Anti-Trafficking Review

No 7 (2016): Special Issue—Trafficking Representations

Guest Editors: Rutvica Andrijasevic and Nicola Mai

Representations of human trafficking, forced labour and ‘modern slavery’ are pervasive within media, policymaking, and humanitarian interventions and campaigns. This issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review explores the ways in which some representations erase the complexity in the life trajectories of people who have experienced trafficking, as well as those who are migrants, women, sex workers and others labelled as victims or ‘at-risk’ of trafficking.

Contributions in this issue examine visual material and narratives through which trafficking and its victims are represented in film, TV, newspapers and public discourse. The articles investigate representations in Australia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Serbia, Denmark, UK, and USA. Ultimately, this special issue highlights the fact that stereotypical trafficking representations conveniently distract the global public from their increasing and shared day-to-day exploitability as workers because of the systematic erosion of labour rights globally. Crucially, the issue also discusses positive alternatives and how to represent trafficking differently.

See Complete Issue in PDF

Table of Contents


Trafficking (in) Representations: Understanding the recurring appeal of victimhood and slavery in neoliberal times PDF HTML
Rutvica Andrijasevic, Nicola Mai
My Experience is Mine to Tell: Challenging the abolitionist victimhood framework PDF HTML
Claudia Cojocaru
How to Stage a Raid: Police, media and the master narrative of trafficking PDF HTML
Annie Hill
Neoliberal Sexual Humanitarianism and Story-Telling: The case of Somaly Mam PDF HTML
Heidi Hoefinger
Expelling Slavery from the Nation: Representations of labour exploitation in Australia’s supply chain PDF HTML
Anna Szörényi
‘It’s All in Their Brain’: Constructing the figure of the trafficking victim on the US-Mexico border PDF HTML
Gabriella Sanchez
Looking Beyond ‘White Slavery’: Trafficking, the Jewish Association, and the dangerous politics of migration control in England, 1890-1910 PDF HTML
Rachael Attwood
Captured ‘Realities’ of Human Trafficking: Analysis of photographs illustrating stories on trafficking into the sex industry in Serbian media PDF HTML
Elena Krsmanovic
Rebooting Trafficking PDF HTML
Nicholas de Villiers
The Art of the Possible: Making films on sex work migration and human trafficking PDF HTML
Sine Plambech



The Lessons of History - Anti-Trafficking Review call for papers

Deadline 8 January 2017

Anxieties about 'human trafficking' have helped to spark a revival of anti-slavery activism over the past two decades, but the precise relationship between what is termed 'trafficking' and what is termed 'modern slavery' is unclear. The UN Trafficking Protocol (2000) states that 'slavery' is just one of several possible outcomes of 'trafficking', while anti-slavery campaigners state that 'trafficking' is just one of a number of different forms of 'modern slavery'. Meanwhile, in political and NGO rhetoric, 'trafficking' is frequently described as a 'modern-day slave trade' and the term 'trafficked persons' often used interchangeably with 'modern slaves'. Anti-trafficking campaign materials also make heavy use of visual tropes alluding to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. But are such historical references really warranted?
Posted: 2016-07-13 More...

Regressive policies on labour and migration exacerbate forced labour and exploitation, international rights group says

A significant new protocol on forced labour was agreed last year, which promised to strengthen national laws and actions on protection of workers’ rights. However, many regressive policies related to migration and labour persist, according to the latest issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review, published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW).  
Posted: 2015-09-28 More...
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Anti-Trafficking Review

The Anti-Trafficking Review promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking. It explores trafficking in its broader context including gender analyses and intersections with labour and migrant rights. The Review offers an outlet and space for dialogue between academics, practitioners and advocates seeking to communicate new ideas and findings to those working for and with trafficked persons.

Each issue relates to an emerging or overlooked theme in the field of human trafficking.  The Review’s focus is global in nature, exploring micro and macro levels of anti-trafficking responses and the commonalities, differences and disconnects in between. Each issue features a Debate Section in which two or more sides of a contentious issue are presented.

The Review presents rigorously considered, peer reviewed material in clear English. The journal is an open access, academic publication with a readership in over 100 countries. The Review publishes two issues per year since 2015.

Forthcoming Special Issues:

  • September 2016: Trafficking Representations, guest edited by Rutvica Andrijasevic and Nicola Mai
  • April 2017: Where's the Evidence, guest edited by Sallie Yea
  • September 2017: The Lessons of History, guest edited by Julia O'Connell Davidson

The Review is covered by the following abstracting and indexing services:

  • Ulrich’s
  • Ebsco Host
  • Directory of Open Access Journals
  • eGranary
  • ProQuest

The Anti-Trafficking Review is published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), an alliance of over 80 NGOs worldwide focused on advancing the human rights of migrants and trafficked persons.


'a journal that is seeking to move things forward through new ideas and a genuine commitment to dialogue' - Anne T. Gallagher, Independent scholar and legal advisor

'The Anti-Trafficking Review is clear about the current issues, the complications of the subject and contemporary global dialogues--it is leading versus following and recording. That is a REAL strength of your journal.' - Cathy Zimmerman, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

'The Review is a platform for academics and practitioners, providing a space in which practitioners have the chance to influence the academic thinking around trafficking and vice versa.' - Nicola Piper, University of Sydney

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ISSN: 2287-0113