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May 4, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm BST
Home-grown slavery: A focus on BME migrant labour exploitation in UK
“Human Trafficking and labour exploitation is at a record high following the aftermath of Brexit and COVID 19 pandemic. These have ushered in new trends especially in migrant labour exploitation within UK. In 2020, the TUC reported a scandal in Leicester which revealed that a raft of reforms are needed to protect vulnerable workers especially immigrant workers.
There is a huge gap in awareness and reportage when it comes to labour exploitation of migrants from Black ethnic minority backgrounds especially Africa. According to the 2019 National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the top three EU nationalities reporting labour exploitation in the UK were Romanians, Polish and Bulgarians. In 2021, the Voice UK then revealed an investigation dubbed ‘Strawberry Slavery’ which looked into the exploitation of Caribbean Migrant Workers on British Farms. The investigation which evidenced what had been happening within black migrant communities especially those on temporary migration/recruitment programmes.
In commemorating International Labour Day and in line with creating awareness around new trends in UK labour exploitation, the UK BME Anti-Slavery Network (BASNET) in partnership with Migrants At Work is hosting a sector dialogue under the theme ‘Home-grown slavery: A focus on BME migrant labour exploitation in UK’. The dialogue is aimed at bringing together experts within the sector to explore the above theme from 3 significant perspectives (Legal, Social/Community and Business/Employers) and share needed recommendations to support the sector.
The dialogue will facilitate the exchange of ideas, practices and experiences on policy actions, prevention strategies and the role of multiple sectors with a view of improving intersectional action towards the elimination of migrant labour exploitation. It will be an opportunity to identify needs for further data collection and evidence based policies and prevention strategies.
This initiative is a reflection of the commitment of the UK BME Antislavery Network(BASNET) towards achieving a more diverse and inclusive UK Anti-Trafficking which is representative of the individual and communities affected.”