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Internationally, many care-recipients and unpaid carers are not receiving the services they need to live full and independent lives, representing substantial social injustice. We explored unmet need and inequalities in receipt of long-term care services in England. Methods comprised in-depth interviews and secondary analysis of UK Household Longitudinal Study dyad data from 2017/2019. We found widespread unmet need for services overall and inequalities by sex, ethnicity, income, and area deprivation. Aspects of long-term care policy, service delivery, people’s material resources, and constrained and unconstrained choice all played a role.

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How is life in social isolation seen from the viewpoint of people who experience persistent poverty? Given the systemic denial of self-representational agency from those living in poverty and the neoliberalisation of the welfare state, this article turns to those who remained invisible to either the media or the state during the pandemic. In line with current tendencies to prioritise the voice and lived knowledge of people in poverty, we provided our interlocutors with a specifically designed diary tool to allow them to share their mundane experiences and thoughts at their own discretion. Using these diaries of women and men in poverty, and complementary interviews, this article unpacks the ways our participants deal with and understand their everyday relationships with the absent state, mostly welfare and education. Based on the themes that emerged from our interlocutors’ journals, our findings reveal the Janus-faced abandoning/monitoring state that they routinely confront. We then demonstrate how they are constantly chasing the state, struggling to receive the support they lawfully deserve. At the same time, being subjected to practices of state monitoring and surveillance often results not only in mistrust but also in withdrawing almost altogether from the welfare services and social workers, and turning to alternative support networks. We conclude by offering two insights that accentuate, on the one hand, what we and our diarists already know, namely that they count for nothing. Still, on the other hand, the act of self-documentation itself reveals the representational agency of those brave diarists who refuse to forsake their worthiness as citizens.

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Author: Matthew Cooper

Support for the unemployed in the UK has become increasingly conditional. This included enforced unpaid work, Mandatory Work Activity (MWA). This was sold as an innovative feature of ‘twenty-first century welfare’ by the 2010–15 government; however, it actually represented the restoration of older techniques of government. This article, compares MWA with enforced work regimes from the last days of the Poor Law in the 1930s. It highlights similarities between both regimes but also significant differences: in the 1930s different claimant groups were subject to different coercions, whereas in the MWA regime, claimants were treated as a homogenous category in need of discipline.

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This article examines how recent welfare reform in the UK has caused systemic violence to people with severe disabilities who are reliant on state benefits. It evaluates the underpinning discourse framings and changes in welfare policies, using concepts of debility and recognition to reveal the inherent contradictions in policies targeting people on the ‘wrong side of inequality’. To help contribute to a recognition of the impact of these changes, the article gives voice to six people with severe disabilities who, through their benefit stories, expose the impact of this violence. Despite these injustices, their stories reveal lives lived with great courage and resilience, and worthy of much greater recognition.

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This reflective article was drafted in November 2020. Since this time, the authors have worked with the counter-slavery sector to co-develop a refined public health framework to address modern slavery (). Significant knowledge mobilisation has also occurred with a range of stakeholders, and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has encouraged the UK Home Office and the Home Secretary to embed a public health approach within the UK’s response to modern slavery (). Key references and insights from research in 2021 are available as a collection.

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This article highlights the role states have in creating the conditions under which labour exploitation can occur. Specifically, it identifies several immigration policy decisions related to the UK’s exit from the European Union that will likely result in an increase in the number of irregular migrants in the United Kingdom and how this increase, when combined with measures that have progressively restricted the rights and entitlements of various immigration categories, creates an environment conducive to labour exploitation. It presents measures that could help address this problem, including changes to immigration policies and the strengthening of the labour market enforcement system.

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Despite its stated protective purpose, the Modern Slavery Act has often fallen short when it comes to ensuring support, facilitating effective remedy, and safeguarding victims of modern slavery. Support services have been repeatedly flagged as insufficient to meet the needs of those recovering from modern slavery. Survivors have faced a ‘cliff-edge’ of support exiting the national referral mechanism, depriving them of access to essential services and leaving them vulnerable to re-trafficking. Decision-making timeframes have far exceeded stated benchmarks, leaving many survivors in limbo for extended periods of time. In addition, victims of modern slavery continue to be detained by immigration authorities and criminalised for actions committed while they were being exploited. Yet, at the same time, increasing numbers of survivors have been identified and supported as a result of the Act and associated care systems. This article explores developments in support for victims of modern slavery in the five years since the passage of the 2015 Act, assessing strengths, shortcomings, attempts to fill the gaps in provision, and where we go from here.

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An increasing number of Australians are experiencing food insecurity due to rising costs of living and stagnant wage and welfare growth, as a result an increasing number of people are reliant on charity to meet their food needs. This research employs qualitative methods to explore the experiences of people who are reliant on emergency and community food assistance. The two main findings of this study are that people relying on charity often experience humiliation and embarrassment when accessing these services, and that when accessing theses services, they feel both judged and judgemental of others. Findings of this study highlight some of the challenges faced by people experiencing food insecurity and hunger.

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Moving disabled people ‘off benefits and into work’ has been an explicit aim of work-first welfare reform since 2008, increasingly punitively since 2010. The aim of this article is to demonstrate, for the first time, how Universal Credit (UC) fits with and intensifies that strategy. Empirical data from 28 in-depth interviews with 19 claimants (nine were interviewed twice) and three focus groups with 23 Jobcentre staff show how UC full service applies mainstream job search conditionality to people with mental health problems. Ongoing fear of sanctions, financial hardship, surveillance and social isolation relating to digital design had adverse impacts, including for those without previous mental health problems.

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