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No 9 (2017): Special Issue—The Lessons of History

In the past two decades human trafficking has been increasingly termed ‘modern slavery’ and anti-trafficking work likened to nineteenth century efforts to abolish slavery. NGOs, politicians and the media make heavy use of visual tropes alluding to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and it is often said that human trafficking is ‘modern slavery’. But are such historical references really warranted?

This issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review explores some of the histories that created and continue to shape the phenomena discussed under the rubric of human trafficking, and the contemporary discourse of trafficking itself. It highlights the ways in which simplistic analogies between wrongs past and present can hamper, rather than facilitate, efforts to secure rights and protections in the contemporary moment. Contributions from Africa, Europe and the Americas focus on the race politics of ‘modern slavery’ campaigns, the history of indentured and ‘coolie’ labour, the legacies of anti-white slavery legislation and the restrictions on labour migration that can exacerbate human trafficking. Ultimately, they reveal that more critical engagement with the histories of transatlantic slavery, colonialism and their afterlives can teach us a great deal about the forms of violence, injustice and oppression that are tolerated today in the dominant liberal world order.

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Published: 2017-09-21
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Irregular Migrants, Refugees or Trafficked Persons? - Anti-Trafficking Review call for papers

The Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a themed issue entitled 'Irregular Migrants, Refugees or Trafficked Persons?'    Migration, displacement and human trafficking have become staples of headline news. Reactions range - and sometimes change - from outrage over abuse and sympathy for individuals and groups seen as victims, to open hostility towards those perceived as foreign intruders or threats to security, political, cultural and business interests. Read more about Irregular Migrants, Refugees or Trafficked Persons? - Anti-Trafficking Review call for papers

The Politics of Evidence in Anti-Trafficking Work: Implications and ways forward

Launch of Issue 8 of the Anti-Trafficking Review 'Where's the Evidence?'
Despite increasing interest in human trafficking and related exploitation, a great deal of anti-trafficking work still appears to be based on assumptions that are not well-proven or adequately questioned. Policy formations, advocacy campaigns, concrete interventions and popular understandings of trafficking have all been accused of making exaggerated claims and resting on thin, if any, evidence. There is an almost obsessive desire to know the scale, proportion, size, major sectors and geographical concentrations of human trafficking, with far less attention paid to the actual experiences and circumstances of affected people. At the same time, the monitoring and evaluation of interventions is not robust enough to understand which ones are effective. Read more about The Politics of Evidence in Anti-Trafficking Work: Implications and ways forward

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:

  • April 2018: Life after Trafficking, guest edited by Denise Brennan and Sine Plambech
  • September 2018: Irregular Migrants, Refugees or Trafficked Persons?, guest edited by Claus K. Meyer and Sebastian Boll

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

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

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