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Wilful negligence: migration policy, migrants' work and the absence of social protection in the UK

Craig, Gary; Wilkinson, Mick


Gary Craig


In this chapter we explore important issues concerned with the social exclusion and social segregation of migrant workers in the UK.  Our main argument is that social and employment protection for this group of workers is often inadequate and the the UK government has a moral obligation to address these deficits.  We argue that the UK has one of the least regulated labour markets of all 'developed' economies, and that the government's open invitation to migrant workers to meet the needs of the 'flexible' economy has generated a large pool of exploitable, largely unprotected labour.  Many migrant workers in the UK do so under levels of exploitation that would meet the international legal definition of 'forced labour'. The chapter first sets out the national context of migration policies in the UK, reflecting on the long history of immigration to this former imperial power, and the historical significance of questions of 'race', ethnicity and racial discrimmination to the integration of , especially, immigrant workers of the post-war period, and later their families as well.

Book Type Book Chapter
Publication Date Mar 1, 2012
Pages 177-194
Book Title Migration and welfare in the new Europe : social protection and the challenges of integration
ISBN 9781847429377