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Regulation and enforcement to tackle forced labour in the UK: a systematic response?

Alex Balch

27 February 2012

How can we improve regulation and enforcement to tackle forced labour?

While forced labour is generally recognised as a crime, it is rarely prosecuted because of obstacles to law enforcement and identification of forced labour victims.

This paper spells out the challenges, within the complex regulatory environment of the UK labour market. Enforcement is spread over a number of agencies and regulatory bodies; the powers, interests and capacity of these organisations in dealing with forced labour vary widely; and there are inconsistencies in levels of regulation and enforcement.

The paper:

  • maps the legal and organisational framework relating to forced labour;
  • highlights gaps in the UK's actions to combat forced labour; and
  • develops a set of recommendations for improvements and changes to the current system and makes suggestions for future research.

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