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Out of sight, out of mind: the exploitation of migrant workers in 21st-century Britain

Wilkinson, Mick


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Dr Mick Wilkinson
Lecturer in Modern Slavery, Criminology & Social Justice


Over the past decade a team at the University of Hull has undertaken four separate but linked research projects investigating the working and living conditions of migrant workers in the UK.  This paper is based on those four studies.  The findings are both shocking and depressing.  They demonstrate that employment protection for migrant workers in the UK is wholly inadequate, that key industrial sectors, including construction, hotels and hospitality, the care sector and contract cleaning, remain so poorly regulated by enforcement agencies that they are an open invitation to the most exploitative of gangmasters, employment agencies and employers.  They stand as an indictment of British government indifference to the exploitation of the migrant workforce.


Wilkinson, M. (2012). Out of sight, out of mind: the exploitation of migrant workers in 21st-century Britain. The journal of poverty and social justice, 20(1), (13-21). doi:10.1332/175982712X626734. ISSN 1759-8273

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2012
Publication Date Feb 1, 2012
Print ISSN 1759-8273
Electronic ISSN 1759-8281
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 13-21
Keywords Deregulation; Exploitation; Gangmaster; Trafficking; Undocumented workforce
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