Advertisement

Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 279–293 | Cite as

On trafficking survivors: biolegitimacy and multiplications of life

  • Sverre MollandEmail author
Article
  • 35 Downloads

Abstract

Human trafficking has become a key site for intervention in global politics. Although anti-trafficking claims to mobilize resources for the combat against structural inequality within labour relations, anti-trafficking is intertwined with a fixation with the “trafficking survivor” resulting in notable individuated policy responses. Based on long-term ethnographic research of anti-trafficking interventions in the Mekong region, this essay suggest biolegitimacy is a fruitful heuristic device as it elucidates how anti-trafficking constructs “life” along multiple modalities and expressions. This in turn helps explain why anti-trafficking constitutes a mixed assemblage comprising actors with different ideological, moral and political positions. As such, anti-trafficking constitutes an important case study of how life legitimates and is legitimated within transitional networks of governance.

Keywords

Human trafficking Migration Biolegitimacy Labour 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on an earlier conference paper presented at Melbourne University, December 2016. I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers as well as Dr Casimir MacGregor and Dr Luke Bearup for excellent feedback on earlier drafts.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Abu-Lughod, L. 2002. Do muslim women really need saving? Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its others. Am. Anthropol. 104 (3): 783–790.Google Scholar
  2. Agustin, L. 2007. Sex at the margins: migration, labour markets and the rescue industry. London ; New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  3. Andrijasevic, R. 2007. Beautiful dead bodies: gender, migration and representation in anti-trafficking campaigns. Beautiful Dead Bodies: Gender, Migration and Representation in Anti-Trafficking Campaigns 86: 24–44.Google Scholar
  4. Barnett, M.N., and T.G. Weiss. 2008. Humanitarianism in question Cornell University. (Press ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bearup, L. S. (2016). ‘Reintegration as an emerging vision of justice for victims of human trafficking.’ International Migration -Geneva then Oxford-, 54(4): 164–176.Google Scholar
  6. Brunovskis, A & Skilbrei, M-L (2016). ‘Two birds with one stone? Implications of conditional assistance in victim protection and prosecution of traffickers.’ Anti-Trafficking Review, (6).Google Scholar
  7. Bylander, M. 2014. Borrowing across borders: migration and microcredit in rural Cambodia. Dev. Chang. 45 (2): 284–307.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, D. (2001). ‘Why fight? Humanitarianism, principles and poststructuralism.’ In Ethics and international relations. (pp. 132–60). Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Chandler, D. 2010. The road to military humanitarianism: how the human rights NGOs shaped a new humanitarian agenda. Human Rights 23 (3): 678–700.Google Scholar
  10. Craig, C. 2010. The idea of emergency: humanitarian action and global (dis) order. In Contemporary states of emergency: the politics of military and humanitarian interventions, ed. D. Fassin and M. Pandolfi, Zonebooks ed., 29–58. New York: Zonebooks.Google Scholar
  11. Das, V. 2007. The figure of the abducted woman: the citizen as sexed. In Life and words: violence and the descent into the ordinary, 18–37. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. Das, V. 2008. Violence, gender, and subjectivity. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 37 (1): 283–299.Google Scholar
  13. Davidson, J. 2014. Let;s go outside: bodies, prostitutes, slaves and worker citizens. Citizenship Studies 18 (5): 516–532.Google Scholar
  14. Davidson, J.O. 1998a. Prostitution power and freedom. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  15. Davidson, J.O. 1998b. The rights and wrongs of prostitution. Hypatia 17 (2): 84–98.Google Scholar
  16. Davidson, J.O. 2003. Sleeping with the enemy’? Some problems with feminist abolitionist calls to penalise those who buy commercial sex. Soc. Policy Soc. 2 (1): 55–63.Google Scholar
  17. Davidson, P. J. (2015). Modern slavery: the margins of freedom.Google Scholar
  18. Dunn, E.C. 2012. The chaos of humanitarian aid: adhocracy in the republic of Georgia Humanity: an. Int. J. Human Right Human. Dev. 3 (Spring): 1–23.Google Scholar
  19. Fassin, D. 2007. Humanitarianism as a politics of life. Publ. Cult. 19 (3): 499–520.Google Scholar
  20. Fassin, D. 2008. The humanitarian politics of testimony: subjectification through trauma in the israeli–palestinian conflict. Cult. Anthropol. 23 (3): 531–558.Google Scholar
  21. Fassin, D. 2009. Another politics of life is possible. Theory, Culture & Society 26 (5): 44–60.Google Scholar
