© 2015

Vulnerability, Exploitation and Migrants

Insecure Work in a Globalised Economy

  • Louise Waite
  • Gary Craig
  • Hannah Lewis
  • Klara Skrivankova

Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Introduction

    1. Louise Waite, Gary Craig, Hannah Lewis, Klara Skrivankova
      Pages 1-12
  3. The Globalisation of Vulnerability

  4. Migrant Workers, Unfreedom and Forced Labour

  5. The Vulnerability of Asylum Seekers

  6. Hidden from View: The Most Exploited Workers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Rebecca Lawthom, Carolyn Kagan, Sue Baines, Sandy Lo, Sylvia Sham, Lisa Mok et al.
      Pages 174-186

About this book


Globalization, the economic crisis and related policies of austerity have led to a growth in extreme exploitation at work, with migrants particularly vulnerable. This book explores the lives of the growing numbers of severely exploited labourers in the world today, questioning how we can respond to such globalized patterns of extreme inequality.


Migrants vulnerability exploitation work precarity neoliberalism globalisation labour trade unions Asylum capital globalization growth migration mobility Nation political economy production social capital

Editors and affiliations

  • Louise Waite
    • 1
  • Gary Craig
    • 2
  • Hannah Lewis
    • 3
  • Klara Skrivankova
    • 4
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK
  2. 2.University of DurhamUK
  3. 3.University of SheffieldUK
  4. 4.Anti-Slavery InternationalUK

About the editors

Nicola Phillips, University of Sheffield, UK John Smith, Kingston University, UK Rossana Cillo, University of Venice Ca' Foscari, Italy Lucia Pradella, University of Venice Ca' Foscari, Italy Kendra Strauss, Simon Fraser University, Canada Matej Blazek, Loughborough University, UK Alex Balch, University of Liverpool, UK Tom Vickers, Northumbria University, UK Maja Sager, Lund University, Sweden Donghyuk Park, University of Paris Diderot, France Louise Waite, University of Leeds, UK Hannah Lewis, University of Leeds, UK Stuart Hodkinson, University of Leeds, UK Peter Dwyer, University of York, UK Eliana Ferradás Abalo, School for International Training, USA Jerónimo Montero Bressán, Ministry of Labour, Argentina Rebecca Lawthom, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Sue Baines, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Carolyn Kagan, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Mark Greenwood, Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, UK Sandy Lo, Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, UK Lisa Mok, Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, UK Sylvia Sham, Wai Yin Chinese Women Society, UK Scott Gaule, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Alice Bloch, University of Manchester, UK Sonia McKay, University of the West of England, UK Leena Kumarappan, London Metropolitan University, UK Ismail Idowu Salih, Middlesex University School of Law, UK Domenica Urzi, University of Nottingham, UK Ana Lopes, University of the West of England, UK Tim Hall, University of East London, UK Annie Delaney, Victoria University, Australia Jane Tate, Homeworkers Worldwide, UK Joanna Ewart-James, Walk Free Partner Network, UK Neill Wilkins, Institute for Human Rights and Business, UK

Bibliographic information


"This wide ranging volume explores the relation between migration, exploitation and globalisation from multiple perspectives, bringing together diverse experiences from the global north and the global south. It exposes the structural underpinnings of the production of vulnerability through the lack of global governance of labour relations, and the stringency of global citizenship regimes. Setting ethnographic and qualitative studies of migrants alongside political economic analysis of neoliberal capitalist development it provides fascinating analysis of how global capital impacts on daily lives, and offers some examples of how to fight back." - Bridget Anderson, University of Oxford, UK

"Read this book. It is a work of solidarity and is both urgent and unique. Urgent because it engages directly with the structural reasons why migrant workers are especially likely to face work-place exploitation. It is thus a call for action in dangerous times. Unique because of its breadth in encompassing both analysis of migrant workers' own strategies to manage harsh working and living conditions across contrasting global contexts and understanding of the neoliberal policies and business practices that create those conditions. Clear in its overall message, the book rightly steers readers towards the diversity of migrant workers' experiences, and to an appreciation and respect for the agency of migrants themselves, even in conditions where victories may only be small, and changes fleeting." - Ben Rogaly, University of Sussex, UK

"Neoliberal globalisation is exacerbating inequality, and creating new forms of exploitation on the basis of race, gender, origins and - above all - legal status. This invaluable book explores the special vulnerability of migrant workers and asylum seekers. It examines the political economy of the production of vulnerability, while case studies from Europe, Latin America and Asia reveal the everyday reality of exploitation and precarity. But the authors do not simply lament such abuses: they map out strategies to fight for the rights of vulnerable workers and to build global citizenship." - Stephen Castles, University of Sydney, Australia