Debate: When it Comes to Modern Slavery, do Definitions Matter?


  • Fiona David



On the 3rd of April 2015, Indonesian government officials visited the remote island village of Benjina.[1] This followed press reports by Associated Press (AP) that Burmese men were being kept on Benjina island in cages, beaten with stingray tails and paid little or nothing, to fish for a company that occupies the port on the island, Pusaka Benjina Resources.

[1] R McDowell and M Mason, ‘AP Investigation Prompts Emergency Rescue of 300 Plus Slaves’, AP,  3 April 2015, retrieved 23 July 2015,


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Author Biography

Fiona David

Fiona David is the Executive Director of Global Research for the Walk Free Foundation. A lawyer and criminologist, she is co-author of the International Law of Migrant Smuggling (Cambridge University Press, 2014), with Anne T Gallagher, lead author of the ‘Global Slavery Index’, and was the principal drafter of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Model Law on Transnational Crime and the Model Law on Migrant Smuggling. Since her initial work on migrant smuggling and human trafficking in 1999, Fiona’s work has included everything from labour audits for corporations in the Middle East, to interviews with smuggled migrants in the Horn of Africa.




How to Cite

David, F. (2015). Debate: When it Comes to Modern Slavery, do Definitions Matter?. Anti-Trafficking Review, (5).