Human Traffic Watch

(Anti) child-trafficking analysed – PhD thesis

In Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking on April 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

It’s easier if we stop them moving‘: A critical analysis of anti-child trafficking discourse, policy and practice – the case of southern Benin‘ is well-worth a read for anyone interested in (anti)trafficking (for earlier posts on the topic see here,herehere and here).  Neil Howard has written this PhD dissertation at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford and it stands out in the way it integrates rich empirical material (much of it ethnographic) with an original combination of theoretical ideas.

The dissertation builds on an emerging body of critical scholarship on anti-trafficking. However, it seeks to expand this by: 1) focussing specifically on ‘child trafficking’ as a sub-discourse within the larger field of ‘human trafficking’, 2) focussing on ‘male adolescent labour migration’ instead of the common focus on young women in the sex industry, 3) and by conducting research with people located at virtually all levels of the anti-trafficking chain (in addition to research with young male migrants, traffickers and other villagers).

The West-African nation of Benin makes a fertile case study. It has been very much in the global anti-trafficking spotlight following the infamous Etireno affair in 2001. In addition, the country has a long history of migration, including migration by young men. And not unimportantly, the author can draw on a significant amount of experience of working on (anti)trafficking in Benin.

Source: Children and Youth Studies


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