Jyoti Sanghera, “Unpacking the Trafficking Discourse”, Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered, ed Kamala Kempadoo 7-8

Women are trafficked for a variety of reasons, including for the purposes of prostitution, domestic work, marriage, industrial and agricultural work, and trade in human organs. All victims of human trafficking are not necessarily subject to commercial sexual exploitation. Some of the purposes for which trafficking occurs, such as prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, and the marriage market, are by their very nature marked by commercial sexual exploitation. However, other sites into which trafficking feeds might result in other types of exploitation, forced labour, and abuse. It has been reported that even when women and minors are not ostensibly trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, their trafficked status renders them highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse (UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre 2003).


A close examination shows that the recent impetus for transborder trafficking, as well as smuggling or other clandestine forms of labour recruitment, is connected to striking imbalances between the increasing supply of unskilled, indigent jobseekers on the one hand and the availability of legal and sustainable work in places where the jobseekers have legal rights to residence or citizenship on the other. …Lack of legal rights to mobility and to legally accepted forms of livelihood compel marginalized and vulnerable groups to lead underground lives, enhancing manifold their vulnerability to harms such as trafficking, bondage, slavery-like working and living conditions, and HIV/AIDS. This is the “quintessential knot” in the nexus of vulnerability…

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