The injustice of Trafficking: Reframing the Anti-Trafficking Conversation


September 11 | 10:15 - 11:15 AM | Room 3010A

In this presentation, the audience will be asked to question one of the foundational concepts of anti-trafficking work and ask: Is anti-trafficking a criminal justice issue? This presentation will examine that question, and what it means to use a criminal justice framework to address a social justice problem. First we will explore the various ways in which we institutionalize this work within a criminal justice framework, including through laws and social dialogue. We will look at the problems with contextualizing the issue as one of victim/victimizer, the concept of success as a question of laws and expansion of law enforcement, and the harms of couching anti-trafficking in terms of numbers of arrests and prosecutions. Case studies which juxtapose the use of criminal justice-based mechanisms with other forms of anti-trafficking work will be utilized as we explore the ideas of what anti-trafficking work is, what justice looks like, and alternative frameworks which could lead to more rights-based and survivor-centered outcomes.

About the Presenter