Friday, 14 December 2012

Contemporary Slavery In The UK

"What is forced labour?

What is the problem?

Forced labour is any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form [of] punishment. Almost all slavery practices, including trafficking in people and bonded labour, contain some element of forced labour."

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Forced labour: contemporary slavery in the UK

"Influencing the development of policy and practice to reduce forced labour in the UK.

Our overall goal is to contribute to a reduction in forced labour in the UK by highlighting the issue with new, strong evidence on the extent of forced labour and interventions that might help eradicate it; and identifying practical solutions and sharing best practice in supporting victims of forced labour."

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The Queen (on the application of) Caitlin Reilly and Jamieson Wilson -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWHC 2292 (Admin)

Reilly - CO/260/2012 and Wilson - CO/1087/2012

"174 ... it does have to be said that the sbwa scheme, and indeed the CAP, are a very long way removed from the kind of colonial exploitation of labour that led to the formulation of Article 4. The Convention is, of course, a living instrument, capable of development to meet modern conditions, and views may reasonably differ about the merits of a scheme that requires individuals to “work for their benefits” as a means of assisting them back into the workplace. However, characterising such a scheme as involving or being analogous to “slavery” or “forced labour” seems to me to be a long way from contemporary thinking.

Mr Walsh’s first witness statement refers to details of research which it is suggested shows that schemes like the CAP can and do have a beneficial effect in relation to the obtaining of work by the long-term unemployed. It is no part of the court’s function to evaluate that evidence or to comment on its Judgment Approved by the court for handing down. Reilly & Wilson v DWP validity. However, if valid, its existence would reinforce the view that a scheme like the CAP does not offend Article 4.

175. Whilst the argument in Nikiforova concerned different Regulations (see paragraph 52 above), the approach of Bean J and the Court of Appeal in that case supports this conclusion.

176. For these reasons, briefly stated, I do not consider that either scheme is contrary to Article 4, nor do I consider that there has been any breach in Miss Reilly’s case."


Welfare Reform Act 2012

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Sanctions) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Mandatory Work Activity Scheme) Regulations 2011

March 2011


"The Purpose of the Mandatory Work Activity Scheme

15. The Committee, along with some respondents, set out a concern regarding the intention of the scheme, likening it to a punishment, rather than a supportive employment programme.

16. The Government does not accept this position. The Mandatory Work Activity Scheme is targeted at those customers who have demonstrated that they require support to gain work related disciplines and re-engage with their search for work, as well as failing to voluntarily engage in the support that is offered by Jobcentre Plus. The Mandatory Work Activity Scheme is not a sanction, or a punishment, but has been developed in recognition that some customers require additional support."

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011 

Jobseekers Act 1995


Posted on December 14, 2012

Could Mandatory Work Activity be on the Brink of Collapse?

"An evaluation of the Government’s Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) scheme, commissioned and published by the DWP, reveals that welfare-to-work companies are struggling to find enough placements for all those forced into unpaid work. In a further blow to the DWP’s plans for mass workfare, this report was released before several major charities, including Scope, British Heart Foundation, Age UK and Cancer Research announced they were pulling out of the scheme."

RR 823 Evaluation of Mandatory Work Activity - December 2012

Read summary
Read full report

Mandatory Programmes Official Statistics - November 2012
Mandatory Programme Statistics August 2012


November 11, 2012

Government So Ashamed of Workfare it Blocks Information about it

"The Department of Work and Pensions is refusing to publish the names of charities and businesses where tens of thousands of unemployed people are being made to work without pay for four weeks at a time."

Is the Work Programme really Forced Labour/Slavery in the UK?

Between decent work and forced labour: examining the continuum of exploitation
Between decent work and forced labour: examining the continuum of exploitation

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