Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Modern slavery' in England is a prevalent problem, report suggests

Date:
July 2, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
The first evidence of widespread 'modern slavery' in England for refugees and asylum seekers is revealed.

The first evidence of widespread ‘modern slavery’ in England for refugees and asylum seekers is revealed in a study published today.
Credit: Kate Sumbler under Creative Commons licence

The first evidence of widespread 'modern slavery' in England for refugees and asylum seekers is revealed in a study published today.

The two-year study calls for an overhaul of government policy to restore asylum seekers' right to work and ensure all workers can access basic employment rights, such as National Minimum Wage, irrespective of immigration status.

Dr Stuart Hodkinson from the University of Leeds, who co-authored of the study, said: "We found that in the majority of cases, if the asylum seeker had been able to work legally then the employer or agent would not have been able to exploit and abuse them to such an appalling extent."

Researchers interviewed 30 refugees and asylum seekers who had been coerced -- either by unscrupulous individuals or by the grim reality of facing destitution -- into exploitative jobs in a wide range of fields, including catering, domestic work, retail and construction. They found that all of the interviewees had experiences indicative of forced labour, as outlawed by the Forced Labour Convention of the United Nation's International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Indicators of forced labour experienced by refugees and asylum seekers in the study included the withholding of some or all of promised wages, being forced to work excessively long hours, and threats or other forms of intimidation.

"Many of the interviewees had remained in the country after their claim for asylum had been refused. Without any welfare support or the right to work, they had no alternative but to take severely exploitative jobs or enter highly abusive relationships to survive," said Dr Hodkinson.

Interviews with 23 practitioners and policy-makers -- including employment inspectors, police officers and refugee service providers -- also revealed a need to shift the focus of law enforcement from 'illegal' migrant workers to regulating workplace conditions.

"The asylum system favours employers and penalises workers -- particularly those without permission to work -- creating a situation in which labour exploitation and forced labour flourish," explained Dr Hannah Lewis from the University of Leeds, who co-authored the research.

The study also calls for a need to raise awareness that any form of forced labour is a criminal offence. "We heard from interviewees who had been in contact with the Home Office, but their signs of trafficking or forced labour were not recognised," said Dr Lewis. Furthermore, the only training on forced labour that is currently available to police officers, in most forces, is an optional online module, she added.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Leeds and the University of Salford, and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Report: http://precariouslives.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/precarious_lives_main_report_2-7-13.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "'Modern slavery' in England is a prevalent problem, report suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702101511.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, July 2). 'Modern slavery' in England is a prevalent problem, report suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702101511.htm
University of Leeds. "'Modern slavery' in England is a prevalent problem, report suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702101511.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the administration's confidence in the CDC's ability to keep the Ebola virus from spreading. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins