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Human Trafficking Center

Monthly Human Trafficking Links: May


May 2014



by Dana Bruxvoort, HTC Communications Coordinator


If you missed any blog posts and articles shared by the HTC this month, here are our top picks for May.

Blog posts by HTC associates

Holly Redmond discusses the need to broaden perspectives on human trafficking to include more than sex trafficking. Holly shares three cases of human trafficking in Colorado that involved forced labor.

HTC research fellow Andy Brienzo analyzes the state of counter-trafficking literature. Andy notes definitional issues within human trafficking, as well as problematic methodological approaches. Andy also proposes more research on subnational counter-trafficking policies.

Dana Bruxvoort begins a three-part series on migrants’ rights and human trafficking by discussing the problematic tendency of conflating border controls with anti-trafficking strategies. Dana notes the negative effects that restrictive immigration policies can have on anti-trafficking efforts, such as the tendency to deport undocumented migrants without first determining their status as victims of trafficking.

Guest blogger Alex Penwill continues the discussion on exploitation of migrants by discussing the forced labor of ranchers and herders in the southwest United States. Alex analyzes how flaws within the H-2A guestworker visa program exempt employers from extending certain labor rights to guestworkers and proposes ideas for reform.

HTC associate Elizabeth Harrell wraps up the series on migrants’ rights by sharing the story of Adil Ahmed, a Somalian refugee who was exploited for agricultural labor in Libya. Adil’s story evidences the many vulnerabilities migrants face and also exhibits the inspiring resilience of human trafficking survivors.

Notable human trafficking articles

The U.S. House passed five bills on human trafficking this month, primarily aimed at protection for victims of sex trafficking.

The International Labour Organization published a new report on the global profits of forced labor. The report estimated sex trafficking netted $100 billion in annual profits and noted an increase from $44 to $150 billion in overall profits from forced labor from 2005 to 2014.

HTC associate Lauren Jekowsky and Associate Director Oliver Kaplan collaborated on an article analyzing the larger context of the Boko Haram kidnappings in Nigeria. They discuss Nigeria’s anti-trafficking policies as well as the state of protective services and legal protection for victim-survivors of trafficking in Nigeria.

This timely Washington post article notes the implications of putting a face on human tragedy and emphasizes the importance of ethically portraying victimized individuals. The article uses the example of an appropriated and heavily edited photo of a Guinea-Bissaun girl in a #BringBackOurGirls campaign to encourage organizations and individuals to avoid “manipulating [a] viewer’s emotions through shock and guilt.”

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