The vulnerabilities of modern slavery victims in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic
Dr Elena Spasovska1
1University Of South Australia
This presentation explores the vulnerabilities of modern slavery victims in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic arguing that existing vulnerabilities were exacerbated during a time of heightened uncertainty, change and social upheaval. The presentation uses the work of Bauman and world systems theory to conceptualise how vulnerabilities are entrenched in the structuring of work and consumerism under conditions of modernity and globalism. Through this lens, modern slavery is a ‘negative externality’ of the modern system of production and consumption creating a divide between the ‘haves and have nots’. The theoretical framework is used to explore the way COVID-19 heightened existing vulnerabilities of modern slavery victims, drawing on data from a series of interviews with key service provides in the modern slavery space in Australia.
Dr. Elena Spasovska completed her PhD at the University in South Australia in 2017 with a dissertation on the role of women’s organizations in building peace in the Republic of North Macedonia. She has been teaching in the fields of Sociology, International Relations and Politics across all three major universities in Adelaide. She is currently working on research projects on gender equality and opportunities for Macedonian women migrants in the world, online political influence, and support for dependents of victims of human trafficking