Modern Slavery Laws
Since 2012 there has been a spate of laws requiring multinational companies (MNC) to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) measures to rid their businesses and supply chains of forced labour and modern slavery. These modern slavery laws give effect to international human rights norms by leveraging the market power of corporate actors in the Global North to enforce labour standards and labour rights in the Global South; they are a multiscalar and hybrid form of governance. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) specifically include the eradication of modern slavery and forced labour by 2030 (SDG 8.7), which puts pressure on countries to introduce modern slavery laws. Understanding how modern slavery laws interact with the complex political, legal and regulatory orders in which they are embedded is essential for evaluating whether these modern slavery initiatives can succeed in eliminating forced labour from global supply chains.
The aim of this strand is to understand and assess how the array of modern slavery laws operate in their complex, multi-scalar legal settings.