John McKendy Memorial Lecture 2016


Maria De Angelis

Narratives of Human Trafficking:
Ways of seeing and not seeing the real survivors and stories
November 7 AT 7:00 PM

Dr Maria De Angelis is Senior Lecturer in Social Justice at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. Maria, a specialist in the study of human trafficking with an inter-disciplinary background, explores the relationship between the different, and competing, responses of social policy, on the one hand, and the criminal justice system on the other.

As a Practice Manager for the Probation Trust, Lecturer in Probation Studies and a criminologist at Sheffield Hallam University, Maria combined her practice and research to express her stance on human trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees, and forced marriages, and how people rebuild their lives following the experience of traumatic events.

In the global world, human trafficking is diversifying. Human trafficking can no longer be approached as a one-way movement of people by identifiable traffickers, nor can it be reduced to a one-dimensional discourse of sexual exploitation (white slavery and prostitution). Rather, contemporary human trafficking is itself troublesome and troubling since it is not unusual for victims of trafficking to proactively seek out the services of traffickers, or try to avoid immigration border controls in pursuit of work, marriage, and a better life (global push / pull factors). In the context of this migration-crime-security nexus in human trafficking, two master narratives of crime and crime-facilitated illegal border crossing (security) dominate and shape official ways of seeing the person presumed to have been trafficked.  These ways of seeing a presumed trafficked person include a ‘victim of trafficking’ (VoT), a ‘modern slave’, a ‘migrant sex worker’, an ‘illegal’ worker and an ‘irregular’ migrant (the visa- over-stayer).