Principal Investigator: Professor Prabha Kotiswaran
Professor Prabha Kotiswaran was PI for an ESRC-GCRF grant (under the Strategic Networks Scheme) titled ‘Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: Towards Decent Work for All’ between January 2017 and December 2018.
The strategic network included UK and international academics, the ILO, early career researchers, students, lawyers, trade unionists, journalists, activists, and civil society organisations. Disciplines spanned law, anthropology, sociology, history, cultural studies, gender studies, religious studies, literature, film studies, and development studies. The network included numerous marginalised groups, including sex workers, bonded labourers, transgender rights activists, black and indigenous rights representatives, contract workers, and migrant workers. More than 100 people participated in 4 regional workshops, a majority of who came from OECD DAC countries. The network aimed to articulate a global research agenda on the UN SDG 8.7 from the perspective of the global south, which came together through a series of conferences.
The project has contributed to the knowledge, research, and network formation required for achieving the decent work agenda. It has also shown that the conceptualisation, understanding, and implementation of SDG 8.7 differs widely across countries due to nuances in definitional issues, domestic vocabularies, and experiences of exploitation. Much is overlooked or inappropriately addressed because the ground realities do not fit adequately within the conceptual boxes of forced labour, human trafficking, modern slavery, and child labour set out in the SDGs. This realisation was reinforced over and over again during the project period as academic and non-academic stakeholders discussed ways of addressing the structural, political, economic, and social root causes of global labour exploitation, vulnerability, and unfree labour in the global south, which is a deterrent to economic development.
A report titled Linking Modern Slavery and Human Development: Revisiting the Global Agenda for SDG 8.7 authored by Prabha Kotiswaran, Samuel Okyere, Joel Quirk and Cameron Thibos will be available shortly.
Outputs and links
Over 100 outputs from the project are available on the Open Democracy site on Beyond Trafficking and Modern Slavery.