Unfinished Liberation: Agricultural bonded labour in India and Nepal and the human rights-based approach

Show simple item record

dc.contributor Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta fi
dc.contributor Helsingfors universitet, statsvetenskapliga fakulteten sv
dc.contributor University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Development Studies en
dc.contributor Poliittisten, yhteiskunnallisten ja alueellisten muutosten tohtoriohjelma fi
dc.contributor Doktorandprogrammet i politisk, samhällelig och regional förändring sv
dc.contributor Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Changes en
dc.contributor.author Samonova, Elena
dc.date.accessioned 2018-10-01T05:11:24Z
dc.date.available 2018-10-30
dc.date.available 2018-10-01T05:11:24Z
dc.date.issued 2018-11-09
dc.identifier.uri URN:ISBN:978-951-51-3343-4
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10138/246105
dc.description.abstract Slavery and slavery like practices have many faces and forms. This thesis aims to investigate one of the most widespread forms of slavery, namely bonded labour. Bonded labour is an exploitative interlinking of credit agreement and labour, where a debtor has to repay his debt through long term servitude. In this thesis, I focus on two cases of bonded labour in agriculture: debt bondage among Tharu people in Nepal and Sahariya people in India. In both cases the establishment of systems of bonded labour is connected to the long term processes of internal colonization, dispossession, nationalization of natural resources, and the introduction of private land ownership. The overall goal of the thesis is to find out in what way the full liberation of bonded labourers is possible. In particular, I investigate the effects associated with the implementation of the human rights-based approaches to bonded labour. Thus, the research questions are: What are the factors and forces that contribute and reinforce the situation of bonded labour? And in what manner does the application of a rights-based approach affect the liberation of those oppressed groups who experience debt-bondage? In order to answer this research question, I apply qualitative methods of inquiry, including in-depth interviews and group discussions. The data were gathered during three field trips that took place between November 2015 and December 2016. The translation of the situation of bonded labour into the language of power relations demonstrates that bondage is a situation of multiple powerlessness, where various forms and levels of power block the agency of people held in bondage. Thus, the situation of bondage can be seen as a situation of objectification and de-humanization of people. The full liberation of bonded labourers means reconstitution of power relations in favour of people held in bondage. The analysis shows that legislation alone cannot eliminate the practice of bondage, since it does not challenge the deep rooted causes of power imbalance. In turn, the analysis of the implementation of the human rights-based approaches demonstrates their capacity to contribute to the successful deconstruction of internalized oppression, and re-establishment of subject status among the community. In this way, the implementation of the human rights-based approach contributes to the process of re-humanization that is required for the deconstruction of the oppressive social relations. Additionally, the rights-based approaches support the opening of old and the creation of new participatory spaces, the development of new behaviour patterns, and changes in social expectations and social norms. Thus, these approaches reduce the risks of a return to bonded labour. The analysis demonstrates that the absolute majority of identified changes takes place at the personal and community level, while macro levels of power remain barely addressed. That is why it can be argued that deep structural powers that produce and re-produce social exclusion are still intact. Thus, the situation of freed bonded labours in India and Nepal can be called unfinished liberation, which means that the communities of (ex) bonded labourers are still located at the bottom of the hierarchy of social life. en
dc.description.abstract Slavery and slavery like practices have many faces and forms. This thesis aims to investigate one of the most widespread forms of slavery, namely bonded labour. Bonded labour is an exploitative interlinking of credit agreement and labour, where a debtor has to repay his debt through long term servitude. In this thesis, I focus on two cases of bonded labour in agriculture: debt bondage among Tharu people in Nepal and Sahariya people in India. In both cases the establishment of systems of bonded labour is connected to the long term processes of internal colonization, dispossession, nationalization of natural resources, and the introduction of private land ownership. fi
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher University of Helsinki
dc.relation.ispartof URN:ISSN:ISSN 2343-273X
dc.rights Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty. fi
dc.rights This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited. en
dc.rights Publikationen är skyddad av upphovsrätten. Den får läsas och skrivas ut för personligt bruk. Användning i kommersiellt syfte är förbjuden. sv
dc.subject
dc.title Unfinished Liberation: Agricultural bonded labour in India and Nepal and the human rights-based approach en
dc.type.ontasot Väitöskirja (monografia) fi
dc.type.ontasot Doctoral dissertation (monograph) en
dc.type.ontasot Doktorsavhandling (monografi) sv
dc.ths Gills, Barry
dc.ths Siitonen, Lauri
dc.opn Bales, Kevin
dc.type.dcmitype Text

Files in this item

Files Size Format View

There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record