In the Eyes of the Beholder: Border Enforcement, Suspect Travellers and Trafficking Victims

17 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2014

See all articles by Julie Ham

Julie Ham

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Marie Segrave

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Sharon Pickering

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies; Monash University - Faculty of Arts

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Over the past decade, the border and border policing has figured as central to identifying and responding to trafficking. This article draws on original research into immigration officers’ decision-making — both at the border and within the nation — to identify the persistent preoccupation with suspect travellers. Examining research in Australia and Thailand that spans seven years, the article brings together research that demonstrates the predominance of the binary category of victim of trafficking/unlawful migrant worker and highlights the ambiguity of daily decision-making processes that categorise women who come into contact with immigration authorities. While the policy rhetoric is based on categories and risk profiles for identifying suspected victims of trafficking or those deemed at risk, we contribute to the growing body of work that has highlighted the presence of gendered and racialised stereotypes in immigration decision-making and consider implications this may have on women’s mobility across and within borders.

Keywords: human trafficking, gender, immigration control, sex work, decision-making, border control

Suggested Citation

Ham, Julie and Segrave, Marie and Pickering, Sharon, In the Eyes of the Beholder: Border Enforcement, Suspect Travellers and Trafficking Victims (2013). Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2459796. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2459796

Julie Ham (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Marie Segrave

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Sharon Pickering

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Monash University - Faculty of Arts ( email )

Clayton Victoria, 3800
Australia

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