Bonavero Discussion Group: Can forced labour import bans raise labour standards in supply chains? Lessons from the implementation of the US forced labour import ban

Event date
4 June 2024
Event time
12:30 - 14:00
Oxford week
TT 7
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights - Gilly Leventis Meeting Room

Jennifer Gordon, John D Feerick Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Dr Sofia Gonzalez De Aguinaga, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Dr Maayan Niezna, University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice


Notes & Changes

This event will be taking place in-person in the Gilly Leventis Meeting Room at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and online via Zoom. Please register here for online attendance.

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights logo
Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law
University of Liverpool
Modern Slavery PEC logo

In April, the European Parliament approved a new regulation in the EU to prohibit the sale, import and export of goods made using forced labour. Evidence on the effectiveness of these trade instruments in addressing labour rights violations remains scarce, with the United States being the only country in the world today actively enforcing a law that bans the importation of goods made with forced labor. Jennifer Gordon will discuss her recent report, The US Forced Labour Import Ban as a Tool to Raise Labour Standards in Supply Chains: Strategic Approaches to Advocacy, which examines the challenges and opportunities that labor and human rights advocates and trade unionists have faced in using this provision--Sec. 307 of the US Tariff Act of 1930--in the context of campaigns to address systematic violations of workers' rights in supply chains. The report, written for an audience of advocates and policymakers, offers a new framework for strategic approaches to Sec. 307, with the goals of targeting lead firms at the top of supply chains, changing the practices of major suppliers in the center, and building worker power at the bottom.


Professor Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer Gordon is the John D. Feerick Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law in New York City, where she teaches in the areas of immigration, labor rights, and government regulation. Her research and writing on migration, trade, and labor standards in the context of globalization has appeared in top academic journals, and her book, Suburban Sweatshops: The Fight for Immigrant Rights, was published by Harvard University Press.  She has also written on these topics for the New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and numerous other media outlets.  Earlier in her career, she founded and directed the Workplace Project, a pioneering immigrant workers’ center in the United States.  Gordon has received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and an Open Society Fellowship, and was named one of the “Outstanding Woman Lawyers in the United States” by the National Law Journal. 


Dr Sofia Gonzalez De Aguinaga

Dr Sofia Gonzalez De Aguinaga

Dr Sofia Gonzalez De Aguinaga, Research leader in Business, ESG and Modern Slavery at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and Research Associate for the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre.

Dr Sofia Gonzalez De Aguinaga joined the British Institute for International and Comparative Law (BIICL) in February 2022.  At the Bingham Centre she coordinates the Business Network and develops and delivers relevant research for its members on ESG and modern slavery.

She also leads the research work strand on Modern Slavery in Business Supply chains for the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC). As part of this work, Sofia has delivered research on modern slavery in the context of public procurement, capital market actors, and mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation. She is currently working on an evidence review of the effectiveness of forced labour import bans for addressing modern slavery.

Overall, her research is characterised by continuous engagement with business, policy makers, academics, and practitioners.

Before joining BIICL she worked as a consultant for the Walk Free Foundation looking at the garment and investor sectors reporting under the UK and Australian Modern Slavery Acts. Sofia has also undertaken research on modern slavery looking at FTSE100 companies and the UK construction sector.

Sofia holds a PhD in Business Ethics & Sustainability from King's College London. Her thesis looked at heterogenous business responses to CSR programmes in emerging markets. She also has teaching experience at King's College London leading seminars and delivering lectures in the Business School and the Department of International Development.


Dr Maayan Niezna

Dr Maayan Niezna

Dr Maayan Niezna is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice. Before joining the School, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Modern Slavery and Human Rights at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.
She holds PhD in Law from Kent Law School, MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, and LL.B in Law and Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Maayan's socio-legal research focuses on trafficking for labour exploitation, the regulation of labour migration, and the rights of non-citizens. Her current project 'Work as a Site of Agency and a Site of Exploitation' (funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme) compares the understanding of labour exploitation across policymakers, law enforcement agents and people with lived experience of exploitation.

Found within