Category archives for Human rights

Rethinking Recovery: Labour market exploitation and austerity in the UK

Stopping labour exploitation requires effective regulation of the labour market, not scapegoating migrant and vulnerable workers Explaining the Conservative government’s decision to appoint a Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire declared: ‘Exploiting or coercing people into work is not acceptable.  It is not right that unscrupulous employers can force people to work or live in very poor … Continue reading

5 July 2016 by
Categories: Economics, Employment, Human rights, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

‘Troubled Families’ or ‘Troubled Bankers’?

Daniela and Johnna

There is no end to welfare in sight; yet welfare is no longer for the poor As we all know, the 2008 financial crisis exposed major flaws in contemporary financial markets; the continued public-policy response is an unprecedented commitment to open-ended corporate welfare to the financial services sector and, in particular, banks.  In the UK at last count, the ‘direct … Continue reading

3 December 2014 by
Categories: Economics, Finance, Housing, Human rights, Political theory, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Leave a comment

Dilemmas for the left on EU citizenship

Owen Parker

The principle of non-discrimination is not necessarily a threat to welfare and the vision of a social Europe On 11 November the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that two Romanian nationals, and therefore EU citizens, Elisabeta Dano and her son, Florin, could legitimately be denied the right to claim benefits in Germany designed to cover the recipients’ subsistence.  The … Continue reading

25 November 2014 by
Categories: Employment, Europe and the EU, Human rights, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The rule of law and the common sense of global politics

Christopher May

The conventional wisdom on the value of the rule of law actually masks uncertainty about its purpose and beneficiaries The rule of law is often presented as preferable to the rule of men or the rule of force.  Indeed, in the last couple of decades it has become a central part of the ‘common sense’ of global politics – an … Continue reading

22 October 2014 by
Categories: Human rights, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , | 1 comment

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
Categories: Development, Economics, Human rights, Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Reparations for slavery?

Matthew Bishop

The legacy of the slave trade lives on and forces us to think about political economy in new and uncomfortable ways In the mid-1700s, a number of highly overleveraged Jamaican sugar plantations suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed.  Trevor Burnard has recently questioned whether this represented ‘an early warning that West Indian planters were not the masters of the universe in the … Continue reading

20 March 2014 by
Categories: Employment, Human rights, SPERI Comment, trade | Leave a comment

Unpacking the 2013 Human Development Index

The UNDP claims ‘the Rise of the South’ is having a significant impact on economic growth and societal change In a notable challenge to the gloom of recession in the West and all the continuing and, indeed scarcely unjustified, talk of continuing crisis, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently published its 2013 Human Development Report (HDR) under the arresting … Continue reading

16 May 2013 by
Categories: Development, Global South, Human rights, Inequality, SPERI Comment | 2 comments

Horse meat, tax, human labour conditions – in that order?

Nicola Phillips

The horsemeat scandal and corporate tax evasion have caused a huge public outcry, so why do stories of terrible working conditions go largely unnoticed? Like others, in recent weeks I have been moved to reflect on how, in comparison with the depth of outrage about horsemeat’s infiltration of beef production in the UK, the issue of labour conditions in supply … Continue reading

3 April 2013 by
Categories: Human rights, Inequality, SPERI Comment | 2 comments

The underbelly of the global economy

Nicola Phillips

Labour exploitation is the rotten root of the global economy, and we need a broader and tougher approach than is currently on the cards to deal with it Few can have failed to notice the slew of stories in recent weeks on a common theme: the prevalence of labour exploitation within the global economy. The stories are harrowing. They include … Continue reading

29 November 2012 by
Categories: Global crisis, Human rights, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Leave a comment