States responsibility for        Home Grown Slavery        from Africa to Europe

How migration laws, trade laws and labour laws conflict with one another to create #HomeGrownSlavery


 Holding States responsible and accountable for modern"homegrown" slavery

A campaign by migrants with lived experience, lived expertise and shared experience

July 1st , 2021

Exploitation of migrant workers is causing long-term suffering and hardship in both the UK and across the Europe as criminals and many employers take-advantage-of circumstances or ignore the right to work of migrant workers. The end of the Brexit grace period on 30 June is likely to result in continued exploitation and abuse due to conflict between migration law, employment law and EU/UK Free Trade agreement, which has already been shafting so many irregular and regular non-EEA and EEA migrants into modern slavery. Labour exploitation of migrants at fruit and vegetable farms across the UK and Europe is creating 5 Slaves a Day for the products that make eating 5 a Day possible. COVID19 have revealed the true scale of the problem in many other sectors, including social care, logistics, Security, and domestic work, cleaning and many more. International Human trafficking for labour exploitation is not the only problem, slavery made in Europe has been overlooked for far too long. The victims not all irregular workers, and criminals and employers are not the only perpetrators. They are other players.

Many of us suffer unnecessarily because of abuse and confusion in the law

Help us raise the issues, give us a voice to, and bring change for migrant workers. We declare 1 July 2021, Homegrown slavery day, to urge the UK government and the EU commission to acknowledge it, and to fulfil their duty under international law to bring an end to it.

Support our call for action to address the roots of homegrown slavery.

  • Please buy any fruits and vegetables, take a photo and send it to @migrantsatwork #homegrownslaveryday #5slavesaday
  • We will send the first picture with a link to a video at 11am, please RT with the hashtag above, your town and your pictures.( for example, Birmingham + #homegrownslaveryday + #5slavesaday + pictures) 
  • Thank you for your support!  


While States have been focusing on tackling international Human trafficking and blaming criminals and employers for perpetrating modern slavery offences they are responsible for, their role in creating and nurturing homegrown has been overlooked for decades. "[t] Evidence on the involvement of public officials in modern slavery cases is abundant. [t]  There is evidence of human trafficking and forced labour cases arising from State policy [t]  There are credible reports of pervasive State involvement in the commission of modern slavery offences[T] The hand of the State can be found in contemporary cases of modern slavery [t] That reality must be confronted to advance towards the elimination of slavery in all its forms and avoid 'the illusion of abolition' created by the long-standing prohibition of slavery in international instruments."( Dr. Garcianda & Dr. Puppa Webb, 2019).  The EU common Agricultural policy and migration laws are the left and right hands of the state. 

We urge the EU commission and the UK to fulfil their legal obligations:

  • The UK government must:

          Develop a national policy and plan of action            complying with the ILO protocol Protocol of              2014 to the Forced Labour Convention to                  prevent labour exploitationTo review the        

          Employer's guide to right to work checks                  and the relevant immigration and                              employment restrictions Order to comply                  with the General principle of immigration                  control

  •  The EU Commission must:

          Review the 2023 Common Agriculture                      Policies  and set labour prevention as its                  10th.  

         Implement the Trade and sustainable                        development chapters in the UK/EU Free                   Trade Agreement to protect the Non-                        regression clause. 

Sign the petition ( It will go live on 11 July 2021 , 11 pm)


Workshop, 31 Jan 2019 - United Nations University - 

Protecting migrant workers from exploitation in the EU: workers' perspectives 

"Do you ever think about the people who built the new apartment complex in your neighbourhood, picked the vegetables you enjoyed during a recent meal, washed your car, or made your favourite shirt? Would it surprise you that, in the European Union today, some of these people are being grossly underpaid and overworked, isolated, threatened and beaten, and forced to live in conditions barely fit for animals?"

(Michael O'Flaherty,Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights)

8th June 2021 - 11am - 14:45

 Registration: Eventbrite 


As non-state actors commit most modern slavery offences, "the efforts of States against modern slavery are mainly focused on their responsibility to 'prevent, protect and punish" them. Unfortunately, that approach remains insufficient when States are involved in the commission of the offence through State policy (direct) or through the actions or omissions of a State organ or official (indirect)" (Dr Webb & Dr Garciandia,2019). Human trafficking is a crime. Social partners working in this field are opposed to trafficking. However, as trafficking is more likely to occur at European or international level, the higher priority is given to anti-trafficking measures in global policymaking than at national level. While States have been focusing on tackling international Human tracking, their role in creating and nurturing homegrown has been overlooked for decades.

There is still a highly significant and under-considered intersection and interaction between migration law, international trade law, and labour law creating and exacerbating vulnerability to home-grown slavery in the UK, and across the world. Labour lawyers tend to regard migration law as generally speaking outside their purview, and migration lawyers somewhat similarly tend to neglect labour law( Cathryn Costello and Mark Freedland,2014). For employers' and workers' organisations, trafficking for labour exploitation is unlikely to be a top priority ( EUROFOUND, 2016).

Join us, migrants, with lived experience, who have first-hand experience of the impact of migration laws on our labour laws, migrant frontline support organisations, and experts, to discuss the future of our labour rights at the intersectionality of international trade laws, migration laws and labour laws, and learn about our campaign to tackle the roots of vulnerability to home-grown slavery and immigration status-related race discrimination.


Session 1: 11:00-13:00 -  The law- Homegrown slavery as  State migration policy

Dr Catherine Harris, Assistant Professor, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations
"(96%) employers surveyed lack confidence in employing migrants who are from outside the EU" [MiFriendly Cities Employers Survey]
Emily Kanway, Former Labour Market and Private Sector Lead,
Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
[The truth about Modern Slavery]
Dr Rosana Garciandia, Research Associate and Visiting Lecturer in Public International Law
[State responsibility for modern slavery: uncovering and bridging the gap]
Ake Achi, Founder and Director, Migrants At Work (MAW), LLM international human rights. Employment law and immigration law student
[ The roots of vulnerability in labour laws and State duty to prevent labour exploitation]
Chair : Dr Sue Conlan, immigration lawyer 

Session 2: 13:30 - 14:45 - Lived experience - Homegrown slavery as employment practice

Speakers - Lived experience

Alessandro, EU citizen granted 'Settled Status'
Salema, Newly granted Refugee status
Grace, Refugee migrants with Indefinite Leave to Remain
Api, Asylum seeker- locked up, and exploited by a lawyer

Migrant support organisations

Jennifer Mirdamadi, Citizen Advice Liverpool

Juliette Nash, ATLEU, support to survivors of trafficking and slavery

Chair: Aké



Overseas: The political commitments at the United Nations to tackle international human rights trafficking.

At home: Action in practice -  Labour exploitation as state policy



Impact of trade laws and  migration laws