Human Trafficking: Moral Panic, Culture and Collective Action

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There is consensus that even while human trafficking is increasingly the subject of international, national and local attention by treaty making bodies, legislatures and law enforcement agencies, the results of these formal mechanisms have been patchy at best and meager at worst. There is less consensus on how to tackle the push/pull dynamics of trafficking, and even less agreement on the best ways to intervene in the deep structural determinants of poverty, patriarchy, and poor or apathetic governance. We need to better identify the particularities of vulnerability of different populations beyond simple or formulaic generalizations about poverty and power asymmetries. This paper focuses on several features that frame the phenomena of human trafficking.

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