Human-trafficking prevention is not 'sexy': Impact of the rescue industry on Thailand NGO programs and the need for a human rights approach

Article


Jones, Stephanie, King, Julie and Edwards, Niki. 2018. "Human-trafficking prevention is not 'sexy': Impact of the rescue industry on Thailand NGO programs and the need for a human rights approach." Journal of Human Trafficking. 4 (3), pp. 231-255. https://doi.org/10.1080/23322705.2017.1355161
Article Title

Human-trafficking prevention is not 'sexy': Impact of the rescue industry on Thailand NGO programs and the need for a human rights approach

ERA Journal ID213278
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsJones, Stephanie (Author), King, Julie (Author) and Edwards, Niki (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Human Trafficking
Journal Citation4 (3), pp. 231-255
Number of Pages25
Year2018
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN2332-2705
2332-2713
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/23322705.2017.1355161
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23322705.2017.1355161
Abstract

'Raid and rescue' operations are aimed primarily at women and children in the sex industry and have proved popular with donors supporting anti-trafficking activities of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The popularity of this rescue industry leads to the diversion of funding, shifting focus away from other critical aspects of human trafficking (HT). This article discusses findings from qualitative research undertaken in 2014 with staff at Thai-based NGOs. This research explored the impact of the rescue industry on the implementation of sustainable anti-trafficking prevention programs and how a human rights perspective could do a better job of protecting victims. Findings suggest that the rescue industry is attractive to donors because it caters to stereotypical assumptions about HT, produces measurable outcomes and relies on the concepts of a hero, victim, and villain. This limited view fails to respond adequately to the complexities of HT, including irregular migrants who are trafficked, who fall outside the legislative framework they require for protection. There is pressure on NGOs to adapt their programs to meet donor desires. However, participants argue that NGOs active in this space need to adopt a contextual and holistic human rights approach that recognizes individuals and accommodates the complexity of HT.

Keywordshuman rights; human traficking; non-governmental organisations; prevention; raid-and-rescue
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480407. Law, gender and sexuality (incl. feminist legal scholarship)
440209. Gender and crime
500104. Human rights and justice issues (excl. law)
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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