Laya Behbahani is a PhD student at the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University. She completed her BA with honours and Master’s 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 a Business & Policy Analyst at Simon Fraser University. She previously worked at the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria, served as a Research Associate at the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at York University’s Schulich School of Business and was a Partner at a think tank in Washington DC advancing US-Iraqi relations. She currently serves as an Advisor to the BC RCMP Commanding Officer.
Her research focuses on the narrativisation of forced labour and human trafficking experiences in 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, such as forced labour and slavery, and business models of forced labour.
Laya is the Director of Strategic Planning and a Co-Founder of Tasneem Institute.