Women Trafficking Other Women and How International NGOs Fail to Address the Issue

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Latifa Laghzaoui
Sukirty Chalise


There is currently a fairly large body of research on the role of men who are involved in human trafficking. However, hardly any research has been carried out on the role of women as perpetrators of this crime. The official anti-trafficking narrative, therefore, assumes that women (and children) are innocent and powerless victims who need rescuing. Whilst many international organisations working against human trafficking have developed robust comprehensive approaches to combat this crime and to support victims of sexual exploitation, their approaches have aided in preventing possible trafficking of persons and in protecting victims. They tend to be victim-centric, meaning the process of prosecution does not also include women offenders. Grounded within the theories of feminism and neo-liberal institutionalism, this paper uses a comparative analysis method to analyse the current anti-trafficking approaches and discourses of two leading international organisations; GAATW and CATW. The paper argues that the exclusion of women perpetrators in anti-trafficking discourses has adverse effects on the actions taken against trafficking, especially in relation to prosecution. This exclusion makes it difficult to distinguish between women who are victims of human trafficking and women who are perpetrators. This paper therefore suggests that it is crucial to include women perpetrators in anti-trafficking discourses in order to provide a better understanding of the existing intersections between sexual exploitation and economic disparity, gender inequality and wider inequalities. Only then can current anti-trafficking narratives achieve their goals and be more effective.

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How to Cite
Laghzaoui, L., & Chalise, S. (2020). Women Trafficking Other Women and How International NGOs Fail to Address the Issue. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 6(2), 203–226. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/HRPS/article/view/248118
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