Trafficking is not simply a new form of slavery, but rather a complex multivalent and multi-sited process (Anderson and O’Connell Davidson, 2003). This article explores the exit strategies employed by coerced laboring subjects (Fernandez 2014; O’Connell Davidson 2015), to shed light on some of the many “varieties of unfreedom” (O’Neill 2011) in the global labor marketplace. Just as documentation has become indispensable for contemporary global mobility (Bales 1999; de Genova 2003; de Genova and Peutz 2010; Lawrance and Stevens 2017), trafficking survivors also need documentation to protect their newfound liberty. I argue that today trafficking victims deploy “unfreedom papers” as powerful evidentiary counterweights to resist securitized migration policies that would seek to reinstantiate their vulnerability and their potential for further trafficking, and in so doing obviate gradations of trafficking subjecthood created by the politicization of asylum. In the absence of corroborating testimony, trafficking survivors and their advocates engage expert witnesses in order to gain humanitarian protection. “Unfreedom papers”—documentation consisting of diverse records detailing the persistence of coercion and the failures of neo-abolitionist legislation interpreted with the authoritative voice of an expert witness—are now indispensable to trafficking survivors.
Hilary BecklesBlack Rebellion in Barbados (Bridgetown, Barbados: Carib Research & Publications1987); Scott Hadden Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press 2001).
See O’Connell DavidsonModern Slavery109. E. O’Brien and M. Wilson “Clinton Bush and Obama: Changing Policy and Rhetoric in the United States Annual Trafficking in Persons Report” in Molly Dragiewicz ed. Global Human Trafficking (London: Routledge 2015) 123–137.
K. Strauss“Coerced, Forced and Unfree Labour: Geographies of Exploitation in Modern Labour Markets,”Geography Compass6 no. 3 (2012): 137–148; J. O’Connell Davidson “New Slavery Old Binaries: Human Trafficking and the Borders of ‘Freedom’ ” Global Networks 10 no. 2 (2010): 244–261; Jo Doezema “Forced to Choose: Beyond the Voluntary v. Forced Prostitution Dichotomy” in Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema eds. Global Sex Workers: Rights Resistance and Redefinition (New York: Routledge 1998) 34–50; O’Connell Davidson Modern Slavery 110.
E.g. Carole BrackenridgeSpoilsports: Understanding and Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Sport (London: Routledge2001). Also Eric Leberg Understanding Child Molesters: Taking Charge (London: Sage 1997); Kofi Boakye “Culture and Nondisclosure of Child Sexual Abuse in Ghana: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration” Law & Social Inquiry 34 no. 4 (2009): 951–979; Amah A. Amankwah “Ghana: Red Alert-Pedophiles All Over” Public Agenda 30 Mar. 2009. http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200903301554.html [date accessed 30 Jan. 2016]; see also Plan International 2009 pilot study [http://ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=163750] [date accessed 30 Jan. 2016].
G.A. Jones and S. Chant“Globalising Initiatives for Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction: Exploring ‘Failure’ with Reference to Education and Work among Urban Youth in The Gambia and Ghana,”Geoforum40 no. 2 (2009): 184–196; J.A. Arthur. “Rehabilitation of Juvenile Offenders in Ghana: Focus on the Social Context of Delinquency” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 24 nos. 1–2 (1997): 23–37.
See C. Dauvergne and J. Millbank“Forced Marriage as a Harm in Domestic and International Law,”Modern Law Review73 (2010): 57–88; C. Goeller “Forced Marriage and the Granting of Asylum” William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law (Fall 2007): 173–194.