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  • Author or Editor: Runa Lazzarino x
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The Victim Journey

Throughout the world, vulnerable subjects are being deceived into entering an abusive journey, in the organ trade, exploitative labour business, and forced criminality – and their lives will never be the same.

This book traces the journey of victims/survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking into and within the UK, from recruitment to representation to (re)integration. Using global comparative case studies, it discusses recruitment tactics and demand, prevention in supply chains, issues with effective legal protection and care services, vulnerability to re-trafficking and the ideological misrepresentation of vulnerable migrants and victims/survivors in media, the film industry, legislation, and more.

Rooted in diverse practitioner experience, disciplines and empirical research, this book bridges the experience-research-practice-policy gap by bringing to the fore survivors’ voices. In doing so, it offers crucial suggestions for better public awareness, policies and practices that will impact interventions in the UK and beyond.

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In this conclusion, we deepen how this volume is a multifaceted and four-dimensional exploration of the journey of the victim/survivor of modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT). We highlight how the effort of all contributions was directed at bridging a few disconnections, in order to lay the foundations for a terrain in critical modern slavery studies where survivors/victims will have more voice, and power. One key disconnection is the one between ideologies/representations and practices, another one is between the recruitment and the recovery moment, and finally another separation the volume criticises is that between Global North and South. There are several areas of MSHT that could not be covered, such as survivors’ rehabilitation into employment opportunities or policing practices and attitudes. Another limitation of the volume is the insufficient involvement of survivors. However, this book has tried to decolonise the discourse of MSHT via assembling contributions from different positions and roles to fragment a monolithic view on the phenomenon and to cast light on different moments of MSHT – what we have called the victim journey – to show the complexity of the phenomenon. This collection intends to promote an approach and awareness of contexts favouring survivors’ self-inclusion, which is anti-tokenistic, respectful, reflexive and aware of ethical and power dynamics.

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This volume draws a comprehensive picture of the modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) victim/survivor trajectory. The main aim has been to offer a critical, yet ‘down-to-earth’, overview of the victim/survivor journey, intended both in actual and metaphorical terms. To achieve this, we have put together contributors across the chapters from different fields and perspectives, including from academic and non-academic fields (academic who are also-practitioners or academic writing together with practitioners). While some draw from critical theories (in power, race, migration, gender, epistemology), others are descriptive of a specific phenomenon of investigation.

The volume is a multifaceted and four-dimensional exploration of the journey of the trafficked person. From recruitment through to representation and (re)integration to an examination of the intersection of MSHT with other discourses, in media, films and services; from the macro perspective of organised crime and large business, to the micro-physics of the processes of self- and sense-making of assisted survivors; from how the demand from the UK impacts the online sexual exploitation of children on the other side of the world, to how legal cases are conducted in the UK, it will enable the reader to ‘connect the dots’ making up this journey. By approaching this complex topic – understood both as an actual phenomenon and as a construct – from different angles, professional roles and positionings, we would like to equip readers to be able to build up their own, better-informed interpretations of ‘the victim’s journey’.

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This volume draws a comprehensive picture of the modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) victim/survivor trajectory. The main aim has been to offer a critical, yet ‘down-to-earth’, overview of the victim/survivor journey, intended both in actual and metaphorical terms. To achieve this, we have put together contributors across the chapters from different fields and perspectives, including from academic and non-academic fields (academic who are also-practitioners or academic writing together with practitioners). While some draw from critical theories (in power, race, migration, gender, epistemology), others are descriptive of a specific phenomenon of investigation.

The volume is a multifaceted and four-dimensional exploration of the journey of the trafficked person. From recruitment through to representation and (re)integration to an examination of the intersection of MSHT with other discourses, in media, films and services; from the macro perspective of organised crime and large business, to the micro-physics of the processes of self- and sense-making of assisted survivors; from how the demand from the UK impacts the online sexual exploitation of children on the other side of the world, to how legal cases are conducted in the UK, it will enable the reader to ‘connect the dots’ making up this journey. By approaching this complex topic – understood both as an actual phenomenon and as a construct – from different angles, professional roles and positionings, we would like to equip readers to be able to build up their own, better-informed interpretations of ‘the victim’s journey’.

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This volume draws a comprehensive picture of the modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) victim/survivor trajectory. The main aim has been to offer a critical, yet ‘down-to-earth’, overview of the victim/survivor journey, intended both in actual and metaphorical terms. To achieve this, we have put together contributors across the chapters from different fields and perspectives, including from academic and non-academic fields (academic who are also-practitioners or academic writing together with practitioners). While some draw from critical theories (in power, race, migration, gender, epistemology), others are descriptive of a specific phenomenon of investigation.

The volume is a multifaceted and four-dimensional exploration of the journey of the trafficked person. From recruitment through to representation and (re)integration to an examination of the intersection of MSHT with other discourses, in media, films and services; from the macro perspective of organised crime and large business, to the micro-physics of the processes of self- and sense-making of assisted survivors; from how the demand from the UK impacts the online sexual exploitation of children on the other side of the world, to how legal cases are conducted in the UK, it will enable the reader to ‘connect the dots’ making up this journey. By approaching this complex topic – understood both as an actual phenomenon and as a construct – from different angles, professional roles and positionings, we would like to equip readers to be able to build up their own, better-informed interpretations of ‘the victim’s journey’.

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Subjection (Butler, 1997) draws together the simultaneous being-made and self-making process vis-à-vis power. In this chapter, we apply it to frame how modern slavery and human trafficking survivors need to continually subjugate to fallacious and ambiguous systems of assistance, while also carving out their own spaces for rebuilding lives and identities. We focus onto specific challenges/compromises for survivors within the systems, such as (self-)identification, consent, mental healthcare, education and employment services. We combine voices of survivors and frontline practitioners from the UK and three Global South contexts (Vietnam, Brazil and Nepal), where we conducted research. We want to uncover survivors’ own perspectives and experiences within their journeys, and to stress the self-making moment of the subjection dialectic. The aim is to over-turn vulnerability and trauma into places where the anti-colonial voice can speak. In the concluding parts, we connect the difficulties in subject-remaking encountered by survivors with the elaboration of their sense of practical justice and we offer some recommendations for a system of care which is more survivor-centred.

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A key challenge of this book project has been to weave in and bring to the fore victims/survivors’ voice in trying to respond to the necessity for greater and better collaborative knowledge production and service design in critical modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) studies. In this respect, the co-authorship of the introduction with an international (J. Julia) and a domestic (Emily) survivor serves a few ends. Firstly, it constitutes a tangible effort to participatory knowledge production. Secondly, this experiment tends towards overcoming survivors’ voice as tokenism. A third purpose of having a co-created storytelling at the onset of the collection is of standing as a more classic introduction, and of gluing the three sections and the chapters of the volume together. Finally, the first-person storytelling aims to point to the current dearth of survivors’ participation in both knowledge- and practice-production in MSHT studies and systems. Accordingly, this introduction first travels through our collaborative victim journey, which will serve to present the three sections and 13 chapters of the volume. After, we offer a quick overview of the state-of-the-art of survivors’ participation in MSHT studies, accompanied by some self-reflective considerations on how to contribute to de-Westernise/decolonise the discourse of MSHT.

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