Editorial: Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Bliss: Public perceptions and responses to human trafficking


  • Kiril Sharapov
  • Suzanne Hoff
  • Borislav Gerasimov




The focus of this issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review—public perceptions and responses to human trafficking—reflects the growing unease and disagreements among anti-trafficking practitioners and scholars about the current state of public awareness of human trafficking: how and by whom such awareness is produced and manipulated, whom it is targeting, and whether it leads, or can lead, to any meaningful anti-trafficking action. A central assumption in the anti-trafficking field is that the general public still lacks sufficient knowledge about human trafficking, and that creating more knowledge and awareness will lead to its reduction. However, there neither exists a common understanding of who should know what in order to achieve this goal, nor is there sufficient information available about the awareness of the general public or, especially, the impact of this awareness.


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Author Biographies

Kiril Sharapov

Kiril Sharapov is Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University. He received his PhD in Politics from the University of Glasgow, and an MA in Human Rights from the Central European University. Kiril’s research interests include migration and mobility with a particular focus on human rights, trafficking in human beings and ‘modern slavery’, forced migration, free and unfree labour; as well as subjectivity, politics and neoliberalism; and environmental degradation and social divisions.

Suzanne Hoff

Suzanne Hoff is the International Coordinator of La Strada International—a European Platform against trafficking in human beings. In this role, she manages a broad range of tasks, including strategy planning, lobby and advocacy, monitoring of European developments in anti-trafficking policy, and coordination of research and advocacy projects, including on early identification of trafficked persons, cooperation among NGOs, trade unions and businesses, and access to compensation and remedies for workers. Suzanne has an academic background in East European studies and (television) journalism. Her previous work focused on human rights in Central and Eastern Europe.

Borislav Gerasimov

Borislav Gerasimov is Communications and Advocacy Officer at the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women and the Editor of the Anti-Trafficking Review. He holds a degree in English Philology from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria and has previously worked at Animus Association, Bulgaria and La Strada International, the Netherlands. He has also been involved in the work of NGOs supporting Roma youth, LGBTI people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and sex workers in Bulgaria and the Netherlands.




How to Cite

Sharapov, K., Hoff, S., & Gerasimov, B. (2019). Editorial: Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Bliss: Public perceptions and responses to human trafficking. Anti-Trafficking Review, (13), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.14197/atr.201219131