Posts by Genevieve LeBaron

Genevieve LeBaron, Professor of Politics and co-director of SPERI

Ethical Certification Doesn’t Eradicate Forced Labour

In the tea industry, on almost every indicator we used to measure labour standards, certified plantations fared about the same, if not worse, as non-certified plantations. Buying ethically certified products makes us feel better about the things we buy, but what evidence do we have that these programs actually work? Staring at tea boxes lining the grocery store shelf one … Continue reading

21 October 2018 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

The Endemic Problem of Forced Labour in Global Tea and Cocoa Supply Chains

What do tea and cocoa have in common? Both products are widely consumed by households around the world; the early world market for both industries was intertwined with the history of colonialism; and in today’s global economy, both products are made with forced labour. Over the past two years, I’ve led The Global Business of Forced Labour research project, funded by the … Continue reading

27 September 2018 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , ,

Understanding vulnerability to forced labour in global supply chains

Forced labour is prevalent in the tea and cocoa industries and is happening in the context of widespread labour abuse In my remarks at an ETI Ethical Insights discussion on what drives modern slavery in global supply chains, I outlined findings from my Global Business of Forced Labour project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project systematically mapped the business … Continue reading

25 June 2018 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , ,

Mandatory transparency, discretionary disclosure

Genevieve LeBaron

New transparency regulations in some places theoretically require companies to report on forced labour in their supply chains, but a new review finds that’s not what’s happening The challenge of governing labour standards globally has never been greater. Incidents such as Apple’s detection of ‘bonded servitude’ at its major subsidiary factories in China; the discovery of slave labour in the Thai prawn industry, … Continue reading

23 November 2016 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rethinking Recovery: Recovery for whom?

Genevieve LeBaron

Corporate profits are soaring, but so is labour exploitation. Who is the ‘recovery’ really benefiting? Has the labour market ‘recovered’ since the 2008-09 financial crisis? The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. The labour market is a central part of the UK’s ‘economic recovery’ narrative advanced by political and economic elites. In his address on June 27th … Continue reading

4 July 2016 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: Employment, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Coming Crisis: The dangers of indecent work

Genevieve LeBaron

To prevent another economic crisis, we must address the spread and normalization of indecent work Global capitalism’s promise was to pull people out of poverty by creating decent work. It hasn’t delivered, and an escalating jobs crisis is now at the centre of the global economy’s ‘gathering storm.’ As of 2014, over 200 million people in the world were unemployed … Continue reading

22 June 2016 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: SPERI Comment, The coming crisis Tags: , , , , ,

Inequality Redux III

Genevieve LeBaron

Fighting slavery, flaming labour exploitation? Growing wealth and power inequalities between classes, and between business and workers, is fuelling labour exploitation.  And the UK’s Modern Slavery Bill – set to become law in March 2015 – will do little to stop it.  Forced labour is not an isolated issue separable from labour exploitation more generally.  Both are driven by inequality … Continue reading

5 March 2015 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: Economics, Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, trade Tags: , , , ,

Time to get serious about forced labour in supply chains

Genevieve LeBaron

We now know that our shopping carts are full of forced labour. So why are governments and industry doing so little to stop it? In June 2014, The Guardian ran a headline news story revealing the widespread use of conditions it described as modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour by employers in the Thai prawn industry.  It traced the … Continue reading

7 October 2014 by Genevieve LeBaron
Categories: Development, Economics, Human rights, Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment Tags: , , ,