Esson Drywood JCRPP 2018 Accepted LUPIN.pdf (117.06 kB)

Challenging popular representations of child trafficking in football

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2018 by James Esson, Eleanor Drywood
Reports of human trafficking within the football industry have become a topic of academic, political, and media concern. The movement of and trade in aspirant young (male) footballers from West Africa to Europe, and more recently to Asia, dominates these accounts. This article provides an overview of scholarship on this topic, with a specific focus on exploring how this form of human trafficking intersects with broader debates over children’s rights in the context of exploitation tied to irregular forms of migration. The article illustrates how popular narratives associated with the trafficking of young West African footballers mimic stereotypical portrayals of child trafficking, which have implications for the solutions put forward. It is argued that popular representations of football related child trafficking are problematic for several reasons, but two are emphasized here. First, they perpetuate a perception that the mobility of young African footballers entails a deviant form of agency in need of fixing, while simultaneously disassociating the desire to migrate from the broader social structures that need to be addressed. Second, and relatedly, they result in regulations and policy solutions that are inadvertently reductive and often at odds with the best interests of the children they seek to protect.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

Volume

4

Issue

1

Citation

ESSON, J. and DRYWOOD, E., 2018. Challenging popular representations of child trafficking in football. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 4(1), pp. 60-72.

Publisher

© Emerald Publishing

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

08/01/2018

Publication date

2018-03-12

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-01-2018-0005

ISSN

2056-3841

Language

en

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