LBST 307: Unfree Labour and Modern Day-Slavery: Understanding Coercion and Exploitation in Contemporary Labour Markets

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Labour Studies by email or Ask a librarian.


Start Your Research Here - This page gives you an overview of the research process, or in other words how to find materials for your essay.

Background information

Use encyclopedias and handbooks to obtain an overview of a topic and to identify key authors and resources on a topic.

Sample research question

It is helpful to brainstorm about your topic before starting to search in databases or the Library Catalogue.  Start by asking questions, jotting down some keywords for different concepts words and figuring out logical combination of terms. You can use the same search terms in both the databases and the Library Catalogue.  After doing some searches, you may come across other terms which may be of interest, and if you have done the exercise of "concept mapping", then it will become easier to figure out how to incorporate the new terms into your search strategy.

What is the impact of international social policies on transborder labour migration?     

Create a Concept Map

For each concept, think of other words that may describe that topic.

  • transborder labour migration = international border migration
  • labour = labor, worker, work, employee, work force, foreign migrant,
  • migration = movement
  • international = countries (or names of several countries or international regions such as European Union), transnational, transborder, global
  • social policies = government polices, government regulations, laws, legislation, immigration policies

Combine different concepts

  • "transborder labour migration" AND "international social policies"
  • transborder AND migrat* AND (labor OR labour OR "foreign migrants") AND "social policies"
  • ("forced labour" OR "slave labour" OR "human trafficking") AND ("human rights" OR abuse OR exploit*)

Journal articles

Databases let you easily to search for articles from within scholarly journals for a discipline.

If the full-text of the article is not available within the database then use the "Get@SFU" link to find it or to initiate an inter-library loan request.


The following databases are useful for finding journal articles which provide a social sciences perspective on international labour migration.  

For more databases, see Labour Studies Databases

Selected journals

Below are selected scholarly journals with articles on international labour.  When you wish to search for articles on your research topic, start by using the databases listed above.  Each of the databases (above) will index different sets of journals.

Find books in the Library

How to use the Library Catalogue  [guide]

Do a Library Catalogue search to see if the Library owns or provides access to the sources that you've identified. 

For known items it is best to check using "Browse by title" icon.

Search by topic, using Basic or Advanced Search

Note: In the searches belowyou can limited results to "Online Resources only" and "Resource type" of "Books" and "Subjects"

Combine different concepts using AND
Combine same concepts using OR
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
Use brackets for synonyms
Use asterisk (*) for different endings of words

Use pulldown menu and select, "Source Types" as "Books"

Note:  For Catalogue Search, when combining concepts, use CAPITAL letters ( "OR", "AND")

In the search results, for the books that look relevant, click on their "Subject" to find more books on the same topic


Selected books

Browse books in the Library Catalogue by Subject Headings

Some Subject Headings which may be helpful for your topics:

If you have found one book that is particularly relevant to your research, but need more, search that book in the library catalogue and use the subject headings associated with that book to find more books on that topic!

Government sources

The links below will lead you to reports and statistics from different levels of government. 

British Columbia


United Nations

International Organization for Migration (IMO)

United Nations. Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking

United Nations. Global Migration Group
The Global Migration Group (GMG) is an inter-agency group bringing together heads of agencies which seeks to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration. [From the website]

The GMG consists of 10 organizations that are actively involved in international migration and related issues:

  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and
  • World Bank



The websites below will lead you to reports, statistics and videos.

Library guides

Search tips and techniques

  • Use "or" to combine same concept
  • Use "and" to combine different concepts
  • Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase
  • Use asterisk (*) the truncation symbol, for variation on endings of words (work* will find: work, works, worker, working, workforce, etc.)
  • For Abbreviations, also use full names: ILO or "international labour organization"
  • Search Tips for Google and Google Scholar
    • Use intitle: to force Google to find those words in the titles of results.  Use quotation marks ("") to search for phrases
      • intitle:"airport security"
    • Use filetype: to tell Google to find certain filetypes
      • filetype:pdf
    • Use site: to specify results from a government web site
      • "Airport security”  site:gov

Writing help