C – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors

Global trafficking / global migration: Marginalization, integration and minorities

Event Details

  • Date

    Thursday, 25 June - 13:00 – 15:00

  • Venue
    tba
  • Theme
    C – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors
Convenor
  • Ned Richardson-Little (University of Erfurt)
Chair
  • Ned Richardson-Little (University of Erfurt)
Commentator
  • Ned Richardson-Little (University of Erfurt)
Panelists
  • Sonja Dolinsek (University of Erfurt)
  • Stefan Höhne (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen)
  • Ruth Ennis (University Leipzig)

Papers

  • Sonja Dolinsek
    From “White Slavery” to “Sexual Slavery”: Migration, Race and “Othering” in Anti-Trafficking Regimes (1960s-1980s)

    From “White Slavery” to “Sexual Slavery”: Migration, Race and “Othering” in Anti-Trafficking Regimes (1960s-1980s)

    This paper focuses on the historical analysis of transnational discourses on “trafficking” for the purposes of prostitution between the 1960s and the 1980s. Based on archival research in a number of NGOs, the United Nations and governments (USA, UK, France) it will analyse the resurgence of the discourse of “white slavery” in France in the 1950s and 1960s. It will then follow and trace the way in which the French concept of “White Slavery” was re-framed as “sexual slavery” at the international level in the 1980s. Specifically, it will show the connection between post-war French discourses on “White Slavery”, their anti-Arab sentiment and the repressive politics of sexuality that these discourses reflected and fostered and the emergence of the concept of “Female Sexual Slavery” publicized by the American author Kathleen Barry. It analyzes the ways in which anti-trafficking discourses shifted from representing trafficking victims as the European “white slave” until the 1960s and 1970s to their racialization as the sexual and exoticized “other” in representations of the South-East Asian “sex slave” in the 1980s. Similarly, it traces the construction of the perpetrators as undesired, racialized “others” on the move towards Western countries. The paper explores the ways in which anti-trafficking narratives and the social and governmental regulations that they engender reflect and produce highly gendered and sexualized exclusionary practices and discourses of “othering” in the realm of migration, sexuality and labour.
  • Stefan Höhne
    “A Laboratory of Europe?” - Görlitzer Park, Global Migration and the Making of Dangerous Urban Spaces

    “A Laboratory of Europe?” - Görlitzer Park, Global Migration and the Making of Dangerous Urban Spaces

    In the last decade, Görlitzer Park, a small park in Berlin Kreuzberg, has become the focus of a widely reported political struggle and a symbol of both the crisis of public order and new approaches of inclusion and de-stigmatization. While the park has been the scene of an informal drug market (mainly for cannabis) since its opening in the 1990s, in the last decade, the rising numbers of refugees and migrants as well as heated dynamics of gentrification and touristification in Kreuzberg have generated a moral panic among residents, politicians and the media, which frequently portrayed the park and its surroundings as drowning in a vortex of violence, drugs and anarchy. Local government agencies and the police all attempted to take action against the dealers, from declaring the park a "Zero-Tolerance-Zone" and increasing patrols, raids and arrests, to strategies of so called "soft policing", such as design interventions, mobilizing neighborhood organizations, or new approaches of social work and harm reduction. However, while these efforts are often only met with limited success, the Görlitzer Park has transformed into a symbol for the contested migration orders in Europe as well as the ongoing struggle over public space and the right to the city.
  • Ruth Ennis
    Language in formulation; Analysing the making of the 1902 International Agreement against the “White Slave Traffic”

    Language in formulation; Analysing the making of the 1902 International Agreement against the “White Slave Traffic”

    In Paris in 1902, an International Agreement against the “White Slave Traffic” was drafted by high ranking state officials from 14 European powers and Brazil. The roots of how this agreement was formulated lie, however, in the first International Congress on “White Slave Traffic” which was organised by a British society and largely attended by a collection of moral reformists, semi-state figures and abolitionist feminists. Following the establishment of a number of national vigilance committtees across Europe in the spring of 1899, their members were then tasked with gathering knowledge relating to ‘white slavery’ in their country. This was to be done by answering the standard set of questions sent to them with the invitation to attend the upcoming congress. Once the delegates were gathered in London, their varied results and conflicting positions were reported in plenary. It was, however, the fear-based descriptions of foreign criminals as threats to moral order and state stability which gained the floor. The dominant voices achieved consensus in defining “White Slave Traffic” as the workings of international criminal networks in ‘the East but also more or less throughout Europe, with branches though Constantinople and destinations to South American ports’. A number of figures, such as William Coote, René Bérenger and Paster Buchhardt, stood out in these processes as being able to exercise authority over debate and language formulation, while also assuming roles which ensured that the congress followed up on it’s commitments and that governments were set into action. As a result of asking how the political and legal language around ‘white slavery’ came to be agreed upon and formulated, this paper breaks apart the processes of the 1902 Agreement in it’s making. On the one hand, the significance of the 1899 questionnaires are examined, not only in terms of how they came to be used as ‘evidence’ of ‘white slavery’, but also in terms of how they facilitated the negotion of internationally agreed language for policies of marginalization and exclusion. On the other hand, a look at the transfer of hegemonically fitting knowledge, ideas and langauge between the 1899 and 1902 contexts brings light to how certain actors carved out new spaces of influence and inclusion for themselves in the processes of making the 1902 International Agreement against the “White Slave Traffic”.

Abstract

This panel will explore how multiple mechanisms of marginalization and integration of minority groups emerge from global trafficking and migration. On the one hand, prohibitionist approaches to trafficking build on and strengthen the stigmatization of minorities who are categorized as “illegal” due to their associations with the trade in sex and drugs. Global flows of people and prohibited substances have spurred the spatialization of criminalized forms of migration and the creation of categories of criminalization, which in turn build upon existing forms of social exclusion through race, class and gender. Historically, anti-trafficking discourse and policies have been associated with racism, including antisemitism and anti-Arab sentiment as well as the gendered policing of women at borders. On the other hand, economic activity associated with trafficking also integrated minorities into society via their participation in illicit markets, which are patronized by members of majority groups. Under systems where labour in fields such as sex work and the narcotics trade is either informal or outright prohibited. Yet the black market plays a decisive role in creating material benefits for the majority society while maintaining the marginalization of minorities, both in established communities as well as those who have themselves been trafficked or participated in global flows of migration. The papers in this panel will examine various aspects of these processes including how moral panics are constructed and how they in turn act to marginalize specific groups, the evolving nature of certain categories as a means of political and social control, and the interrelationship of integration and exclusion through illicit economies. Working from differing methodological backgrounds including global, transnational and urban history, this panel aims to develop new approaches to the field as a result of this collaboration. Chronologically, the papers examine this problem from the late 19th century until the present-day providing insights into the evolution of modern anti-trafficking systems in Europe and globally.