  22. Fassin, D. 2010. Ethics of survival: a democratic approach to the politics of life. Humanity: an International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 1 (1): 81–95.Google Scholar
  23. Fassin, D. 2011. Humanitarian reason: a moral history of the present (University of California Press ed.). Berkley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fassin, D., and E. Halluin. 2005. The truth from the body: medical certificates as ultimate evidence for asylum seekers. Am. Anthropol. 107 (4): 597–608.Google Scholar
  25. Ferguson, J. (2006). ‘The anti politics machine.’ The anthropology of the state: a reader.Google Scholar
  26. Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison. 2nd ed. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  27. Gallagher, A. 2001. Human rights and the new UN protocols on trafficking and migrant smuggling: a preliminary analysis. Hum. Rights Q. 23: 975.Google Scholar
  28. Gallagher, A. (2012). ‘Turning a blind eye to modern-day slavery no longer an option.’. Sydney morning herald [Web page]. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 8, 2012, from the http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/turning-a-blind-eye-to-modernday-slavery-no-longer-an-option-20120704-21hj2.html database. Accessed 20 November 2016
  29. Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women. 2007. Collateral damage: the impact of anti-trafficking measures on human rights around the world. Bangkok: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.Google Scholar
  30. The IOM Handbook on Direct Assistance for Victims of Trafficking. 2007. The IOM handbook on direct assistance for victims of trafficking. Geneva: International Organisation for Migration.Google Scholar
  31. Kempadoo, K. 2015. The modern-day white (wo)man’s burden: trends in anti-trafficking and anti-slavery campaigns. Journal of Human Trafficking 1 (1): 8–20.Google Scholar
  32. Kempadoo, K., and J. Doezema. 1998. Global sex workers: rights, resistance, and redefinition. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Kempadoo, K., J. Sanghera, and B. Pattanaik. 2005. Trafficking and prostitution reconsidered: new perspectives on migration, sex work, and human rights. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Keo, C., T. Bouhours, R. Broadhurst, and B. Bouhours. 2014. Human trafficking and moral panic in Cambodia. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 653 (1): 202–224.Google Scholar
  35. Marshall, P., and S. Thatun. 2005. Miles away: the trouble with prevention in the greater mekong sub-region. In Trafficking and prostitution reconsidered: new perspectives on migration, sex work, and human rights, ed. K. Kempadoo, J. Sanghera, and B. Pattanaik, 43–63. London: Paradigm.Google Scholar
  36. Marx, K. 1990. Capital: a critique of political economy. London; New York: Penguin Books in association with New Left Review.Google Scholar
  37. Molland, S (2013). ‘Editorial: human rights at the border’ Anti-Trafficking Review, (2): 1–7.Google Scholar
  38. Molland, S. 2012. The perfect business?: Anti-trafficking and the sex trade along the mekong. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  39. Patterson, O. (1982). Slavery and social death. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Pretorius (n.d.). ‘Law enforcement responses to trafficking in persons in south east asia.’Google Scholar
  41. Raymond, J.G. 2002. The new UN trafficking protocol. Science 25 (5): 491–502.Google Scholar
  42. Redfield, P. 2005. Doctors , borders , and life in crisis. Cult. Anthropol. 20 (3): 328–361.Google Scholar
  43. Scott, J.C. 1998. Seeing like a state: how certain schemes to improve the human condition have failedYale University. (Press ed. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Smith (2010). The criminal justice response to human trafficking recent developments in the greater mekong sub-region. Bangkok: UNIAP.Google Scholar
  45. Smith, E., and M. Marmo. 2013. Examining the body through technology: age disputes and the UK border control system. Anti-Trafficking Review 2: 67–80.Google Scholar
  46. Soderlund, G. 2005. Running from the rescuers: New U.S. crusades against sex trafficking and the rhetoric of abolition. NWSA J. 17 (3): 64–87.Google Scholar
  47. Srikantiah, J. 2007. Perfect victims and real survivors: the iconic victim in domestic human trafficking law. Boston University Law Review 87: 157–208.Google Scholar
  48. Stoyanova, V. (2017). Human trafficking and slavery reconsidered: conceptual limits and states' positive obligations in european law.Google Scholar
  49. Ticktin, M. 2006. Where ethics and politics meet. Am. Ethnol. 33 (1): 33–49.Google Scholar
  50. Ticktin, M. 2011. The gendered human of humanitarianism: medicalising and politicising sexual violence. Gend. Hist. 23 (2): 250–265.Google Scholar
  51. United Nations, U. (2000). Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the united nations convention against transnational organized crime. Thesis, New York: United Nations.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations