This Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of low-wage, migrant, and informal workers. With contributions from Australia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Europe, Nigeria, Brazil and the United States, it describes the experiences of temporary migrants, victims of trafficking, sex workers, internally displaced persons, and LGBTQ asylum seekers with violence, exploitation, discrimination, racism, and (lack of) access to healthcare and social protections. It also highlights the work of civil society organisations who stepped in to provide lifesaving support to people abandoned by the state. Importantly, contributors draw lessons from the pandemic and make policy and practice recommendations how to ensure that future disasters do not have the same negative impact on human rights.
Special Issue – Home and HomelessnessNo. 20 (2023)
This special issue of Anti-Trafficking Review examines the links between housing, homelessness, migration, and exploitation. With contributions from New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, and Ecuador, it critiques immigration, criminal justice, and social welfare systems that are failing migrants, survivors of trafficking, and other marginalised groups. It demonstrates how these systems create conditions for exploitation and uplifts the voices of people struggling to find not just a roof over their head but a home.
Over the past decade, there has been growing recognition of LGBTI+ people’s specific experiences with migration, asylum, informal labour, exploitation, and community-building away from home.
This Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review contributes to this literature with new conceptual and empirical research from countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In highlighting the fluidity of sexuality and gender identity, the issue also expands our understanding of how survival is waged in the worlds of migration and informal labour.
Special Issue – TraffickersNo. 18 (2022)
Despite increased awareness and massive investments in combating human trafficking, there is still limited knowledge about traffickers – who they are, why they engage in trafficking, and how they operate.
This Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review is a step towards filling this knowledge gap. Contributions from Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Greece, Italy, the Caribbean, and the United States examine the characteristics, motivations, and modus operandi of traffickers, their relationships with victims, and their treatment in the criminal justice system. Importantly, they point to measures that can prevent people from offending and ensure that justice is served for both victims and perpetrators.
Special Issue – Anti-Trafficking EducationNo. 17 (2021)
The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the sites for anti-trafficking education and the range of educators who shape how the public and institutions understand and respond to human trafficking.
The aim of this Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review is to catalyse a collective process of reflection on and evaluation of the current state and stakes surrounding education on human trafficking. Contributors detail instructional materials and institutional settings, and what they alternately describe as intersectional, anti-oppressive, team-based, civically-engaged, trauma-informed, and survivor-led approaches to teaching and learning about human trafficking. They also emphasise the need for anti-trafficking education to encourage and inform efforts to create structural change, social justice, and individual empowerment.
Special Issue - Trafficking in MinorsNo. 16 (2021)
This Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review focuses on the phenomenon of trafficking in minors in different contexts and from a variety of perspectives. These include its relationship to child labour and adolescent migration, online sexual exploitation, and commercial gestational surrogacy, as well as lesser-known manifestations, such as trafficking of children for exploitation in criminal activities. Other contributions analyse media reports and NGO campaigns and interventions that aim to draw attention to the problem. Contributors emphasise that policies and interventions against child trafficking need to prioritise measures that address the underlying socio-economic and political root causes of the phenomenon – those related to development, access to education, healthcare, decent work, and migration regimes.
Special Issue – Everyday Abuse in the Global EconomyNo. 15 (2020)
In recent decades, neoliberal policies have transformed both the world economy and the world of work. Hard-won rights and protections have been eroded by deregulation, outsourcing, and subcontracting. New forms of unstable, isolated, and insecure work have emerged.
The new issue of Anti-Trafficking Review examines the driving forces behind the increasing prominence of precarious work, the accelerating role of migrant labour within global economy, and the relationship between everyday abuses and forms of severe exploitation which have come to be defined as human trafficking and modern slavery. It shows that a singular focus on individual cases can draw attention away from the larger systems, interests, and abuses associated with the smooth operations of the global economy. It also shows that some of the energy which has been directed towards combating ‘modern slavery’ could be usefully redirected towards lower profile interventions concerned with worker and migrant rights.
Over the past decade, scholars, activists, and policymakers have repeatedly called for an examination of the role of technology as a contributing force to human trafficking and exploitation. Attention has focused on a range of issues from adult services websites and the use of social media to recruit victims and facilitate trafficking to the utilisation of data analytics software to understand trafficking and identify ‘hotspots of risk’.
The new issue of Anti-Trafficking Review explores some of the assumptions about the role of technology in facilitating or preventing human trafficking and exploitation and the currently available technological tools that purport to address them. It concludes that the factors that enable and sustain human trafficking, such as lack of decent jobs and social protections, or inhumane labour migration regimes, require political will – not tech solutionist fixes.
This Special Issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review reflects the growing unease and disagreements among anti-trafficking practitioners and scholars about the current state of public awareness and perceptions of human trafficking: how and by whom they are produced and manipulated and whether they lead, or can lead, to any meaningful anti-trafficking action. Taken together, the articles converge around one central message: overall, public perceptions of human trafficking—whether created by the media, NGOs, governments or corporations, and conveyed through campaigns, apps, newspapers or corporate statements—remain incomplete and, often, misleading regarding the nature of trafficking, its root causes and, consequently, its prevention. Despite their diversity, most awareness-raising messages fail to highlight these root causes and to call for structural reforms to the socio-economic and political systems that drive human trafficking and related exploitation.
