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Relational geographies of human trafficking: inequality, manoeuvring and im/mobility across space and time

journal contribution
posted on 31.07.2018 by Matej Blazek, James Esson, Darren Smith
This paper demonstrates why and how a fuller geographical perspective extends contemporary scholarship on human trafficking within and beyond the discipline. We employ a relational approach and draw on in-depth qualitative research with trafficked persons and a range of stakeholders in Slovakia and the United Kingdom (UK), to depict how the processes underpinning human trafficking are non-linear, operate instantaneously at multiple intersecting scales and temporalities, and through diverse mobilities. The analysis problematises the discrete and homogeneous notion of space coupled with a linear conceptualisation of time and, more specifically, the normative portrayals of recruitment, transit, and exploitation as distinct and sequential phases of human trafficking. Instead, the individuated experiences of trafficked persons are examined in relational geographies of inequality, manoeuvring and mobilities. Such a conceptual shift ensures that efforts to understand and combat human trafficking address its effects as well as the wider social relations and structural conditions that facilitate exploitation. We conclude the paper by outlining how a relational-geographic perspective has the potential to foster new forms of dialogue and inquiry within and beyond the discipline.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Volume

44

Issue

1

Pages

63-78

Citation

BLAZEK, M., ESSON, J. and SMITH, D.P., 2018. Relational geographies of human trafficking: inequality, manoeuvring and im/mobility across space and time. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44 (1), pp.63-78.

Publisher

Wiley © Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: BLAZEK, M., ESSON, J. and SMITH, D.P., 2018. Relational geographies of human trafficking: inequality, manoeuvring and im/mobility across space and time. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44 (1), pp.63-78], which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12271. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions

Acceptance date

26/07/2018

Publication date

2018-09-30

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0020-2754

eISSN

1475-5661

Language

en

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