Child Trafficking in the EU

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 5:50 PM
Room: Booth 52
Oral Presentation
Pete FUSSEY , Sociology, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom
Paddy RAWLINSON , Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
The paper presents findings from an empirical study of the trafficking of Roma children into the UK, involving the establishment of the first EU wide police Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the illegal movement of humans in Europe. The paper draws on 12 months of UK-based research and four research visits to Romania and Bulgaria yielding more that 100 hours of interview data collected from interviews with senior actors within policing and justice agencies, Roma advocacy NGOs, and child protection organisations in the UK, Romania and Bulgaria. This data is used to interrogate the problems of policing and protecting marginalised populations across different jurisdictions and how vulnerabilities are exacerbated by the diverse and often conflicting remits of the various agencies involved. The paper discusses how the impact of structural issues such as poverty and exclusion, and the resulting conflation of the criminalisation and victimisation of the Roma, has not only limited the effectiveness of available responses to child trafficking, but also served to aggravate the increasingly adverse conditions faced by ‘Europe’s favourite scapegoat’. The paper additionally seeks to progress a theoretical space by linking such analysis to sociologies of mobility, marginalisation and the pluralised rendering of criminalised and victimised ‘others’. Key here are the myriad ways in which (national and organisational) borders are imagined, governed and responded to by diverse groups of criminals, victims, criminal justice and social services agencies.