Constructing the ideal victim in the United States of America's annual trafficking in persons reports

Wilson, Michael & O'Brien, Erin (2016) Constructing the ideal victim in the United States of America's annual trafficking in persons reports. Crime, Law and Social Change, 65(1), pp. 29-45.

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Abstract

Human trafficking as a global phenomenon continues to elude accurate quantitative measure, and remains a controversial policy domain significantly influenced by anecdotal evidence. Drawing on the policy analysis framework of Bacchi (1999; 2007) the problem representation of trafficking through narratives can be considered a direct antecedent of contemporary anti-human trafficking policy. This article explores the construction of human trafficking within the Trafficking in Persons Reports, published annually by the United States of America’s Department of State. An examination of the victim and offender narratives contained within the reports published between 2001 and 2012 demonstrates that human trafficking is predominantly represented as a crime committed by ideal offenders against idealized victims, consistent with Christie’s (1986) landmark criteria of ideal victimization. This representation of an ideal prototype has the potential to inform policy that diverts focus from the causative role of global socioeconomic injustice towards criminal justice policies targeting individual offenders.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 94418
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: human trafficking, TIP Report, ideal victim, problem representation
DOI: 10.1007/s10611-015-9600-8
ISSN: 1573-0751
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyrigth 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Deposited On: 06 Apr 2016 05:59
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:52

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