We want to know what you think – leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Migration is a natural part of human existence with 258 million1 migrants in the world today – people who have crossed international borders in the pursuit of work, love, opportunities, and safety.
To mark International Migrants Day 2019, Freedom United asked people on the streets of London what they think about modern slavery and asylum seekers’ right to work.
Many domestic laws that are currently in place have loopholes that fail to protect migrant workers from unscrupulous employers and don’t provide the proper resources to protect workers from the risk of forced labor.
This makes some migrants among the most vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and forced labor. A lack of opportunities in a person’s country of origin, reliance on unregulated recruitment agencies for jobs, being forced to flee their homes because it’s no longer safe, and dangerous migration routes are just some of the factors contributing to migrants’ vulnerability to slavery.
Today, people seeking asylum in the UK, which can include victims of trafficking,2 are expected to live on little over £5 ($6.58) per day. They are currently not allowed to work to supplement this subsistence payment from the government as they await the outcome of their application and as a result, they are left at risk of destitution, homelessness, exploitation and retrafficking.
Even formally recognized victims of trafficking in the UK may not be able to work3 and are thus prevented from sustainably rebuilding their lives and recovering from their experiences in any meaningful way.
By lifting the ban on asylum seekers’ right to work, the UK would create an environment in which migrants vulnerable to exploitation have the freedom to enter legitimate employment and enjoy the same labor rights and protections as every other worker. We firmly believe that everyone should have the right to work and an opportunity to build a future free from exploitation and slavery.