Ethics, Methods and Moving Standards in Research on Migrant Workers and Forced Labour

Sam Scott, Alistair Geddes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Universities, funders and professional bodies now have well-developed ethics policies and procedures in place to ensure research participants are fully informed and safeguarded and institutional reputational damage is prevented. These codes have coalesced around increasingly standardised core criteria, with the expectation that they will be adhered to by all employed and funded researchers. This chapter argues however that the dominance of standardised ethics frameworks is also problematic. Both qualitative and quantitative investigations inevitably involve researchers making ethics judgements which are relative and context specific as well. These judgements may be complex, and the outcomes they produce do not always align with standardised ethics frameworks. Drawing on six examples selected from our own research on labour migration and workplace exploitation, in particular on forced labour among migrant workers, we discuss the need to identify and reappraise the distinction between achieving ethical research ‘on paper’ (conformance with institutional ethics codes) and actually defining and ensuring ethical research in practice (i.e. allowing space for exercising individual ethics judgments).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationETHICAL CONCERNS IN RESEARCH ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Pages117-135
Number of pages19
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015

Publication series

NameStudies of Organized Crime

Keywords

  • Community Research
  • Ethics
  • Exploitation
  • Forced Labour
  • Interview
  • Migration
  • Peer Research
  • Qualitative
  • Research

Profiles

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Geddes, Alistair

Person: Academic

Cite this

Scott, S., & Geddes, A. (2015). Ethics, Methods and Moving Standards in Research on Migrant Workers and Forced Labour. In ETHICAL CONCERNS IN RESEARCH ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING (Vol. 13, pp. 117-135). (Studies of Organized Crime). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-21521-1_8