Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Modern Face of an Ancient Problem


Apologies for the long gap since posting an item, the pace of work at the GFTU and Ruskin College has simply been so great as to keep me away from the blog.

There is a phenomenal degree of activity and developments, both academically and practically, to write about at the moment in the field of labour and trade union studies and so I have carefully selected a conference which I feel focuses on a central challenge to organised labour in the UK; forced labour.

Through support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation there is going to a seminar on 1st November in Manchester which will explore the experience of forced labour amongst Chinese migrants.

You can register and see more detail here:

The invitation to the attention describes the focus as:

We are writing to invite you to join us at an event where the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) will be launching research conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with the Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, Manchester, and in collaboration with the Chinese Welfare Association in Belfast and the Chinese Migrant Network in London.

This research drew on the experiences of 32 migrant Chinese workers, mostly in the Chinese catering and hospitality business and it explores the experiences of exploitation among low-skilled Chinese migrant workers in the UK. It highlights the extent of exploitation at work, examines what makes workers vulnerable to forced labour, and considers the complex relationships between migration, work and family.

The body of material and activity focused on the global issue of forced labour provides a stark illustration of the continuing nature of the problem both in advanced, mid-range and developing economies.

The issue remains a central focus of the ILO predicated as it is on fundamental human rights. To this extent the ILO provides a specific web area for this issue:

If you want to get a sense of the volume/scale of this issue I strongly encourage you to take some time to look at the material on the ILO site and, if you can, to get to the JRT event in Manchester.

In Solidarity


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