Special Issue–Sex WorkNo. 12 (2019)
Over the past two decades there has been a growing body of academic and community-based literature on sex workers’ lives and work. However, the discourses, laws, and policies that impact sex workers are continually changing, and critical perspectives are constantly needed. Therefore, this Special Issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review highlights some of the current achievements of – and challenges faced by – the global sex worker rights movement.
Contributors examine the ways in which organising and collectivisation have enabled sex workers to speak up for themselves and tell their own stories, claim their human, social, and labour rights, resist stigma and punitive laws and policies, and provide mutual and peer-based support. The contexts in focus include Canada, Latin America and Caribbean, United States, France, South Africa, India, Thailand and the Philippines.
International migration has become a ‘mega trend’ of our times, with more than 260 million migrants living outside their country of origin in 2017. Some move in search of better livelihood opportunities, others flee conflict, environmental degradation or natural disasters, and yet others are deceived or coerced into exploitative work. At the same time, the categories developed by the international community for people on the move—such as smuggled migrants, refugees, or trafficked persons—are increasingly inadequate to capture today’s complex migration flows. Yet the label that a person is given by authorities can mean the difference between assistance and protection, or arrest and deportation.
This special issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review examines migratory categories and their use among authorities and humanitarian actors. Contributions from Indonesia/Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Peru and the United States explore the overlaps between categories such as ‘refugee’, ‘asylum seeker’, ‘smuggled migrant’, ‘irregular migrant’ and ‘victim of trafficking’ and their impact on migrants’ human rights. In the debate section, four authors discuss the statement ‘It is important and necessary to make clear distinctions between (irregular) migrants, refugees and trafficked persons’.
Special Issue - Life after TraffickingNo. 10 (2018)
Media, policymakers and NGOs typically focus on the horrors of life in trafficking and ‘rescuing’ trafficked persons, but much less attention is paid to life after trafficking. This special issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review documents the challenges that people face after exiting situations labelled as trafficking, as well as those whose exploitation garnered no legal protections or service provision.
It introduces cases of life after trafficking in countries with robust anti-trafficking legal and care regimes, as well as in countries that offer little or no assistance. Contributions from countries as diverse as India, Thailand, Azerbaijan, the United States, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Denmark, United Kingdom and Switzerland highlight the lack of appropriate and comprehensive support for survivors after trafficking, as they struggle with family reunification, legal recognition and compensation, and long-term assistance. However, this issue also shows that ultimately, by taking back control of one’s life, and tending to ordinary tasks and chores of resettlement, formerly trafficked persons move beyond the extraordinary cruelty of exploitation.
Special Issue—The Lessons of HistoryNo. 9 (2017)
In the past two decades human trafficking has been increasingly termed ‘modern slavery’ and anti-trafficking work likened to nineteenth century efforts to abolish slavery. NGOs, politicians and the media make heavy use of visual tropes alluding to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and it is often said that human trafficking is ‘modern slavery’. But are such historical references really warranted?
This issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review explores some of the histories that created and continue to shape the phenomena discussed under the rubric of human trafficking, and the contemporary discourse of trafficking itself. It highlights the ways in which simplistic analogies between wrongs past and present can hamper, rather than facilitate, efforts to secure rights and protections in the contemporary moment. Contributions from Africa, Europe and the Americas focus on the race politics of ‘modern slavery’ campaigns, the history of indentured and ‘coolie’ labour, the legacies of anti-white slavery legislation and the restrictions on labour migration that can exacerbate human trafficking. Ultimately, they reveal that more critical engagement with the histories of transatlantic slavery, colonialism and their afterlives can teach us a great deal about the forms of violence, injustice and oppression that are tolerated today in the dominant liberal world order.
Special Issue–Where’s the Evidence?No. 8 (2017)
Despite increasing interest in human trafficking and related exploitation, a great deal of anti-trafficking work still appears to be based on assumptions that are not well-proven or adequately questioned. Policy formations, advocacy campaigns, concrete interventions and popular understandings of trafficking have all been accused of making exaggerated claims and resting on thin, if any, evidence. There is an almost obsessive desire to know the scale, proportion, size, major sectors and geographical concentrations of human trafficking. Similarly, the monitoring and evaluation of interventions prioritise numbers of people reached rather than any significant change in knowledge or behaviour. This focus on quantification has come at the expense of quality and a true understanding of the lives of the migrants and trafficked persons it is supposed to benefit.
This issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review explores the role of evidence, research and data in anti-trafficking work and how they influence our understanding of the issue and responses to it. Contributors examine the evidence used—or rejected—in the formation of national anti-trafficking policies in Northern Ireland, Canada and India, as well as the role of statistics, and monitoring and evaluation of anti-trafficking interventions. In the debate section, four authors take turn defending or rejecting the proposition 'Global Trafficking Prevalence Data Advances the Fight against Trafficking in Persons'.
