CALL FOR PAPERS: Trafficking Representations

Rutvica Andrijasevic (Editor), Nicola Mai (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)peer-review

75 Downloads (Pure)


The Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a themed issue entitled ‘Trafficking Representations.’
Work that migrants do in the sex industry and other irregular employment sectors is increasingly characterized as exploitation and trafficking. Representations of trafficking and forced labour are pervasive within media, policymaking, and humanitarian debates, discourses and interventions. Of late, the notion of ‘modern slavery’ is on show in campaigns aiming to raise funds and awareness about anti-trafficking among corporate and local enterprises and the general public. Celebrity interventions, militant documentaries, artistic works and fiction films have all become powerful vectors of distribution of the trafficking and ‘modern slavery’ rhetoric. These offer simplistic solutions to complex issues without challenging the structural and causal factors of inequality. They also tend to entrench racialised narratives; present a narrow depiction of an ‘authentic victim;’ and confuse sex work with trafficking. Such representations play a key role in legitimising oftentimes problematic rescue operations that can involve criminalisation, detention and arrest of both non-trafficked and trafficked persons as well a justifying restrictive labour and migration laws that exacerbate migrants’ precarious living and work situations.
This issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review will seek to explore the specific ways in which different forms of representation erase the complexity of the life trajectories of people who have experienced trafficking, as well as those of migrants, women, sex workers and others who are labelled as trafficked according to the rhetoric of neoliberal humanitarianism. At the same time, the special issue is interested in ways in which popular representations of trafficking and modern slavery have weakened the efforts to gain a better understanding of how social, economic and political inequalities and labour exploitation are produced and maintained in various locations.

In addition, this issue also welcomes alternative artistic, scholarly and activist attempts to produce counter-representations of trafficking and ‘modern slavery’ in films, literature, art, theatre and social media, as well as reflections on those.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnti-Trafficking Review
Publication statusIn preparation - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'CALL FOR PAPERS: Trafficking Representations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this