the definition of labour exploitation to cases that were not necessarily connected to&nbsp;violence; threat; or intimidation, public discourse around labour subcontracting and forced labour still followed a double 'discursive strategy', which persists today. On the one hand, these practices are attributed to the illegal activities of organised crime networks, i.e. the Mafia. This is paralleled by the ‘bad apple’ employer rhetoric, contending that labour exploitation is the result of a few greedy, unscrupulous employers who wish to profit from the exploitation of farmworkers. Both perspectives avoid taking seriously the structural roots of labour exploitation, and shift responsibility onto gangmasters, who are portrayed as operating beyond the bounds of the ‘legal’ economy.</p> <p class="Standard">The result of these two dominant discourses have also included policy measures by the Italian left-wing government to fight labour brokering and labour exploitation, such as&nbsp;the&nbsp;'Network of Quality Agrarian Labour', a measure included in the <a href="http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2014/06/24/14G00105/sg"><em>Campolibero law</em></a>, or Competitiveness Law. The purpose of this measure is to address informal labour and the labour exploitation of migrants in agriculture through the creation of a network in which 'good' agrarian firms – those who can prove that they have never been convicted of an offence of labour exploitation – can label their goods with an ethical certificate. The Competitiveness Law therefore rewards individual firms’ ‘good behaviour’ with an opportunity for competitive advantage, while successfully delinking the issue of extreme labour exploitation in agricultural production from reforms in the (global) political economy.</p> <h2><strong>Examining the root causes</strong></h2> <p class="Standard">In making labour exploitation appear ‘exceptional’ the Italian government is depoliticising labour relations: it is separating them from the overarching socio-economic processes stemming from the current capitalist configuration and obscuring the context-related <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/genevieve-lebaron-neil-howard-cameron-thibos-penelope-kyritsis/confronting-root-causes">root causes</a> of labour exploitation.</p> <p class="Standard">The reality is that labour subcontracting is the direct result of a reconfiguration of production that started in the early 1980s.These changes impacted both in the developing and developed countries; and are mainly characterised by a shift towards export-oriented production. This resulted in the formation of global commodity chains, which involve increasingly complex outsourcing and subcontracting practices to boost profits while reducing the costs of production. In the context of Italian agriculture, this prompted a deep re-organisation of agricultural production, consisting of the rise of agricultural value chains. In the end of the 1990s, the process of liberalisation and deregulation of the Italian retail sector led to the spread of 'modern' forms of food distribution. Since then, supermarkets and hypermarkets came to control <a href="https://www.federdistribuzione.it/download/dati-2016-mappa-del-sistema-distributivo-italiano/">more than 70%</a> of the total Italian food market.</p> <p class="Standard">Agricultural production in Italy is highly fragmented, with a massive contribution from small-scale farms. According to the latest agricultural census, almost 70% <a href="http://www.istat.it/it/files/2011/03/1425-12_Vol_VI_Cens_Agricoltura_INT_CD_1_Trimboxes_ipp.pdf">of 1.620.884 farms</a> participating in agricultural production are small farms (less than 5 hectares).These small farmer suppliers are being pressured by a handful of supermarkets who demand stringent requirements in terms of quality, quantity, delivery schedules, and, above all, price. In order to remain profitable, farmers pass on the burden to the only ‘flexible’ cost: labour. They achieve this by hiring labour subcontractors, or <em>carporals</em>, who<em>&nbsp;</em>rely mainly on migrant labour, typically from the same country of origin. They organise groups of workers, most of the time on a seasonal basis, and bring them to the field. Caporals may deduct a daily sum from the workers' pay and act in a despotic manner with workers, but this is not necessarily the rule. In fact, many of them are not professional contractors, they are simply workers themselves who are recruiting a cheap workforce among their relatives and friends on behalf of their employers during peak seasons, without necessarily collecting recruitment fees from the workers in question.</p> <p class="mag-quote-center">Most workers look to recruiters as key figures for the fulfilment of their survival needs.</p> <p class="Standard">While on the one hand the <em>caporalato</em> system emerged, first of foremost, as a response to the needs of employers, it also meets the need of the most vulnerable workers, particularly migrants and women in search of a certain degree of 'labour stability'. The deregulation of the labour market and the dismantling of labour protections since the 1980s – in which Italian 'leftist' governments have been complicit in – along with the tightening of migration policies, have increased workers' vulnerability by preventing them from achieving long-term economic security. This is why most workers look to recruiters as key figures for the fulfilment of their survival needs, and also why they are willing to accept extremely exploitative work.</p> <p class="Standard">The forms of exploitation experienced by seasonal subcontracted migrant agricultural workers are therefore far from exceptional; they are an integral feature of the contemporary agricultural production in Italy. Policies need to reflect this reality if the Italian government is serious about addressing labour exploitation.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/gloria-carlini/ghetto-ghana-workers-and-new-italian-slaves">Ghetto Ghana workers and the new Italian ‘slaves’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/marco-gardini/struggling-on-wrong-side-of-chain-labour-exploitation-in-global-agricult">Struggling on the wrong side of the chain: labour exploitation in global agriculture</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/irene-peano/containment-resistance-flight-migrant-labour-in-agro-industrial-district-o">Containment, resistance, flight: Migrant labour in the agro-industrial district of Foggia, Italy</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/beyondslavery/letizia-palumbo/need-for-gendered-approach-to-exploitation-and-trafficking">The need for a gendered approach to exploitation and trafficking</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/letizia-palumbo-alessandra-sciurba/new-mobility-regimes-new-forms-of-exploitation-in-s">New mobility regimes, new forms of exploitation in Sicily</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Can Europe make it? Lucilla Salvia Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:00:00 +0000 Lucilla Salvia 117417 at https://www.opendemocracy.net