What is Forced Labour?
Forced labour is a form of modern slavery, a crime that is defined when individuals are forced to work against their will, through manipulation, deception, and in some cases physical, psychological and sexual violence. This is the most widespread form of slavery for adults in the United Kingdom, and is often found in industries such as agriculture and domestic work.
Forced labour is a devastating reality for many individuals. It is characterised by the involuntary nature of work and the presence of penalties or threats from perpetrators. This can have harmful effects on those forced to work, as well as their families. It is a serious violation of human rights that must be addressed in order to protect the well-being and dignity of all victims.
What is an example of Forced Labour in the United Kingdom?
Modern slavery is a consequence of a flawed system that fails to effectively prevent and address this serious injustice. Whilst there are established frameworks in place to address modern slavery both in the UK and internationally, they are often not adequately implemented. In some cases, large organisations may pay lip service to the issue by claiming to oppose it, yet they lack the necessary systems and processes to prevent it from occurring within their operations.
One recent high-profile example of the prevalence of forced labour involved the fashion brand Boohoo, which was discovered to be paying workers as little as £3.50 per hour. It is important to note that this is just one example among many, and that forced labour can occur in a wide variety of industries and contexts.
Forced labour is a widespread and pervasive issue that is often linked to modern slavery. It can take many forms, including sexual exploitation, begging, criminal exploitation (e.g. involvement in County Lines drug supply).
At Black Box Research and Consultancy, our team of experts in modern slavery are dedicated to the prevention of forced labour in the UK and around the world. We work tirelessly to educate and inform others about the nature and consequences of forced labour, and to provide the knowledge and tools needed to identify and address this harmful practice.