As the COVID-19 pandemic opens the aperture bringing labor exploitation and worker vulnerability into full view, much of the discussion has focused on product supply chains and increasing pressures born by workers in essential jobs or involved in production along global value chains. In this webinar, the second in a series on building back free-er, a panel of experts will focus on labor supply chains, how they function, how they have evolved over time, and what has worked (and what hasn’t) in curtailing worker abuses.
As a focal case study, we have invited speakers to draw on lessons from their work on labor supply chains in the Arab Gulf, a group of countries where industries have long relied on imported labor supply chains, for up to 85% of labor needs, and a region that abolished slavery only in living memory. International migration has been rising globally as increasing inequalities and lower barriers to information create migrant corridors connected by labor supply intermediaries matching migrants between sending and receiving countries – sometimes in expected patterns and sometimes in ways that challenge assumptions. The Gulf states’ reliance on migrant labor and corresponding study and activism around workers’ experiences make that region an appropriate site for examining the risks and rewards of such labor migration schemes.