Volunteering helps refugees exit forced labour

Refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced forced or exploitative labour have found volunteering invaluable in exiting these circumstances, according to Precarious Lives, a study published by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The study, the result of a two-year research project, outlines harrowing experiences of forced labour and exploitation by refugees and asylum seekers in England and provides recommendations to improve their support.

Precarious Lives collates accounts from 30 asylum seekers and refugees who have suffered in exploitative labour. It highlights the importance of volunteering to these individuals as well as the constraints within the voluntary sector preventing support for these vulnerable individuals.

The authors recognise the limitations provided by funding constraints on the sector, but advise that it has a key role to play in reducing forced labour with the resources it does hold. The report recommends that organisations engage service users in discussion of work, continue to campaign for the right to work for asylum seekers, prioritise destitution provision for basic needs and provide information and make themselves known to potential service users.

To download the report visit http://precariouslives.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/precarious_lives_main_report_2-7-13.pdf.