Modern slavery and the employment relationship: Exploring the continuum of exploitation

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Relations, 2022, 64, (2), pp. 165-176
Issue Date:
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The term ‘modern slavery’ constitutes a broad non-legal umbrella term that refers to a range of abusive practices including, but not limited to, forced labour, bonded labour, human trafficking and child slavery. While the most severe forms of labour exploitation represent instances of modern slavery, focusing on labour abuses more broadly is also important as it is not always clear at what point non-compliance with labour standards seeps into cases of criminal exploitation. This Special Issue focuses on what the large- and small-scale risk factors are that can cause working conditions to deteriorate, on how people can become trapped in exploitative conditions and on what can be done to prevent and remedy labour abuses. It does this by exploring the macro-level, specifically by examining global value chains and the labour exploitation within the global production regime; by exploring the meso-level, by focusing on the market-based character of business and human rights regulation; and by looking at the micro-level by examining labour regimes on factory floors and in private residences.
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