The Celebritization of Human Trafficking
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Vol. 653, p. 25-30, May 2014
22 Pages Posted: 10 May 2013 Last revised: 9 Nov 2014
Date Written: April 10, 2013
Human trafficking, and especially sex trafficking, is not only susceptible to alluring and sensational narratives, it also plays into the celebrity-as-rescuer ideal that receives considerable attention from the media, the public, and policy-makers. While some celebrities develop enough expertise to speak with authority on the topic, many others are neither knowledgeable nor accurate in their efforts to champion antitrafficking causes. Prominent policy-makers allow celebrity activists to influence their opinions and even consult with them for advice regarding public policies.
Emblematic of larger, fundamental problems with the dominant discourse, funding allocations, and legislation in current antitrafficking initiatives in the United States and elsewhere, celebrity activism is not significantly advancing the eradication of human trafficking and may even be doing harm by diverting attention from aspects of the problem and solution that sorely require attention.
Keywords: Human trafficking ,human rights activism, celebrity activism
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