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This panel explores forms of modern slavery practices in the Global North and South. We ask if initiatives such as the Bangladesh Accord on safety at work has made a difference to workers in global supply chains. How do such initiatives reflect on solidarity and work conditions in the Global North?
In recent years, debates on exploitative work regimes have gained much attention globally. Yet we need more evidence on the intersection of society and slavery, first to understand measurement of modern forms of slavery in work contexts, either in a range of sectors, and its differential impact on groups of people. Whilst, slavery today most often occurs in industries that are labour intensive, low skilled, and under-regulated, this more often is also grounded in intersecting inequalities such as gender, migration, poverty and age. Furthermore, we are keen to improve our understanding of persisting forms of bonded labour, the social-stratification and poverty contexts, the associated risk of vulnerability due to human trafficking of young victims, and the demand for cheap and precarious labour in economic sectors such as garments, construction, and carpets.
Specifically we look at inequality among types of working people, both in the Global North and the South, using intersectional definitions. We examine the definitions of modern slavery that can be used in specifying how work regimes differ by gender, social class and by ethnic or cultural divisions. Specific issues that papers may take up are:
• Forms of work and exploitative work practices in different economic sectors
• Bonded labour and social inequality
• Case studies and qualitative approaches to sector wide examples in the North and the South.
• Gender and time-use in the industries where forms of abuse are common.
• Policy changes and impact on work (inviting practitioner inputs)
Publication Plans: The panel submissions will lead to a proposal for a journal special issue.