In the week that honours the victims of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, it seems fitting to revisit the plight of Bangladeshi clothes factory workers. Four years after serious safety breaches brought unnecessary large-scale tragedy to a community of garment workers, how do today’s fast fashion manufacturers treat their employees?
Modern slavery is a crime that can take many forms, but it is always designed to be hidden from view. It is not a crime that can be witnessed easily in broad daylight, and often victims are bound as much psychologically as they are physically.
And yet many of the industries that are at high risk of illegal recruitment practices tend to be customer facing. Manual labourers, car washes, nail salons… they all have direct touchpoints with consumers as part of their work.
In this series we’ll be sharing stories of individuals who have experienced slavery first-hand in the UK labour market. We want to bring people’s attention to the illegal recruitment practices happening all around us, and how these systems of slavery are created in the first place.
This week we look deeper into a few cases of manual slave labour here in the UK.
Next week we’ll begin a Worker Voice blog series, highlighting the stories of survivors of modern slavery and trafficking in the UK. Each week we’ll be putting the spotlight on a different case study of employee rights abuse in Britain, building to a picture of labour mistreatment in our supply chains today.