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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth A. Faulkner x
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Human Rights, Law, and Society

This thought-provoking collection brings together academics from a range of disciplines to examine modern slavery.

It illustrates how different disciplinary positions, methodologies and perspectives form and clash together through a kaleidoscopic view and forms a unique insight into critical modern slavery studies. Providing a platform to critique the legal, ideological and political responses to the issue, experts interrogate the construct of modern slavery and the anti-trafficking discourse which have dominated contemporary responses to and understandings of exploitation.

Drawing from real-world examples across the world, this is a vital contribution to the study of modern slavery.

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There is nothing new or uniquely modern about exploitation. Yet this idea of ‘newness’ continues to dominate, with numerous exploitative practices drawn under the elastic construct of modern slavery and/or human trafficking. The image on the front cover was therefore selected not simply because it is aesthetically appealing but also because the kaleidoscope represents how this interdisciplinary volume has been drawn together. A kaleidoscope is traditionally thought of as a toy ‘consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns that are visible through an eyehole when the tube is rotated’. This creation of constantly changing patterns or the sequence of objects and elements illustrates both the issue of modern slavery and its perceived ‘newness’. The contributors interrogate the construct of modern slavery and anti-trafficking discourse which have dominated contemporary responses to and understandings of exploitation. Through providing insights and evidence we need to continue navigating a different path – beyond the racialized legacy of anti-trafficking and fears of modern slavery

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There is nothing new or uniquely modern about exploitation. Yet this idea of ‘newness’ continues to dominate, with numerous exploitative practices drawn under the elastic construct of modern slavery and/or human trafficking. The image on the front cover was therefore selected not simply because it is aesthetically appealing but also because the kaleidoscope represents how this interdisciplinary volume has been drawn together. A kaleidoscope is traditionally thought of as a toy ‘consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns that are visible through an eyehole when the tube is rotated’. This creation of constantly changing patterns or the sequence of objects and elements illustrates both the issue of modern slavery and its perceived ‘newness’. The contributors interrogate the construct of modern slavery and anti-trafficking discourse which have dominated contemporary responses to and understandings of exploitation. Through providing insights and evidence we need to continue navigating a different path – beyond the racialized legacy of anti-trafficking and fears of modern slavery

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Fears of human trafficking, amalgamated under the rubric of ‘modern slavery’, are frequently presented as new issues of grave concern, unique to the 21st century. Yet, this ignores the historical context from which fears of modern slavery emerged. This introductory chapter provides the broader context within which the collection was drawn together as a contribution to the growing field of critical modern slavery studies. Through reflecting upon the legal definitions of slavery and human trafficking prior to considering the position of human rights, to contextualize the legal origins of this new global concern. The chapter subsequently provides an overview of the three parts of the collection; namely, Part I ‘Theoretical Perspectives’, Part II ‘Structural Issues in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Practice’, and Part III ‘Case Studies’. The organizing themes speak to the central aim of the collection, to challenge the construction of ‘newness’ via an interdisciplinary interrogation of modern slavery.

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There is nothing new or uniquely modern about exploitation. Yet this idea of ‘newness’ continues to dominate, with numerous exploitative practices drawn under the elastic construct of modern slavery and/or human trafficking. The image on the front cover was therefore selected not simply because it is aesthetically appealing but also because the kaleidoscope represents how this interdisciplinary volume has been drawn together. A kaleidoscope is traditionally thought of as a toy ‘consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns that are visible through an eyehole when the tube is rotated’. This creation of constantly changing patterns or the sequence of objects and elements illustrates both the issue of modern slavery and its perceived ‘newness’. The contributors interrogate the construct of modern slavery and anti-trafficking discourse which have dominated contemporary responses to and understandings of exploitation. Through providing insights and evidence we need to continue navigating a different path – beyond the racialized legacy of anti-trafficking and fears of modern slavery

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