Social Science Colloquium Series: Refugees and Garment Work, a Lecture by Jennifer Gordon

Titsworth Marjorie Leff Miller ’53 Lecture Hall

Open to the public

/ Tuesday


The global factories that stitch clothing for big brands are classic sweatshops: they pay rock-bottom wages and workers labor long hours under dangerous conditions. Yet two years ago the European Union negotiated agreements to place tens of thousands of refugees from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and other countries in garment factory jobs in Jordan and Ethiopia as a "humanitarian" response to the refugee crisis. Have garment sweatshops turned out to be better than refugee camps? Professor Gordon will describe how these agreements have played out on the ground, and explore what this experience can teach us in a world where ever-increasing numbers of people are on the move to escape poverty, climate change, and violence.

Jennifer Gordon has been a professor at Fordham University School of Law since 2003. She teaches immigration law, labor law, and legislation/regulation, and writes about the regulation of the low-wage workplace, workers’ rights in the context of global labor migration and refugee movement, and supply chain governance. Her book is published by Harvard University Press, and her articles have appeared in major law reviews and journals. Earlier in her career, she founded and directed the Workplace Project, an internationally recognized immigrant workers center. Gordon was named Outstanding Public Interest Lawyer of the Year by Equal Justice Works, has received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship, and was recently listed as one of the Outstanding Woman Lawyers in the United States by the National Law Journal.

Sponsored by The Donald C. Samuel Fund for Economics and Politics and by the Social Sciences Department.