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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: 28 September 2021

The Drifters

The Drifters

Anti-traffickers in Practice

(p.204) 8 The Drifters
The Perfect Business? Anti-Trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong

Sverre Molland

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how anti-traffickers in Laos struggle to reconcile the legal–economic metalanguage of trafficking with field realities, and particularly how they tend to drift between different models of knowledge in their everyday anti-trafficking work. Similarly to how anti-traffickers act in bad faith, the way they drift between different idealized models of trafficking requires externalization of complicity in the form of deliberate ignorance in order to sustain anti-trafficking programs. This chapter first considers the variety, inconsistency, and ambiguity that characterize the responses of anti-traffickers to the interviews conducted by the author. It then discusses the insider-outsider dichotomy of how trafficking is imagined to operate, including the role of traffickers, and its ramifications for how anti-trafficking programs now reshape their approaches to combating trafficking. It also explores the direct policy implications of anti-traffickers' vacillation.

Keywords:   anti-traffickers, Laos, trafficking, knowledge, anti-trafficking

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