Anti-Trafficking Partnerships - Meanings, Practices and Challenges

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal IOeG (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Lorena AROCHA, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
At the European level, human trafficking and modern forms of slavery have become a priority area, often deployed as part of wider securitisation processes, where migration has been constructed as a security threat. Significant legislation focuses on human trafficking, including the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on Action against Human Trafficking and the EU 2011 Directive. Both emphasise prevention and prosecution processes over the protection of victims and have consolidated our understanding of human trafficking and related modern forms of slavery as a form of transnational organised crime of substantial and increasing proportions. To tackle human trafficking in all its forms, bodies such as GRETA (Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking of Human Beings) at the Council of Europe, responsible for overseeing progress of Member States party to the Council of Europe Convention call all Member States to adopt the so-called 4-P framework. This involves engaging in not only preventing the crime of trafficking and prosecuting perpetrators and their aides, but also on protecting victims and 'vulnerable' populations. The fourth-P stands for partnership. It is this last element that has been slower in being adopted by all anti-trafficking parties. This paper compares and systematically examines anti-trafficking partnership discourses and practices in two European countries: the UK and Slovakia. The UK is considered as a country of destination for most (officially so identified) victims of trafficking from Slovakia, which in the recent past, has also become a country of transit. The paper considers the challenges of anti-trafficking partnership practices and how the meanings attached to such activities are linked to wider historical, political, social and cultural positions of individual nation-states. It also analyses how the anti-trafficking agenda is used strategically in moments of crises, such as with the refugee crises in Europe in the summer of 2015.