The NGO Response to Human Trafficking: Challenges, Opportunities, and Constraints
The support sector for victims of human trafficking within a British context is dictated by a contract culture in which services are commissioned and funded against a backdrop of governmental policy and legislation around human trafficking and modern slavery. British policy and legislative contexts around trafficking have been couched within the discourse of “modern slavery” since the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in April, 2015. Lawyers, policy makers, and support providers have highlighted how such a shift in approach from using the language of “trafficking” (which is codified within international law) to “modern slavery” (which is not) has muddied the framing of the concept as a whole, exacerbated by the “hostile environment” on (illegal) immigration. This chapter highlights some of the challenges for nongovernmental organizations that provide support to victims of trafficking (herein after trafficked persons) within such a political and legislative environment. The discussion is based on ethnographic observations over a period of 10 years of the author working within the trafficking support sector and semi-structured interviews with staff working with trafficked people in England and Wales. Some discussion is devoted to how the sector has changed and matured over this period of 10 years.
KeywordsTrafficking Modern slavery Nongovernmental Charity Support
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