Human trafficking and models of governing security
Varghese, Ashley Daniel
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This thesis seeks to address the complex forms assumed by the problem of human trafficking in the contemporary world and in particular to analyse and overcome certain identified shortcomings in existing models of intervention. It begins by locating the problem historically through its foundations in slavery, and explores the incomplete nature of the abolition of that institution. These observations provide the context for the emergence of contemporary forms of exploitation. The complexity of the problem of human trafficking is reflected in the variety of approaches to intervention thus far attempted and in the lack of consensus among stakeholders concerning the effectiveness of competing models. The tendency towards institutional failure in current approaches, and the consequent growth of the trafficking phenomenon are compounded by the ability of criminal networks to infiltrate and corrupt the very systems that are meant to safeguard vulnerable populations. This thesis argues that the shortcomings of existing models are themselves evidence that one of the foundational reasons for the emergence of human trafficking as a networked global crime is the security deficit created by the replacement of the structures of state with criminal networks embedded within communities. These observations are supported by empirical evidence in the form of i) a detailed review of records relating to a number of prosecutions and ii) first-hand observations and interviews with officials and civil society organisations in India, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. I argue, in conclusion, that the evolution of models of intervention, leading to the creation of a preferred multidisciplinary model, show that this security deficit is best countered by emergent partnerships between the structures of the state, communities and civil society groups. Such innovations prefigure new hybrid structures, which offer a degree of hope for holistically tackling common global problems and networked crimes such as human trafficking.