From StatusNow4All signatory, Migrants at Work: The well-rehearsed narrative the government has been feeding us for decades is that we, migrants, are vulnerable to labour exploitation because of our immigration status.
Many in the charity sector and trade union movement have been quick to fall for it, and promote this false narrative. Our immigration status is only one of the many root causes to vulnerability to labour exploitation. Once we peel off this statutory layer, we uncover the true root of vulnerability, the factors that diminish our capacity to cope with, resist and recover from ‘homegrown’ slavery. Although modern slavery is a crime it remains ‘just business’, first. Migrant workers are capital assets like any workers. Race and immigration status make the acquisition of this particular capital easier.
Would our ancestors have been freed from slavery, if they had Indefinite Leave to Remain, or not subjected to some of their master’s rules ? Of course not. Why? because slavery was endorsed by the State.
Modern ‘Homegrown’ slavery as State policy is the same business model, without the chains. Nothing has changed. The only difference this time is that our civil rights being ‘granted’ give us the right to challenge the State.
Aké Achi, Founder and Director at Migrants At Work.