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Us and Them?The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control$
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Bridget Anderson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691593.001.0001

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Uncivilized Others: Rescuing Victims

Uncivilized Others: Rescuing Victims

(p.137) 7 Uncivilized Others: Rescuing Victims
Us and Them?

Bridget Anderson

Oxford University Press

Migrant and labour rights activists have appealed to state commitments to fight trafficking as a means of advancing the rights of undocumented migrants. This chapter examines the implications of this move. It traces the development of anti- trafficking policy in the UK, setting it in its international context. It argues that the presentation of the Victim of Trafficking (VoT) as embedded in social relations contrasts with the portrayal of the economic migrant as a self-interested rational actor. The focus on morality places the plight of the victim of trafficking beyond politics. The chapter concentrates on the case of trafficking as ‘modern day slavery’ to examine the implications of the usage of the language of slavery. ‘Trafficking’ is not only increasingly presented as a human rights focussed response to difficulties of enforcement, but has introduced the language of harm prevention into the heart of immigration control.

Keywords:   anti-trafficking policy, free labour, human rights, moral economy, slavery, trafficking

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