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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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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Do Traffickers Have Navels?

Do Traffickers Have Navels?

(p.33) 2 Do Traffickers Have Navels?
The Perfect Business? Anti-Trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong

Sverre Molland

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the recent attention to the issue of human trafficking, first by addressing the claim that trafficking is the new slave trade. In particular, it considers what human trafficking shares with its historical antecedents, noting that the emergence of international legal instruments to combat trafficking dates back more than a century and overlaps with the demise of classic slavery of the colonial era. It then explores three interconnected policy concerns of the early 1990s: a century-old unease about prostitution and female mobility, mass migration in a globalized world, and transnational crime. It also discusses the mobilizing qualities of human trafficking discourse and asks whether traffickers have navels—that is, whether traffickers engage in a form of egregious conduct having a long historical legacy, or whether they are a “first of their kind”: navel-less creatures committing unprecedented horrendous deeds never before witnessed.

Keywords:   human trafficking, slave trade, slavery, prostitution, female mobility, mass migration, transnational crime

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