They might be living in modern slavery, having been trafficked and exploited. This just seems to be one of the inevitable human downsides of globalisation. It’s certainly facilitated by it.
If emergency planning is about understanding risks and protecting communities from them, it follows that we have to know all our communities really well. But people in these situations often live beneath the radar. They are certainly hard to reach and difficult to include. We may not even know they are there, and the people who exploit them would like to keep it that way. This must reduce our ability to plan for their needs in emergencies, as well as taking whole groups out of the local community resilience picture. It might also create risks, as a result of working practices that are unregulated, unsafe and invisible to the authorities.
It’s 15 years since the Morecambe Bay tragedy and the death of 23 persons – migrants working in just those “under the radar” circumstances. So how much has changed whilst globalisation has gained even more momentum and developed even more far-reaching effects? If that interests you (and we think it should!) then share your thoughts with us and watch this space for our findings – due to be published in the summer.