Between ‘Modern Slavery’ and ‘Decent Work’: Responses to Labour Exploitation


Dates and times: 

January 17, 2023 - 14:00


University of Oxford
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights & Zoom
United Kingdom


This event will explore the meaning - for legal standards, policy, and law enforcement - of using a negative framework (‘modern slavery’) that emphasises extreme forms of exploitation society aims to abolish, compared with a positive framework ('decent work'), one emphasising more ideal notions of how work should look like.

Modern slavery comprises the worse forms of labour exploitation. Under the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 it includes slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. Conversely, decent work as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is aspirational, and refers to employment opportunities, adequate earnings and productive work, decent working time, combining work with family and personal life, stability and security of work, equal opportunities, safe work environment, social security and social dialogue.

The event will start with a panel discussion on labour law and public law (moderated by Maayan Niezna), followed by practitioners’ roundtable to consider the meaning of the different frameworks in practice for policy, law enforcement, and compliance of businesses (moderated by Elinor Buys).

Find out more