Precarious lives: Asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of forced labour.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Geography

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
 
Description Advice for ICIBI Inspection on Illegal Working
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact 4 September 2018 - ICIBI Inspection on Illegal Working - stakeholder meeting to shape the inspection Conference call with Caroline Parkes, (lead inspector), Paul Sherratt (project manager) and David Rhys-Jones, inspector, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. Intervention covered: the intersection of insecure immigration status and labour exploitation, the deleterious effects of shock tactics used in raids by UK Border Force on identifying modern slavery/ forced labour, the effects of employer sanctions (fines for employing 'illegal' workers) on workers - passing on risk to undocumented workers by reducing wages to cover possible costs of fines, and not using appropriate clothing, etc. to avoid detection as a worker. Detailed overview of available literature provided, and an annotated bibliography from the Precarious Lives project directing them to specific chapters/ sections of articles of relevance. Feedback: "Thank you for your very informative talk this afternoon. It was useful in helping us shape the scope of our inspection."
 
Description Tackling Forced Labour among Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Amount £66,884 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/K005413/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 05/2014
 
Description 'Modern slavery' in England is a prevalent problem 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact 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.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description 2013 Forced migration and forced labour: experiences of forced/ unfree labour among refugees in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This paper considers the role of forced migration in experiences of forced labour among refugees in the UK. Migrants' susceptibility to forced labour results from a complex set of factors along a continuum from decent work to forced labour (Skrivankova, 2010). These include personal relationships (transactional, exploitative); structural influences (labour market, welfare state and immigration policies) and global processes (inequalities, migration regimes). Similarly to other migrants, refugees' access to resources and employment is conditioned by constrained rights and entitlements, social isolation, and lack of language or recognition of skills and qualifications.



Drawing on findings from a new Economic and Social Research Council study to gain an in-depth understanding of experiences of unfree/forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, this paper considers whether elements of forced migration shape entry into, continuation of or exit from forced labour. The forces propelling some forced migrants into precarious and dangerous employment include the separation of asylum seekers from mainstream welfare provision and removal of their right to work, the policy-induced destitution of refused asylum seekers, and the compulsion for refugees to raise funds for family reunion and reliance on the informal labour market. Insecure socio-legal status can combine with the lack of a route of safe return to close down acceptable alternatives to exploitative employment, and may be used by unscrupulous employers as forms of coercion. Considering the position of those seeking protection from persecution and trafficking we will also discuss migrants' strategies to resist exploitation and possible policy remedies.

Ongoing professional network development
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Conceptualising hyper-precarious migrant lives: from forced labour to unfreedom 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Drawing on the ESRC-funded study 'Precarious lives: experiences of forced/unfree labour among refugees and asylum seekers', this presentation will critique the International Labour Organisation's approach to defining and tackling forced labour and argue that discussing such phenomena in rigid binaries (such as free/forced) is unhelpful. Instead, processes in migrant labour experiences will be highlighted and a continuum approach built around the concept of 'unfreedom' is suggested as the best way to ensure that the diversity of migrants' experiences of forced labour are considered. The 'hyper-precarity trap' is further discussed as an analytical device to show how welfare, work, race, rights, journeys, the economy and neoliberalism all come together to create the 'demand' and 'supply' of forced labour subjects and how they intersect to produce multidimensional insecurities. Overall, this presentation will emphasise that to try to separate 'slavery', 'trafficking' or 'forced labour' as an exceptional event undermines an understanding of how exploitation is tied up with social, political and legal status, migration, gender and economic systems.

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Forced migration and forced labour: experiences of forced/ unfree labour among refugees in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Forced migration and forced labour: experiences of forced/ unfree labour among refugees in the UK

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Human Trafficking Short Film Competition: Forced Labour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We have been asked to present our research as a series of composite 'stories' to Unchosen (an organisation that raises awareness about human trafficking and forced labour through film). These stories will be made into a short film by a professional film maker and distributed nationally. Such a film will assist us in raising awareness of forced labour amongst refugees and asylum seekers and allow us to engage in novel and creative dissemination events.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description No right to work, asylum seekers at risk of forced labour in UK - study 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Britain's policy of denying asylum seekers the right to work is driving them into slave-like conditions as they struggle to find ways to pay for basics like food, rent and medicine, a report said.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives : asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of forced labour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar presentation at an ESRC seminar series based at Keele University on 'The impact of migrant workers on the functioning of labour markets and industrial relations'

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Precarious lives : asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of forced labour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar paper presentation at University of Sussex, Centre for Migration Research seminar series.

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Precarious lives : asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of forced labour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presented at the Sociology and Social Anthropology Seminar Series, 25 November, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives : ethical issues in researching forced labour experiences among refugees and asylum seekers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar paper presentation at the Applied Ethics seminar series, University of Leeds

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives : forced labour, exploitation and the UK asylum system 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An invited paper presentation at the inaugural meeting of the 'Forced Labour Monitoring Group': Workshop 1: "Forced Labour: Current Issues and Debates" (January 9th 2013, London).

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives: understanding forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on title.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives: understanding forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation based on title.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives: understanding forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation based on title.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Precarious lives? Understanding asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of forced labour in the UK: some early issues and thoughts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Understanding asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of forced labour in the UK: some early issues and thoughts.

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Precarity plus? Multiple insecurities in entry to and exit from forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Forced labour persists in the UK today, and under conditions of pay, treatment and coercion that appear to have remained relatively consistent despite recent legislative advances aimed at reducing forced labour and tackling trafficking. This paper will consider how legislative, economic and social contexts affect entry into and exit from highly exploitative and unfree labour among refugees and asylum seekers in England. We will consider how insecure immigration status combines with other insecurities to create a group who may be considered 'super-precarious', drawing on findings from a new ESRC research project that aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of unfree/forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers.

Existing research has emphasised the weak labour market position of asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers who do not have permission to work, and refugees who face significant challenges in accessing decent work due to lack of recent work experience, qualifications not being recognised and cultural and language barriers. This paper will ask to what extent the global financial crisis, public sector cuts and associated challenges to tolerance towards migrants have affected experiences of coercion and possibilities for resistance in the highly precarious worlds of refugees and asylum seekers in forced and exploitative labour.

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Resistance within unfree and exploitative work : the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK labour market 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar paper presentation at University of Sussex Anthropology seminar series.

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Status matters? Precarious lives, migrants and forced labour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation outlining the salience of socio-legal status to vulnerability to forced labour of asylum seekers and refugees.

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description The increasingly hostile environment: discomfort as a policy goal 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An exploration of forced labour, exploitation and the UK asylum system

Ongoing development of research network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description To end domestic servitude, first fix immigration policy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Details are still emerging in the case of three women who claim to have been held as slaves for three decades in a suburban house in London. The Metropolitan police have stated that a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old British woman were rescued from what they have said was domestic servitude, and a man and a woman both aged 67 were arrested by police and bailed until January.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013