Reaction: Fortress EU is creating conditions for exploitation of migrant workers

10 August 2017 - 12:00pm
Press release

Responding to the release of Verisk Maplecroft Modern Slavery Index that exposes modern slavery increasing across the EU, Owen Espley, Labour Rights campaigner at War on Want said:

“The rise in modern slavery and extreme exploitation of migrants across the EU is an inevitable consequence of “Fortress Europe”. Irregular workers are often afraid to approach the authorities to complain about exploitation through fear they'll be detained or deported, and treated as criminals.

“Harsh immigration controls, complex supply chains, weak labour rights enforcement and the rise of precarious contracts across the EU are creating conditions where the exploitation of migrant workers is inevitable. This is creating a race to the bottom that will harm everyone.  

“Labour rights enforcement must be separated from immigration control. Politicians must defend labour rights for everyone whatever their immigration status.”

Thulsi Narayanasamy, Senior Programmes Officer (Asia and the Pacific) added:

“For much of the world the line between slavery and employment has long been blurred. The modern slavery index has helped highlight the most extreme forms of slavery – child labour, bonded labour, forced servitude – but it would be a mistake for us to take our eyes off the daily exploitation within international supply chains which continues to rely on a fundamentally unjust international division of labour.

“Farmers who grow our food, garment workers who make our clothes, are in a critical situation every day, of working in difficult or dangerous conditions and are not earning enough to feed themselves. If garment workers – overwhelmingly women and people of colour – are struggling with malnutrition while working 13 hour days 7 days a week for Zara or GAP, we must acknowledge that the problem is systemic. Change cannot come until those who drive and disproportionately benefit from the system – big business – can be held accountable for their complicity in labour exploitation.”

Notes to editors:

For more information and interviews contact Marienna Pope-Weidemann on +44 7983 550 728

 

ASK YOUR MP TO END PRECARIOUS CONTRACTS

Help ensure the government guarantee basic rights at work for all workers.

Latest news

HSBC grilled over complicity in human rights abuse by shareholders and campaigners at Friday’s AGM

23 April 2018 - 5:00pm
  • HSBC’s annual general meeting on Friday was attended by activists from War on Want and Palestine Solidarity Campaign, asking the bank about its business dealings with companies selling weapons and military equipment to Israel
  • Over a quarter of questions asked at the AGM were about the bank’s complicity in human rights violations against Palestinians. Several referenced the bank’s criminal complicity in other abuses
Read more

Show McSolidarity this International Workers Day

19 April 2018 - 4:30pm
The McStrike is back and bigger than before. We’ve put together the following list of actions so you can show your McSolidarity. 
Read more

Join the conversation

Solidarity to all those fighting to be brought in-house and for equality Its time to… https://t.co/EEuEJAXNJ5 1 hour 26 min ago
"We are calling on , which prides itself on being an ethical bank, to live up to its own policies and end its… https://t.co/JQ19i0tLk9 20 hours 55 min ago
This week in Manchester & London: Palestinian hip hop legend Tamer Nafar + Egyptian electronic creative geniuses Le… https://t.co/KW5smhTPUO 21 hours 32 min ago