Construction of Harm and Victimhood

  • Tanya Wyatt
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


This Chapter delves into the contentious area of harm and victims within the illegal wildlife trade. The often times conflicting perspectives from which harm can be constructed will be looked at first. Depending upon whether an anthropocentric, biocentric or ecocentric approach is taken when assessing the presence of harm, the definition of who can be harmed and what harm is changes. This leads to an exploration of victimhood within wildlife trafficking. The discussion centres on who are victims of the illegal trade — is it the individual non-human animals? Can plants be victims? Are those who lose natural resources the victims? Can the environment or planet be a victim? Is it the country? This sets out a hierarchy of victimhood within the illegal trade that is not dissimilar to the hierarchy of human victims. This does not refer though to the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of victimhood, where the amount of suffering of victims is attempted to be quantified (Davies 2011). The hierarchy here conceptualises the worthiness and legitimacy of victim status, which is usually adhered to.


Moral Obligation Human Animal Illegal Trade Wildlife Crime Victim Status 
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Copyright information

© Tanya Wyatt 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya Wyatt
    • 1
  1. 1.Northumbria UniversityUK

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