December 07, 2017
Alicia Peters, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, recently presented at the American Anthropological Associate Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., as part of a panel sponsored by the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology. Based on her ongoing ethnographic study of the human trafficking response in northern New England, Peters gave a paper titled "Where does vulnerability end and human trafficking begin? Expanding the Human Trafficking Response and the Meaning of Trafficking."
According to Peters, the majority of criminal human trafficking cases have been identified and prosecuted in large urban centers as well as in regions of concentrated agricultural production or those with large migrant populations. The paper examined how counter trafficking efforts vary as the response expands to more remote areas of the country with fewer numbers of documented trafficking cases. In particular, the paper explored the implications when state statutes with broader definitions of criminal activity than their federal counterparts combine with increased awareness and momentum to detect and address trafficking on the part of local law enforcement?
The paper also highlighted how notions of vulnerability intersect with working understandings of trafficking and some of the harmful consequences for potential victims.
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