Special Issue—Trafficking RepresentationsNo. 7 (2016)
Guest Editors: Rutvica Andrijasevic and Nicola Mai
Representations of human trafficking, forced labour and ‘modern slavery’ are pervasive within media, policymaking, and humanitarian interventions and campaigns. This issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review explores the ways in which some representations erase the complexity in the life trajectories of people who have experienced trafficking, as well as those who are migrants, women, sex workers and others labelled as victims or ‘at-risk’ of trafficking.
Contributions in this issue examine visual material and narratives through which trafficking and its victims are represented in film, TV, newspapers and public discourse. The articles investigate representations in Australia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Serbia, Denmark, UK, and USA. Ultimately, this special issue highlights the fact that stereotypical trafficking representations conveniently distract the global public from their increasing and shared day-to-day exploitability as workers because of the systematic erosion of labour rights globally. Crucially, the issue also discusses positive alternatives and how to represent trafficking differently.
Special Issue–Prosecuting Human TraffickingNo. 6 (2016)
Guest Editor: Anne T Gallagher
Prosecuting human trafficking is widely viewed as one of the main pillars of an effective national response to trafficking. But worldwide, the number of prosecutions for trafficking and related exploitation remains stubbornly low, especially when compared to the generally accepted size of the problem. Very few traffickers are ever brought to justice and the criminal justice system rarely operates to benefit those who have been trafficked.
Issue 6 of the Anti-Trafficking Review analyses human trafficking prosecutions in different regions of the world and from a range of different perspectives. With five themed articles focusing on Russia, the United States, the Balkans and Western Europe, the issue provides important insights into the practical and policy issues surrounding human trafficking prosecutions.
Forced Labour and Human TraffickingNo. 5 (2015)
Guest Editors: Nicola Piper and Marie Segrave
Human trafficking is now associated, and sometimes used interchangeably, with slavery and forced labour. As this issue highlights, this shift in how we use these terms has real consequences in terms of legal and policy responses to exploitation. Authors - both academics and practitioners - review how the global community is addressing forced labour and trafficking. In 2014 governments across the globe committed to combat forced labour through a new international agreement, the ILO Forced Labour Protocol. Assessing recent efforts and discourse, the thematic issue looks at unionsstruggling to champion the protection of migrants' labour rights, and at governments fighting legal battles with corporations over enactment of supply chain disclosure laws. At the same time, authors show how regressive policies, such as the Kafala system of 'tied' visas for lower paid workers, are eroding these rights. This issue features short debate pieces which respond to the question: Should we distinguish between forced labour, trafficking and slavery?
Fifteen Years of the UN Trafficking ProtocolNo. 4 (2015)
Guest Editor: Jacqueline Bhabha
2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Is this a time to celebrate progress or has the Protocol caused more problems than it has solved? What changes are taking place on the ground, after 15 years of building anti-trafficking into government, NGO and INGO programming? How do those who negotiated the Protocol view it now? What aspects of the Protocol’s definition of trafficking continue to be problematic or controversial? As well as reviewing legal frameworks around trafficking and related human rights abuses, this issue examines how the Protocol can be more useful in the decades ahead to people who are trafficked, as well as to women, migrants and workers who are also affected by anti-trafficking policy.
Following the Money: Spending on Anti-TraffickingNo. 3 (2014)
Guest Editor: Mike Dottridge
Issue 3 of the Anti-Trafficking Review focuses on money trails in the anti-trafficking sector, and is the first of its kind as to date there has been no research on how much is spent combating the human rights abuses that amount to human trafficking. This themed issue looks at money trails that reveal how anti-trafficking money has changed the world for the better or for worse.
Trafficked persons do not always benefit from money flows aimed in their direction, or indeed may suffer as a result of anti-trafficking spending. In addition, politics behind anti-trafficking money abound, and recipient organisations wonder whether they should take ‘tied’ funds or funds with ideological, geographical or other restrictions. In recent years governments have rushed to spend money on a range of poorly designed initiatives in the hope of avoiding or moving out of a low ranking in the US government's yearly Trafficking in Persons Report.
Human Rights at the BorderNo. 2 (2013)
Guest Editor: Sverre Molland
What should be the role for border controls in anti-trafficking responses, if there should be one at all? Heightened border security is increasing risks in the migration process. Many people decide that despite barriers and risks they must cross a border for survival, either in terms of economics or safety. In many cases, at border crossings, it is not possible for practitioners to tell if people are being strictly trafficked or whether they fall in another migration category, yet the risks created by border systems and the violations experienced by individuals at borders are not to be left out of conversations on trafficking and of migrants’ rights more broadly.
The second issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review includes eight peer-reviewed articles on how anti-trafficking measures play out in border zones.
Where's the Accountability?No. 1 (2012)
Guest Editor: Anne Gallagher
The ‘anti-trafficking industry’ has become big business. It has grown alongside an accountability vacuum, which has meant a growth in opportunities for intervention in this field has not translated into increased opportunities for trafficked or affected persons to voice their views or concerns on the way in which such interventions are implemented. Further it remains unclear if many of the anti-trafficking initiatives of the previous decade have had an impact on decreasing trafficking and strengthening the rights of trafficked persons.