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The Perfect Business? Anti-Trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong$
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Sverre Molland

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836108

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836108.001.0001

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The Perfect Business?

(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Perfect Business? Anti-Trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong

Sverre Molland

University of Hawai'i Press

This book explores three facets of trafficking—global trafficking discourse, anti-traffickers, and the local context of sex commerce—along the Thai–Lao border, with a specific focus on the border towns of Vientiane and Nong Kai. Drawing on fieldwork conducted from August 2005 to October 2006, it considers trafficking itself and the institutions and actors that use this concept in their everyday practice. It also examines the interconnections between mobility and labor practices, on the one hand, and the organizations and actors involved in anti-trafficking, on the other; how recruitment into the sex industry in Laos and Thailand unfolds; how life experience within an oscillatory sex industry along the Thai–Lao border is intertwined with aid programs that combat trafficking; and questions of power and agency that arise from human trafficking. Finally, it analyzes the United Nations protocol on human trafficking used by anti-trafficking programs, with particular emphasis on the contradictions and ambiguities of the protocol's definition of trafficking.

Keywords:   trafficking, anti-traffickers, sex commerce, Thai–Lao border, anti-trafficking, sex industry, Laos, Thailand, power, agency

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