‘Hostile’ UK Immigration Policy and Asylum Seekers’ Susceptibility to Forced Labour

  • Hannah Lewis
  • Louise Waite
  • Stuart Hodkinson
Part of the Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security book series (TCCCS)


This chapter discusses how recent changes in UK immigration policy to create an intentionally ‘hostile environment’ for irregular migrants relate to susceptibility to forced labour. The key changes in the Immigration Act 2014 and Immigration Act 2016 target spaces of everyday life by restricting access to housing, healthcare services, banking and legal representation, and increasing penalties for unauthorized working. Drawing on our research on experiences of forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers, we highlight how such policies could operate to increase labour exploitation among people seeking asylum and other irregular migrants. This outcome is quite contradictory with government claims that it wishes to tackle ‘modern slavery’ in the UK through the Modern Slavery Act 2015.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannah Lewis
    • 1
  • Louise Waite
    • 2
  • Stuart Hodkinson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociological StudiesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.School of GeographyUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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