I-SPHERE seminar – Emily Kenway

Date: November 16, 2023
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

The Ambivalence of Street Life: Exploring ‘modern slavery’ and money-making among people experiencing homelessness 

People experiencing homelessness (PEH) are recognised to be at heightened risk of ‘modern slavery’ including human trafficking and forced labour. The limited available data on PEH who become victims shows that, mostly, they were initially recruited into that circumstance by a job offer, e.g. a person approaching them at a soup kitchen with an offer. Thus far, policy responses have focused on ‘raising awareness’ among i) homelessness service staff to identify victims and ii) PEH to warn them of dubious recruitment approaches. This project seeks to develop a fuller and more nuanced account of the recruitment of destitute people as a multi-dimensional process, focusing on the ways PEH understand and respond to offers of money-making activities. This presentation provides the findings from the initial wave of interviews and analysis, conducted among people currently living in Edinburgh who are currently or recently homeless and who have the right to be in the UK. Content note: sexual violence, exploitation, violence, bereavement. 

Emily Kenway, is a doctoral scholar at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. and author of ‘Who Cares: the hidden crisis of caregiving and how we solve it’.