Modern Slavery, State-Corporate Benevolence, and the Production and Reproduction of State-Corporate Harm

Dr Marinella Marmo1, Dr Rhiannon Bandiera2

1Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia
2Maynooth University, Maynooth, Ireland

Modern slavery legislation continues to be enacted by nation-states and remain in force despite their well-documented weaknesses and limited effect on corporate compliance. We argue that nation-states legislate on modern slavery under the premise of humanitarianism to (re)frame themselves and corporations as benevolent actors. Modern slavery legislation is a tool through which states and corporations can evade responsibility for such harms despite evidence that supply chains create vulnerability for workers and corporations are profiting from the large-scale exploitation of workers. Moreover, we argue that third parties have defended (indeed, praised) such mechanisms as transparent, reinforcing state-corporate benevolence. By using the case study of the manufacture and import of Top Glove single-use medical gloves to Australia prior to and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this presentation will demonstrate the perverseness of this humanitarian, benevolent state-corporate narrative in maintaining the status quo.


Bio to come


Aug 30 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm