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Title: Exploring modern slavery and the Modern Slavery Act 2015 : how does the framing of modern slavery limit the efficacy of legal and policy responses to human trafficking and slavery
Author: Mellon, Y. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 7716
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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In recent years interest in the issues of slavery and human trafficking has converged with the emergence of the concept of 'modern slavery'. This thesis seeks to address the complex phenomenon of 'modern slavery' and analyse the effect it has on legislative responses to slavery and human trafficking, with a particular focus on the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It begins by locating the problem historically through its foundations in slavery and human trafficking and explores the incomplete nature of the abolition of the practices. These observations provide the context for analysis of the existing international anti-slavery and trafficking legal frameworks, the emergence of the concept of 'modern slavery' and the subsequent blurring of the legal boundaries between the practices. The complexity of the concept of 'modern slavery' is reflected in the variety of practices included within its scope and the lack of consensus among stakeholders concerning the meaning of the term. This thesis examines the phenomenon of 'modern slavery' and the conflation of human trafficking and slavery underneath the umbrella of 'modern slavery'. It demonstrates that the shortcomings of the existing models of 'modern slavery' are themselves evident in the legal and policy responses to slavery and human trafficking. The overall effect of the uncritical use of the concept is a negative impact on potential victims of human trafficking and slavery, but also other exploitative practices. These observations are supported by doctrinal analysis of i) historical anti-slavery and trafficking movements ii) international frameworks and definitions of slavery and trafficking iii) existing academic literature examining the concept of 'modern slavery' and iiii) The Modern Slavery Act 2015. This thesis extends the existing literature by investigating how different conceptualisations of slavery impact the efficacy of anti-slavery legislation, specifically the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The thesis explores the disconnect between different sections of the literature of slavery and trafficking. The thesis argues in conclusion that the development of the concept of 'modern slavery' and the subsequent collapse of the legal boundaries between human trafficking and slavery has a potential threefold effect, which limits the utility of current anti-slavery/trafficking legal and policy responses.
Supervisor: Currie, Samanta ; Farrell, Michelle Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral