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In the Eyes of the Beholder: Border enforcement, suspect travellers and trafficking victims

  • Julie Ham
  • Marie Segrave
  • Sharon Pickering

Abstract

Over the past decade, the border and border policing has figured as central to identifying and responding to trafficking. This article draws on original research into immigration officers’ decision-making — both at the border and within the nation — to identify the persistent preoccupation with suspect travellers. Examining research in Australia and Thailand that spans seven years, the article brings together research that demonstrates the predominance of the binary category of victim of trafficking/unlawful migrant worker and highlights the ambiguity of daily decision-making processes that categorise women who come into contact with immigration authorities. While the policy rhetoric is based on categories and risk profiles for identifying suspected victims of trafficking or those deemed at risk, we contribute to the growing body of work that has highlighted the presence of gendered and racialised stereotypes in immigration decision-making and consider implications this may have on women’s mobility across and within borders.

Author Biographies

Julie Ham
Julie Ham is a PhD Candidate in Criminology in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University.
Marie Segrave
Marie Segrave is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University.
Sharon Pickering
Sharon Pickering is a Professor of Criminology in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University and holder of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship undertaking research on Border Policing and Security and Gender.
Published
2013-09-01
How to Cite
HAM, Julie; SEGRAVE, Marie; PICKERING, Sharon. In the Eyes of the Beholder: Border enforcement, suspect travellers and trafficking victims. Anti-Trafficking Review, [S.l.], n. 2, sep. 2013. ISSN 2287-0113. Available at: <http://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/31>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.14197/atr.20121323.

Keywords

human trafficking, gender, immigration control, sex work, decision-making, border control