Human trafficking and online networks: policy, analysis, and ignorance
trafficking in human beings
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AbstractDominant anti-trafficking policy discourses represent trafficking as an issue of crime, “illegal” migration, victimhood and humanitarianism. Such a narrow focus is not an adequate response to the interplay between technology, trafficking and anti-trafficking. This article explores different levels of analysis and the interplay between human trafficking and technology. We argue for a shift from policy discourses with a very limited focus on crime and victimisation to more systemic understandings of trafficking and more robust micro-analyses of trafficking and everyday life. The article calls for an agnotological understanding of policy responses to trafficking and technology: these depend upon the production of ignorance. We critique limitations in policy understandings of trafficking-related aspects of online spaces, and argue for better engagement with online networks. We conclude that there is a need to move beyond a focus on “new” technology and exceptionalist claims about “modern slavery” towards greater attention to everyday exploitation within neoliberalism.
CitationMendel, J., Sharapov, K. (2016) 'Human Trafficking and Online Networks: Policy, Analysis, and Ignorance' Antipode 48 (3) 665-684
SponsorsThe People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ REA grant agreement PIEF-GA-2011-29840