Laya Behbahani is a PhD student at the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. She completed her BA(Hons) and MA at the School of Criminology at SFU before completing further course work at the University of Vienna, BCIT and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Laya is also a Sessional Lecturer in Labour Studies and the Director of the Student Experience Initiative at SFU. She previously worked at the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section of the UN Office in Vienna, Austria, served as a researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at the Schulich School of Business, was a Partner at a think tank in Washington DC and served as an Advisor to the BC RCMP Commanding Officer.
Her research focuses on the narrativisation of the triad of forced labour, modern day slavery and human trafficking experiences in the Gulf States of the Middle East. Her research has explored the role of the sponsorship system in shaping the experiences of the migrant work force in the Middle East, and the policies and politics that govern the interplay between immigration, criminal laws and labour laws. In addition, she has collaborated on projects entailing the application areas of corporate responsibility and business models of forced labour in the United Kingdom.