The Bologna Institute for Policy Research | Seminar Series Event | Nina-Luzzatto-Gardner---Sara-Pennicino---Laura-Safer-Espinoza---Yvan-Sagnet-Business-and-Human-Rights-in-the-Agri-food-Industry-The-Case-of-Migrant-Workers
November 23, 2020 - 18:30 Online Event - Human Trafficking Series

Business and Human Rights in the Agri-food Industry: The Case of Migrant Workers
Nina Luzzatto Gardner - Sara Pennicino - Laura Safer Espinoza - Yvan Sagnet

hosted by Professor Sara Pennicino

Nina Luzzatto Gardner - Chair
Johns Hopkins University SAIS, US
Sara Pennicino
Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe; University of Padua, Italy
Laura Safer Espinoza
Fair Food Standards Council, US
Yvan Sagnet
NoCap, Italy

Jointly organized with the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD). Supported by the Associazione di cultura e di studio italo-americana Luciano Finelli Friends of the Johns Hopkins University.


This panel is part of "The Agri-food Industry in the Wake of Covid 19 : Countering the Exploitation of Migrant Workers in Italy and the US", a series consisting of two events regarding Human Trafficking.

In Italy, the ‘caporalato' phenomenon represents a form of illegal intermediation and exploitation of migrant workers in the agricultural sector, constituting up to one fourth of the total agricultural workforce. In the US, it is an open secret that those harvesting America's food are mainly immigrants and decades-long residents of the country.

The seminar series addresses this form of exploitation of migrant workers in the wake of Covid-19 by comparing policies adopted in Italy and the US. Indeed, the pandemic brought the high demand for short-term, flexible labor in the agri-food industry to the attention of the general public, as supply chains risked having a shortage of products due to lock down measures imposed by governments. The pandemic therefore exacerbated a pre-existing and long-standing problem of the agricultural and food industry which is at the crossroads between organized crime, corruption and trafficking of human beings.

The seminars will tackle this complex phenomenon by bringing together experts and activists with the aim of offering SAIS students the opportunity to learn about forms of modern slavery and strategies to counter human exploitation at a national and international level.

The panel will discuss the role played in Italy and the US by companies in the agri-food sector, and strategies to promote compliance with international labor standards in today's global economy. A trailer from the recently released documentary "The Invisibles," a production of Doha Debates, will be shown to introduce the debate.

Stephanie Hare is a researcher and broadcaster working across technology, politics and history. Selected for the BBC Expert Women programme, she frequently shares insights on television and radio. Previously she worked as a Principal Director at Accenture Research, a strategist at Palantir, a Senior Analyst at Oxford Analytica, and a consultant at Accenture. She held the Alistair Horne Visiting Fellowship at St Antony's College, Oxford after earning a PhD and an MSc in Theory and History of International Relations, both from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her media work and publications are available at

Wolfango Piccoli is a Co-President with Teneo. He is responsible for co-managing Teneo's global political risk platform and for the specific coverage of Europe. As director of research, he ensures the relevance, timeliness, rigor, and accuracy of the firm's political risk advisory and consulting service. Piccoli has a long experience in advising financial institutions and corporations on political developments in Europe. Specifically, he focuses on the interplay between business and government, and the impact of legislative, regulatory, and electoral outcomes on clients' business and investment strategies. Prior to joining Teneo, Piccoli was the director of the London office and led the Europe practice at Eurasia Group. He often appears on major TV networks and is frequently quoted in the world's leading newspapers. Piccoli holds a Ph.D. in International Politics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Bilkent (Ankara).

Preston Keat is a managing director and head of political and country risk at UBS. In this role he oversees the bank's political and country risk team, which analyzes a broad range of economic and policy themes, coordinates country rating and exposure limits, and contributes to stress-scenario development. He also leads the firm's internal "Economist Forum" and "Risk Think Tank." Prior to joining UBS, Preston worked for ten years at the political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, where he was a research director, head of the Europe practice, and a member of the management committee. At the German Marshall Fund of the US in Washington DC, he worked on the Fund's programs for political and economic development in Central and Eastern Europe. He has also taught a courses in political risk (Columbia), political economy, statistics and game theory (UCLA). He holds a Ph.D. from UCLA, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary.

John Raines is the Principal Global Risks Adviser and Head of North America, Economics & Country Risk at IHS Markit, a global intelligence firm based in London. As IHS Markit's lead analyst for United States, Dr. Raines provides in-depth insight into the inner workings of the US government and its electoral cycle. Dr. Raines presents his analysis in a manner that allows clients not only to understand the context of current US and global news events, but how those incidents will impact their industry's performance over time. He has appeared in numerous media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, BBC, NPR, CNBC, and The Associated Press. In his role of principal global risk adviser, he has delivered dozens of keynote speeches and spoken to thousands of clients on macro country risk topics, from issues like populism and trade protection to US sanctions and international terrorism. In his previous work experience with the U.S. Department of State, he held roles responsible for conducting economic policy for the United States Embassy in Panama and overseeing the American Citizen Services unit in Hong Kong. He also worked at the World Bank, where he managed several projects in production of the World Development Indicators (WDI). His other assignments have included the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Presidential Management Fellow, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the World Trade Center. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Ohio State University and a master's degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Study (SAIS).

Business and Human Rights in the Agri-food industry-I.pdf


American Foreign Policy
Conflict Management
Economics and Finance
Energy, Resources and Environment
European and Eurasian Studies
International Relations
Latin American Studies
Middle East Studies
Strategic Studies
Dana H. Allin
Matteo Alvisi
Edmund Amann
Veronica Anghel
Arthur Appleton
Athanasios Bozinis
Paolo Calzini
Emanuela Carbonara
Gabriel Cardona-Fox
Raffaella A. Del Sarto
Vincent Della Sala
Marco Dell'Aquila
Giulio Ecchia
David W. Ellwood
Justin O. Frosini
Johannes Gabriel
Joshua Gallo
Marco Gestri
Mark Gilbert
Christopher L. Gilbert
Manfred Hafner
Nina Hall
Mark Hanis
John L. Harper
Arntraud Hartmann
Christopher Hill
Herman Hoen
William Hynes
Søren Jessen-Petersen
Erik Jones
Winrich Kühne
Francesco Lancia
Viktoriia Lapa
Michael Leigh
Barbara Luppi
Adrian Lyttelton
Susanna Mancini
Massimiliano Marzo
Giulia Mascagni
Hanns Maull
Hartmut Mayer
Jacqueline Mazza
Alessandro Merli
Erika Meucci
Graziano Moramarco
Francesco N. Moro
Alireza Naghavi
Olga Oliker
Gianfranco Pasquino
Sara Pennicino
Michael G. Plummer
Richard Pomfret
Andrea Presbitero
Romano Prodi
Thomas Row
Francesco Strazzari
Filippo Taddei
Simone Tagliapietra
Sanam Vakil
Bob van der Zwaan
Francesc Vendrell
Richard Wilcox
Andrew C. Winner
Albert B. Wolf
Andrew Wolff
Stefano Zamagni
Vera Negri Zamagni
Lea Zicchino



Johns Hopkins University - School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)