Building Back Free-er: Labor Supply Chains in the Arab Gulf Online Panel Discussion

Monday, June 29, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic brings labor exploitation and worker vulnerability into full view, The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition hosted a panel of experts online that focused on labor supply chains, how they function, how they have evolved over time, and what has worked (and what hasn’t) in curtailing worker abuses. As a focal case study, the speakers drew on their expertise of the Arab Gulf, a region that relies heavily on migrant labor and that abolished slavery only in living memory. The crowded conditions in migrant camps and the presence of a shadow population of undocumented migrants has exacerbated the effect of COVID-19, which has placed enormous stress on all systems, further exposing both structural and practical inequities facing marginalized workers in wealthy countries. The panel addressed the implications of lessons from the Arab Gulf for building a stronger regime to protect the human rights of workers after the crisis in other regions of the world. 

Watch Video (Originally broadcast on June 26, 2020)


DAVID W. BLIGHT - Director, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; Sterling Professor of History, Yale University


AMB. LUIS C.DEBACA (RET.) - Gilder Lehrman Center Senior Fellow in Modern Slavery, the MacMillan Center at Yale; Former Director, US Office to Monitor/Combat Trafficking in Persons

KATE COONEY - Senior Lecturer in Social Enterprise and Management, Yale School of Management Panelists 

ELIZABETH FRANTZ - Open Society Foundations International Migration Initiative 

FABIEN GOA - FairSquare

MATTHEW HOPPER - Professor of History, California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo


ANDREW CRANE - University of Bath School of Management