Human Insecurity and Anti-Trafficking Policy: Representations of Trafficked Persons in Canada
Anti-trafficking discourses in Canada feature prominently in policy discussions of prostitution and sex work as well as national security and border integrity, including discussions of migration, migrant smuggling, refuge, and asylum. Yet, representations of trafficked persons have gone largely unquestioned in the country and anti-trafficking policies have garnered broad acceptance without detailed consideration of how such representations affect the rights and experiences of trafficked persons. In this context, anti-trafficking discourses are relied upon to justify a variety of conflicting political agendas. By placing existing discourses of human trafficking under scrutiny, including representations of trafficked persons from the perspective of frontline workers, government officials, law enforcement, and trafficked persons themselves in Western Canada, this study examines the politicized construction of trafficking discourses and thereby identifies how some anti-trafficking measures claiming to liberate “victims of trafficking” contribute to the insecurities faced by trafficked persons. Further, by examining recent immigration policy amendments alongside anti-trafficking discourses, this study considers the role of anti-trafficking discourses in shaping contemporary boundaries of inclusion and exclusion. In particular, the study highlights the insecurity trafficked persons experience as a result of measures emphasizing criminalization and deportation as well as the effect of criminalization for temporary migrant workers, particularly migrant workers experiencing exploitation in a context of socio-economic constraint.
Human Trafficking, Development, Migration, Migrant Labour, Sex Work, National Security, Globalization, Migrant Smuggling, Immigration Policy, International Crime, and Human Rights
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)