The Old & the New Indenture : Labour Practices and Human Rights !!
Labour exploitation is a violation of human rights that can be considered through different lense: it poses a significant development challenge for a country, impacts international co-operation, and is an abuse of vulnerable citizens.
Historically, labour exploitation has occurred throughout the world, as evidenced through African slavery, South Pacific blackbirding, Chinese and Indian Indenture. The global legacy of such large-scale dislocation of people is recognised byh UNESCO through its slave and indentured route projects.
The abolition of slavery more than 180 years ago and the abolishment of indenture over a 100 years ago were momentous in the de-commodification of labour and the recognition of social welfare and justice for workers. Unfortunately, these historical exploitations have resonance with the present. Modern slavery and “indenture” are growing contemporary concerns.
To help address the issue and mitigate its detrimental impact on vulnerable populations, concerted efforts are needed to analyse the causal factors underpinning the migration and exploitation of low-skilled workers. As seen both historically and in the present day, political and economic turmoil and overpopulation are correlated with the displacement and relocation of individuals, which makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Just as importantly, geographical upheavals have a direct impact on people’s vulnerability to labour exploitation. This is a grave issue for South Pacific citizens, who are experiencing growing economic disadvantages and increasing poverty through lack of economic opportunities, disproportionate increase in populations without proportionate growth in economies, governance issues, deterioration in health and of course, the detrimental consequences of rapid climate change and now, the consequences of pandemics. Given the connections between labour exploitations and the displacement of people due to environmental factors, such as rising sea levels, erosion of homelands, hurricanes, earthquakes and droughts, labour exploitation and migration is a crucial social justice concern for the South Pacific region today.
This trans-disciplinary conference will bring together national and international scholars and social justice activists to provide a concerted emphasis on labour exploitation and migration as a present-day humanitarian crisis. The conference also seeks to understand past labour exploitations through blackbirding, slavery and indenture as a social justice issue that continues to have consequences for the present.
The conference provides a platform to examine social justice challenges in the form of the social and material structures of labour systems and how these structures create complex, inter-related and overlapping relationships that are detrimental to the wellbeing of the labourers. Exploitations of human rights may take the form of deceitful recruitment practices, poor working and living conditions, forced labour, debt bondage, and child labour. Through such discussions, the conference provides avenues for analysing the interplay of power, micro and macro-level politics and governance in determining and improving individuals’ resource access and health outcomes.
The conference aims to create a dialogue between scholars from different disciplines:
- To explore the connections between historical displacement of people through labour migration, and its significance for the present day
- To provide an interdisciplinary forum to discuss the influences behind labour exploitation
- To provide an interdisciplinary forum to find solutions to labour exploitation and migration as a South Pacific humanitarian crisis
- To strengthen global efforts to end labour exploitation in the present day
Legacy of labour and migrations
- What are the legacies of African slavery, South Pacific blackbirding, Chinese and Indian indentured labour, large-scale use of foreign labour in the GCC countries in the social, economic, political fields of nations and geo-political regions?
- How has the social, cultural, economic and political fabric of the South Pacific and elsewhere been shaped through past labour migration and settlement?
Construction of identities
- What is the collective memory of the diasporic communities of their current and imagined homelands?
- How did the permanent displacement and relocation of people contribute to identity formation of the diasporic communities of today?
- How is ‘home’ constructed for the second wave of migrants from former plantation colonies to the developed world and other countries?
- How is historical dislocation and relocation remembered within the collective memory of a nation?
- How did the early migrants adapt psychologically, linguistically and socially to their new homelands?
- How did religions maintain continuity but simultaneously adapt to the new environments and what role did they play in the formation of the imagined community?
- How has historical labour migration played an influential role in postcolonial literature?
- How has postcolonial literature on historical labour migration shaped the collective memory of these events?
- How does labour exploitation and migration affect women migrants’ agency?
Health, migration and labour exploitation
- What are the connections between mental wellbeing and the displacement and relocation of people through labour migration?
