Anti-traffickers in Practice
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.
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