The Exploitation Spectrum – Assisting Workers to Know their Rights
One way to conceive of the phenomenon of labour trafficking and all the shades of exploitation that precede it is to place these on a spectrum.
When does decent work become exploitation, and when does exploitation turn to trafficking? If decent work is at one end of the spectrum, and human trafficking at the other, what are the markers in between? Can one person's experience move along this spectrum? What are some mechanisms to keep a worker's situation from regressing?
Shelley Gilbert is the Chair of the Windsor Essex Anti-Human Trafficking Action Group (WEFIGHT) providing support and advocacy to survivors of domestic and international human trafficking of forced labour/debt bondage, forced marriage and women trafficked into the sex industry. She has conducted training and workshops for both NGOs and law enforcement across the country on the identification and provision of service to survivors. She has presented models of collaboration, policy gaps and best practice approaches at national and provincial conferences. She was awarded the Inspirational Leader Award by the Ontario Association of Social Workers in 2014 and the Attorney General Victim Services Award of Distinction in 2016.
Shelley Gilbert has worked at Legal Assistance of Windsor since 1993 and is currently the Coordinator of Social Work Services.