Book Launch: Structural Injustice and Workers’ Rights
This is a hybrid event. It will be held in-person at the Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. To attend the event online, please register.
The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is delighted to host the launch of the book Structural Injustice and Workers’ Rights, by Prof. Virginia Mantouvalou.

When discussing exploitation in workplaces, governments typically deploy a rhetoric of personal responsibility. They place attention on employers who take advantage of workers, or on workers who choose non-standard, precarious work arrangements. On this account, the responsibility of the state is to address the harm inflicted by private actors.

This book questions the heavy focus on individual responsibility for precarious work and develops the concept of ‘state-mediated structural injustice at work’. We observe this when legislation that has an appearance of legitimacy has effects that are very damaging for large numbers of people, constituting a major cause of structures of exploitation at work. The book uses a series of examples, such as migrant workers, captive workers, people under welfare conditionality schemes and other precarious workers, to show how the law creates structures of injustice, making exploitation long-term, standard and routine. It also assesses these examples against human rights principles – both civil and political and economic and social rights. The aim of the book is to show that both the overall structures and parts of those structures routinely lead to workers’ exploitation that may give rise to state responsibility for human rights violations, and that there is a pressing need for reform.
Date: 24 May 2023, 17:00 (Wednesday, 5th week, Trinity 2023)
Venue: Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Mansfield Road OX1 3TF
Venue Details: Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium (Accessibility: The ground and lower ground floor levels of the auditorium are accessible with space for wheelchair users. A fully accessible WC is available on the lower ground floor level. The auditorium also has a hearing loop installed.)
Speakers: Shreya Atrey (Associate Professor of International Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford), Maayan Niezna (Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Modern Slavery and Human Rights, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford), Virginia Mantouvalou (Professor of Human Rights and Labour Law, UCL Faculty of Laws), Manoj Dias-Abey (Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol and the Co-Director of the Centre for Law at Work), Bridget Anderson (Professor of Mobilities, Migration and Citizenship, University of Bristol), Samantha Currie (Reader in Law, University of Liverpool), Emily Kenway (a writer, activist and policy adviser, University of Edinburgh)
Organising department: Faculty of Law
Organiser: Maayan Niezna (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (University of Oxford)
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Cost: Free
Audience: Public
Editors: Clara Elod, Maayan Niezna