Trafficking in human beings is the object of considerable concern for a wide range of actors, including states, rights activists and feminists. It seems that it offers a rare opportunity for dialogue on questions related to the exploitation and abuse of migrant labour. This paper urges caution, and argues that loose definition of terms conceals both practical and philosophical problems with framing trafficking as an immigration issue. Using a UK case study it demonstrates how in practise states and migrants’ rights activists have very different understandings of the relation between trafficking and immigration controls.
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