The ‘Groundhog Day’ of the Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation Debate: New Directions in Criminological Understanding
- 896 Downloads
This paper considers the intellectual framework that is used to understand human trafficking and the limitations that it imposes on the criminological study of this phenomenon. First, there is a brief historical perspective which allows for comparisons between current debates and the moral crusades of the Victorian/Edwardian social purists. The contemporary focus on trafficking for sexual exploitation, rooted in Victorian/Edwardian construction has, the authors argue, narrowed the policy remit and the criminological investigation into human trafficking. The paper then proceeds to address the interaction between these enduring (historical) myths, the role of trans-national organised crime and the constraining effects of the contemporary intellectual framework. It is argued that in order to challenge the cyclical nature of the debates, it is necessary to make redundant the use of the term human trafficking and to widen the criminological lens through which we consider the problem. In doing so, we hope to highlight those groups whose experiences are missing or marginalised in the current construction of the problem and urge a reconsideration of the way in which criminology approaches this issue.
KeywordsHuman trafficking Migrant experiences Trafficking policy
We wish to express our thanks to the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful and helpful comments.
- Adams, J. (2005). Alien animals and american angels: The commodification and commercialisation of the progressive era white slave available at http://www.publications.villanova.edu/Concept/2005/Alien_Animals_new.pdf
- Bernstein, E. (2010). Militarised humanitarianism meets carceral feminism: The politics of sex, rights and freedom in contemporary anti-trafficking campaigns. Signs, 36(1), 45–71.Google Scholar
- Carline (2011) Constructing the subject of prostitution. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, 24(1), 61–78Google Scholar
- Cohen, S. (2002). Folk devils and moral panics oxon. London:RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
- Gorham, D. (1978). The ‘maiden tribute of modern Babylon’ re-examined: Child prostitution and the idea of children in Late-Victorian England. Victorian Studies, 21(3), 353–379.Google Scholar
- Guardian (2009). Enquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution Guardian 20/10/09Google Scholar
- Hansard (2010). Column 873. Hansard 15th September 2010 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100915/debtext/100915-0002.htm. Accessed 29.03.2011.
- Home Office (2004). Paying the Price. London: Home OfficeGoogle Scholar
- Jaeger, D., Bonin, H., Dohmen, T., Falk, A., Huffman, D., & Sunde, U. (2007). Direct evidence of risk attitudes and migration discussion paper 2655. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labour.Google Scholar
- La Repubblica (2011). http://palermo.repubblica.it/cronaca/2011/03/28/news/lampedusa_gruppo_di_immigrati_aggredisce_e_deruba_coppia-14180292/?ref=HRER2-1). Accessed 28/3/11.
- Lopez-Embury S, and Sanders T. (2009). Sex workers, labour rights and unionisation. In T. Sanders, M. O’Neill and J. Pitcher (Eds) Prostitution. London: SageGoogle Scholar
- Mai, N. (2010). Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry ESRC funded project paper available at www.londonmet.ac.uk/migrantworkers
- Rankin, G., & Kinsella, N. (2011). Human trafficking – The importance of knowledge information exchange. In B. Akhgar & S. Yates (Eds.), Intelligence management knowledge driven frameworks for combating terrorism and organized crime. London: Springer.Google Scholar
- SOCA (2009). SOCA annual report 2008–09 London: Ministry of JusticeGoogle Scholar
- SOCA (2011) www.soca.gov.uk
- Spencer, J. (2008). The illicit movement of people across borders: The UK as a destination country and the disorganisation of criminal activity. In P. C. van Duyne, A. Maljevic, M. van Dijck, K. von Lampe, & J. Harvey (Eds.), Crime business and crime money in Europe. The dirty linen of illicit enterprise. Crime business and crime money in Europe. The dirty linen of illicit enterprise. Nijmegen: Wolf 2007.Google Scholar
- Spencer, J., & Broad, R. (2010). Lifting the veil on SOCA and the UKHTC: Public policymaking responses to organised crime. In P. C. van Duyne, A. Maljevic, M. van Dijck, K. von Lampe, & J. Harvey (Eds.), Cross-border inroads on integrity in Europe. Nijmegan: Wolf.Google Scholar
- Van Duyne. (2011). (Transnational) organised crime, laundering and the congregation of the gullible. Tilburg: Tilburg University Press.Google Scholar