• Sallie YeaEmail author


This chapter introduces the key argument of this book: there is often a significant disconnect between the experiences of individuals who are trafficked and the discursive construction and programmatic and policy responses to human trafficking. Discussing a similar kind of disconnect in the Bosnian context, Edward Snajdr [Dialectical Anthropology, 37(2), 229–256 (2013)] suggests that a ‘master narrative’ of human trafficking operates at the discursive level, often despite emerging counter-discourses that challenge the specific type of victim story that forms such a master narrative. By disclosing the discursive rendering of trafficking by the state and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), we can understand how master narratives about human trafficking are constructed and actualised in practice. In the Singapore context, the book argues that the government has effectively managed to reduce the numbers of prospective trafficking victims by narrowing the criteria for victim identification (the indicators of trafficking) to the most severe and unambiguous cases, particularly in the sex industry. The chapter outlines the theoretical bases for discussion in the book, as well as contextualising Singapore’s anti-trafficking responses in political and economic circumstances and broader regional trends in Southeast Asia.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social InquiryLa Trobe UniversityAlbury-WodongaAustralia

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