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Rights Talk and Domestic Work | Interdisciplinary Project on Human Trafficking

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Rights Talk and Domestic Work


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Thai Government Hires Washington Lobbyists to Avoid Downgrade in the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report

The US recently launched its 13th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report. According to project member Ann Gallagher, its influence is still “undeniable.” One of the reasons is that while governments may distrust the report and question its findings, they dread a negative assessment. For example, Thailand recently drew attention by retaining expensive Washington lobbyists in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to avoid a downgrade in this year’s TiP report. The Royal Thai embassy in Washington, DC even went so far as to issue a press release...

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Check Out New Scholarship in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Two roundtable members, Denise Brennan and Dina Francesca Haynes, recently published articles in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (May 2014) edited by Ronald Weitzer and Sheldon X. Zhang. See the full Table of Contents for  additional scholarship on recent empirical research on human trafficking. Trafficking, Scandal, and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Argentina and the United States by Denise Brennan (Abstract) This article examines the varied consequences that the label “trafficked” holds for migrants and...

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Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States

Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Lab or in the United States is a newly released book by Denise Brennan, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Georgetown University.  Life Interrupted follows the lives of survivors of trafficking in the United States.  It documents the ordinary tasks of settling into a new country after extraordinary abuse.  At once scholarly and accessible, her book links these firsthand accounts to global economic inequities and under-regulated and unprotected workplaces that...

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Think Again: Prostitution

Project member Aziza Ahmed has penned a terrific piece in the latest issue of Foreign Policy:  “Think Again: Prostitution — Why zero tolerance makes for bad policy on world’s oldest profession.”   You can view the article online here.

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Trust Women Conference

Two of our Project members – Anne Gallagher and Martina Vandenberg – recently participated in the annual Trust Women conference.  The text of Anne Gallagher’s keynote address, entitled “Human Trafficking: From outrage to action” can be found...

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Trafficking Infrastructure Grows: New York’s Statewide Initiative

In the past month, the State of New York has introduced 11 new Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (including Buffalo and Rochester, near where I live in upstate NY). According to the New York Times, the new courts are modeled after three pilot projects that had been established earlier in New York City, and the “initiative is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.” The NY law resembles the federal U.S. law in targeting force, fraud and coercion (what the national law dubs “severe forms” of trafficking)....

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Trafficking Infrastructure Grows: New York’s Statewide Initiative

In the past month, the State of New York has introduced 11 new Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (including Buffalo and Rochester, near where I live in upstate NY). According to the New York Times, the new courts are modeled after three pilot projects that had been established earlier in New York City, and the “initiative is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.” The NY law resembles the federal U.S. law in targeting force, fraud and coercion (what the national law dubs “severe forms” of trafficking)....

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Human Rights, Labor, and the Prevention of Human Trafficking: A Response to A Labor Paradigm for Human Trafficking by Jonathan Todres

Abstract: This Essay responds to an article by Hila Shamir previously published in the UCLA Law Review, in which she suggests that human rights has failed as a framework for addressing human trafficking and that instead a labor model would be more successful. Although her article identifies potentially important benefits of a labor perspective, the binary framework it establishes, pitting human rights and labor against each other, is counterproductive. Her article mischaracterizes the current antitrafficking framework and undervalues...

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Law, Otherness, and Human Trafficking by Jonathan Todres

Despite concerted efforts to combat human trafficking, the trade in persons persists and, in fact, continues to grow. This article suggests that a central reason for the limited success in preventing human trafficking is the dominant conception of the problem, which forms the basis for law developed to combat human trafficking. Specifically, the author argues that “otherness” is a root cause of both inaction and the selective nature of responses to the abusive practice of human trafficking. Othering operates across multiple...

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The Private Sector’s Pivotal Role in Combating Human Trafficking by Jonathan Todres

Executive Summary: The attached article explores the ways in which the private sector can help address trafficking and exploitation of persons, including children. It examines how the private sector’s (1) position in relation to streams of commerce, (2) focus on innovation, and (3) access to resources, position it as a potentially valuable partner in combating trafficking and exploitation of human beings. The article examines each of these three key features of the private sector. It does not suggest that other entities are devoid of these...

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