Human Traffic Watch

Human trafficking and south-east Asian women: it’s not all about sex work

In Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The way that the issue of women and the global trafficking industry is framed lags behind the reality, says Cathy Zimmerman, a global trafficking researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“I think the word trafficking still means sex trafficking for many funders and the public at large, largely to do with the exposure of the brutality and enslavement of women by sex traffickers within the past few decades,” she says.

“When we at the school first started looking at this issue, we focused exclusively on sex trafficking, largely because nobody was identifying or assisting people trafficked for other purposes, but now this is shifting. There is a growing realisation that labour trafficking is a much wider, more subtle phenomenon, and, in terms of numbers, an extensive problem affecting women from all over the world.”

In response to this shift in emphasis, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have launched a £9.75m anti-trafficking initiativeaimed at helping to prevent 100,000 south-east Asian women from being trafficked into forced labour in the garment industry and as domestic workers.

The Guardian


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