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Law in action

- Policy and legal responses to the exploitation of migrant workers in the Nordic countries

While the Nordic countries are well-known for the welfare systems, equality and good working conditions, migrant workers are at the same time exploited in these countries in sectors such as construction, service, logistic and transport, horticulture and agriculture. Beyond the similarities between these Nordic countries, previous research indicates that the Nordic countries have approached and responded to the issue of labour exploitation of migrant workers in rather different ways when it comes to both policy intentions and ’law in action’. In order to understand how the ‘problem’ of labour exploitation is addressed in the Nordic region, the purpose of this proposed joint project is to explore how ‘policy intentions’ are interpreted and transformed into ‘law in action’ aimed at countering the exploitation of migrant workers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. By distinguishing between ‘policy intentions’ (in form of action plans, legislations, policy reports etc.) and ‘law in action’ (in form of court cases) the project will analyse how parallel and competing Nordic problem representations, such as ‘social dumping’, ‘human trafficking’, ‘work related crime’ and ‘extortionate work discrimination’ have emerged and manifested themselves within and across the Nordic countries.

The Swedish part of the project concerns policies and legal practice in Sweden. Within the project, we will collect and analyze verdicts from various courts in Sweden (e.g. cases from the labor court and district courts) that concern labor exploitation.

Law in action - Policy and legal responses to the exploitation of migrant workers in the Nordic countries is funded by the NordicResearch Council for Criminology (NSfK) 2020-2021.

If you have questions about the study, please contact the lead researcher:

Isabel Schoultz
+46 46-222 88 11
isabel [dot] schoultz [at] soclaw [dot] lu [dot] se