- How does labour exploitation and migration affect maternal health?
- How did the knowledge, herbs and spices transported through slavery and indenture change the culinary and medicinal landscape of the new homeland?
- Comparative analysis of health in the diasporas
Law, business, environment, politics and economics perspectives
- The impact of self-regulation, national regulation, global regulation on labour exploitation and migration
- Roles of multinational co-operations, CSR and labour exploitation
- The interconnections between supply chains of human labour and labour exploitation and migration
- Human rights and labour exploitation in areas of health, mining, agriculture and fishing industries
- What are environmental, political and economic challenges that small-island nations face in relation to labour exploitation?
- How can religious leaders contribute to the end of modern day labour exploitation?
- Exploratory, conceptual and theoretical frameworks on past and present labour exploitation
Foreign Labour in the GCC
- Characteristics of Labour in the GCC
- Financial impacts on supplier nations
- Case Studies
Pacific Seasonal Labour Scheme
- Characteristics of PSLS
- Financial impacts on supplier nations
- Case Studies
- The legacy of labour exploitation and migration is not unique to the South Pacific region, hence, what solutions can the South Pacific region provide to the global community to end modern day slavery?
- The effects of climate change on displacement and relocation of people and their subsequent vulnerability to labour exploitation is a growing concern in the South Pacific region. However, climate change and environmental degradation is not unique to the South Pacific region, hence, what solutions can the South Pacific region provide to the global community to mitigate the exacerbation of climate change and to end modern day slavery?
Dates: 9-11 October 2021
Language: The conference language will be English. People who want to participate in the conference without presenting a paper are also welcome.
Conference Convener: Dr. Farzana Gounder, IPU, New Zealand
Conference Secretary: Vinod Narayan Sami, Global Girmit Institute.
Conference Organising Secretary: Manpreet Kaur, University of Fiji
Conference Advisory Committee (Suggested):
Dr. Ganesh Chand, Lautoka/Honiara (Co-Chairperson)
Professor Shaista Shameem, University of Fiji, Lautoka (Co-Chairperson)
Dr. Amba Pande, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Dr. David Gegeo, Solomon Islands National University, Honiara.
Dr. Jacqueline Leckie, Conjointly, Victoria Uni. of Wellington and Uni of Newcastle.
Dr. Naren Prasad, ILO, Geneva
Dr. Primnath Gooptar, National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), Trinidad
Dr. Rajni Chand, University of the South Pacific, Fiji
Dr. Ravi Dev, Guyana
Dr. Satyendra Peerthum, Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, Mauritius
Dr. Sunil Kumar, University of Fiji
Dr. Vishnu Bisram, New York USA
Mr. Nadesa Goundar, Unitec, Auckland, New Zealand
Mr. Robin Nair, Canberra
Professor Ajay K. Dubey, School of International Studies, JNU, India.
Professor Biman Prasad, Member of Parliament, Fiji.
Professor Dharmendra Sharma, University of Canberra, Australia
Professor Goolam Vahed, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Professor Kalpana Hiralal, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Professor Maurits Hassankhan, Anton de Kom Universiteit, University of Suriname
Professor Satish Chand, School of Business, UNSW Canberra, Australia
Professor Vijay Naidu, Fiji
Professor Lomarsh Roopnarine, Jackson State University, USA
Primary Sponsor Institutions:
Global Girmit Institute, Saweni Shopping Centre, Queens Road, Lautoka,
Fiji Institute of Applied Studies, Lautoka.
Conference Contact Details:
Chief Convener: firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: +64 22 140 8879
Conference Secretary: email@example.com
Organising Secretary: manpreetK@unifiji.ac.fj
Office: Global Girmit Institute, Saweni Shopping Centre, Queens Road, Lautoka
Website: http://fias.org.fj ; http://globalgirmitinstitute.org
Please send your letters, articles, photos and short videos to this free online Indo-Caribbean paper: firstname.lastname@example.org