Johansson, Isabelle (21013): “Do ut des”: An anthropological study on the agendas of ’anti’-trafficking measures in Italy.
Trafficking in human beings is a topic that has received a lot of attention the last ten years. It
has been referred to as a modern form of slavery and a crime against humanity. There is a
flood of actors working to fight trafficking and save its victims, occupied with different forms
of victim assistance. At the same time the European Union is augmenting restrictions on visas
and asylum legislation, border controls and deportations, which makes migrants from certain
countries who wish to travel to Europe despite these restrictions vulnerable to exploitation.
Italy has been acknowledged for providing the best practice of protection for ‘victim of
trafficking’, since it offers a residence permit developed especially for identified ‘trafficking
victims’. Claiming victimhood is often the only way for irregular migrant women in the sex
industry to obtain a legal status in contemporary Italy. However, the category and its legal and
social benefits are out of reach to many. It is not possible to just claim to be a victim but one
must do so by surrendering to certain ideas about what constitutes a ‘victim of trafficking’ and
provide what it expected. This study will examine the interconnection between migration
management and trafficking anthropologically, with a focus on ‘anti’-trafficking measures in
Italy and the concept of victimhood in the practices who take on the women who are in the
process of obtaining the legal status of ‘victims of trafficking’ and the following residence
permit. By looking at trafficking from a structural perspective I will show how the ‘victim of
trafficking’ is created, and how it is connected to the state and its migration policies.
Vance, Carol (2012): Intervention: Innocence and Experience: Melodramatic Narratives of Sex Trafficking and Their Consequences for Law and Policy, in: HIstory of the Present. A Journal of Critical History, 2(2), pp.
The increasing prominence of trafficking into forced prostitution as a global social problem has resulted in a flood of popular and official representations in journalism, documentary, fictionalized accounts, and findings-of-fact. All attempt to tell the story of sex trafficking, often shortened to “trafficking,” as predominantly involving women from the Global South….
During the past decade there has been increasing media coverage about human trafficking. In most cases the victims are depicted in stereotypes. For example, once freed from their abuse they are referred to as being ‘rescued’, usually by a foreigner, or they are presented as being vulnerable people, sold by greedy or drug-affected parents with little regard for their children. This simplistic presentation of complex transnational crimes inaccurately depicts human trafficking and stigmatises the survivors of human exploitation. This paper is based on eight years of research, including four as a community development worker in Southeast Asia with anti-trafficking non-government organisations.
The recent elevation of trafficking in persons, particularly the trafficking of women into sexual servitude, to the international agenda has resulted in the rapid introduction of national and international policy responses. Law and order has dominated policy responses globally and this is evident within the South East Asian region, where Australia and Thailand have both introduced efforts to address trafficking in persons that have largely focused upon victimisation and criminalisation. This article argues that while the criminal exploitation of women and the pursuit of justice dominate the policy narrative, the border is a significant driving force in the design and operation of the policy. While borders are rarely the focus of discussion around people trafficking, this article identifies that even in vastly different locations (politically, socioeconomically, and culturally) the border plays a central role – symbolically and materially – in the policy response and this is evidenced through examining the critical role of repatriation in the policy frameworks.