This article speaks to a world order where forced labour is in plain sight. The starting point for the crime and recruitment of victims of human trafficking is often on the street. Homeless persons and individuals who have recently left correctional institutions are approached and swiftly transported to countries of destination. There, again in plain sight, they are taken to legal and regulated recruitment agencies and are found jobs. In many instances, they are placed in factories, recycling plants, and warehouses. Although these jobs are legitimate, what happens behind the scenes is not: individuals working have no access to their wages, suffer psychological and physical abuse, threats, coercive control, and their documents are taken from them. These clear components of forced labour are perfectly illustrated in the plight of vulnerable polish men recruited and transported to the UK who were discovered in UK’s largest police investigation into forced labour: Operation Fort. This exposé investigates and explores three key points where intervention is needed: two related to the recruitment of certain subgroups – the targeting of homeless individuals and those with a relationship with the criminal justice system, and a third, where forced labour is facilitated through the use of legitimate recruitment agencies.
Andrees B., Nasri A. and Swiniarski P. (2015). Regulating labour recruitment to prevent human trafficking and to foster fair migration: Models, challenges and opportunities. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
Christie N. (1986). ‘The ideal victim’. In E. Fattah (ed.) From Crime Policy to Victim Policy. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Cockbain E. and Brayley-Morris H. (2018). ‘Human trafficking and labour exploitation in the casual construction industry: An analysis of three major investigations in the UK Involving Irish Traveller offending groups’. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 12(2), pp. 129–149.
Crates E. (2020). Operation Fort. What businesses should learn from the UK’s largest anti-slavery prosecution. Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. Available online: https://www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/media/1421/iasc-operation-fort-review-june-2020.pdf [19.12.2020].
Davies J. (2019). ʻFrom severe to routine labour exploitation: The case of migrant workers in the UK food industryʼ. Criminology & Criminal Justice 19(3), pp. 294–310.
European Court of Human Rights, 11.10.2012. Case of C.N. and V. v. France, application no. 67724/09. Available online: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/fre?i=001-114032 [19.12.2020].
European Court of Human Rights, 23.11.1983. Case of Van Der Mussele v. Belgium, application no. 8919/80. Available online: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/fre?i=001-57591 [19.12.2020].
Explanatory Report on the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2005). Council of Europe. Available online: https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=09000016800d3840 [19.12.2020].
Forced Labour Convention, C29 (1930), ILO. Available online: https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:C029 [20.12.2020].
Geiger B. (2006). ʻThe case for treating ex-offenders as a suspect classʼ. California Law Review 94(4), pp. 1191–1242.
Gentleman A. (2017). Trafficked and enslaved: The teenagers tending UK Cannabis farms, Theguardian.com. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/25/trafficked-enslaved-teenagers-tending-uk-cannabis-farms-vietnamese [20.12.2020].
Gla.gov.uk (n.d.). Gla.gov.uk. Available online: https://www.gla.gov.uk/ [12.12.2020].
Goodin R. (1985). Protecting the vulnerable: A reanalysis of our social responsibilities. Chicago: Chicago Press.
GRETA (2016). Report Concerning the Implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings by the United Kingdom. Council of Europe. Available online: https://rm.coe.int/16806abcdc [19.12.2020].
Hard to see, harder to count: Survey guidelines to estimate forced labour of adults and children (2011). Geneva: ILO. Available online: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---declaration/documents/publication/wcms_182096.pdf [20.12.2020].
Historical Law to End Modern Slavery (2015). Home Office. Available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/historic-law-to-end-modern-slavery-passed [04.02.2021].
Muraszkiewicz J. (2015). Modern slavery – but let us remember the trafficked, Blogs.lse.ac.uk. Available online: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/humanrights/2016/01/18/modern-slavery-but-let-us-remember-the-trafficked/ [19.12.2020].
Muraszkiewicz J. (2020). New discussions on the complicated relationship between Poland and forced labour. Stockholm: Council of Baltic Sea States. Available online: https://cbss.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CAPE_Poland.pdf [19.12.2020].
National Referral Mechanism Statistics UK, Quarter 1 2020 – January to March (2020). Home Office. Available online: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/889969/national-referral-mechanism-statistics-uk-quarter-1-2020-january-to-march.pdf [20.12.2020].
O’Connell Davidson J. (2015). Modern slavery: The margins of freedom. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ollus N., Alvesalo-Kuusi A. and Jokinen A. (2016). From forced flexibility to forced labour: The exploitation of migrant workers in Finland. Helsinki: European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI).
Rioux S., LeBaron G. and Verovšek P.J. (2020). ʻCapitalism and unfree labor: A review of Marxist perspectives on modern slaveryʼ. Review of International Political Economy 27(3), pp. 709–731.
Sample R. (2003). Exploitation: What it is and why it’s wrong. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
Shepherd R. and Wilkinson M. (2020). ʻOperating in the dark: The identification of forced labour in the UKʼ. Critical Social Policy. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018320921540.
Skrivankova K. (2010). Between decent work and forced labour: examining the continuum of exploitation. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Available online: https://www.gla.gov.uk/media/1585/jrf-between-decent-work-and-forced-labour.pdf [19.12.2020].
Skrivankova K. (2014). Forced Labour in The United Kingdom. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Available online: https://www.gla.gov.uk/media/1584/jrf-forced-labour-in-the-uk.pdf [19.12.2020].
Skrivankova K. (2017). ʻDefining exploitation in the context of trafficking–what is a crime and what is notʼ. In R. Piotrowicz (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Human Trafficking. New York: Routledge, pp. 109–119.
Spapens T., Tamas A., Lulle A., Durieux H., Polatside V., Dragota C., Constantinou A. and Muraszkiewicz J. (2014). TRACE, D1.3: A report concerning the macro and micro analyses of human trafficking, Researchgate.net. Available online: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270160347_TRACE_A_report_concerning_the_macro_and_micro_analyses_of_human_trafficking [18.12.2020].
Stopping Forced Labour, Global Report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (2001). Geneva: ILO. Available online: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_publ_9221119483_en.pdf [19.12.2020].
The Role of Recruitment Fees and Abusive and Fraudulent Recruitment Practices of Recruitment Agencies in Trafficking in Persons (2015). Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Available online: http://www.stopslaverynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/017.-Recruitment_Fees_Report-Final-22_June_2015_AG_Final.pdf [18.12.2020].
Trafficking in organs, tissues and cells and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs (2009). Council of Europe and United Nations. Available online: https://rm.coe.int/16805ad1bb [19.12.2020].
Travis J., Solomon A.L. and Waul M. (2001). From prison to home: The dimensions and consequences of prisoner reentry. Washington DC: Urban Institute Justice Policy Centre. Available online: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281453304_From_Prison_to_Home_The_Dimensions_and_Consequences_of_Prisoner_Reentry [19.12.2020].
UNODC (2015). Issue Paper: The concept of ‘exploitation’ in the trafficking in persons protocol. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Available online: https://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/2015/UNODC_IP_Exploitation_2015.pdf [20.12.2020].
Volodko A., Cockbain E. and Kleinberg B. (2020). ʻʻSpotting the signsʼ of trafficking recruitment online: exploring the characteristics of advertisements targeted at migrant job-seekersʼ. Trends in Organized Crime 23(1), pp. 7–35.
Wieczorek Ł. (2018). ʻKryminologoczne aspekty pracy przymusowej w Polsceʼ [The criminological aspects of forced labour in Poland]. Archiwum Kryminologii 39, pp. 71–115.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2021 ILS PAS