Missing, Presumed Trafficked: Towards non-binary understandings of ‘wayward’ youth in Jamaica

Julia N O'Connell Davidson, Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor

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

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Boy children and LGBTQ youth, especially those who go missing from home, have recently started to appear in mainstream anti-trafficking discourse as a group of children who are peculiarly vulnerable to human trafficking. This paper reports findings from research with Jamaicans who experienced various forms of violence and exploitation as children. Our data are consistent with the claim that boy children and LGBTQ Jamaicans are amongst those who experience forms of violence and exploitation that policy makers often discuss under the heading ‘sex trafficking’. However, the same data also challenge the conceptual binaries used to frame assumptions about ‘sex trafficking’ as a significant threat to Jamaican youth, and that inform assumptions about missing children as victims of trafficking. In this way, the paper provides empirical support for criticisms of the turn towards including boys and LGBTQ youth as victims of ‘sex trafficking’, and of dominant discourse on ‘child trafficking’ more generally
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalAnti-Trafficking Review
Early online date27 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sept 2022


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