Law and immigration officials play a direct role in how potential trafficking victims are treated. Because of this, their perception of these victims in light of anti-trafficking protocol and legislation should be understood.
As a global phenomenon, human and sex trafficking receive attention from a variety of sources. There are several controversial issues surrounding trafficking, such as the criminalization and misclassification of victims as ‘illegal immigrants.’ The definition of trafficking is to some extent responsible for this, as anti-trafficking protocol usually define it in terms of criminal activity rather than a human rights violation. Anti-trafficking protocols make it difficult to classify female sex workers …show more content…
How do law enforcement officials define trafficking?
2. Who qualifies as a victim of trafficking?
3. Where do law enforcement officials draw the line between a sex worker and a victim of trafficking, if such a line exists?
4. How does anti-trafficking legislation or protocols effect enforcement officials’ perception of trafficking …show more content…
As a high number of trafficking victims are females exploited for the sex industry, there is much time spent discussing the rights of woman in these situations and the legislation surrounding them. Julia O’Connell Davidson focuses on misclassification of victims of trafficking as illegal migrant workers or illegal immigrants. Despite the trafficking industry growing on a huge scale and the creation of a special project to support victims of trafficking, “the number of people who have been identified as ‘victims of trafficking’ (VoTs) and assisted as such is very small” (Davidson, 2006 p.5). Davidson (2006, p.6) suggests this is occurs because many VoTs are seen as illegal immigrants who must be deported. The source of the problem of misclassification appears to the high standard which woman are expected to meet to be seen as VoTs. The standard is essentially physical suffering. Feminist abolitionists have insisted that sex trafficking results in routine rape, beating, and torture, but this has had the unintended consequence of altering the narrative of who counts as a victim. Women are therefore only seen as victims if they have received intense physical suffering, which many victims of trafficking have not. Julia O’Connell Davidson quotes an observer of anti-trafficking campaigns, “Trafficked women [in the anti-trafficking campaign literature] are dis-identified from