Determining what level of exploitation is enough to qualify as “trafficked” leaves most migrants out of assistance


A post I wrote for the London School of Economics blog on American Politics and Policy:

To warn women about the potential dangers of migration for work, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in the Dominican Republic adopted the slogan “Don’t Believe the Stories.” It was a tough sell. Maria Cristina who had been trafficked into sex work in Argentina planned to leave her small town once again. She worked part-time in a hair salon but her earnings did not come close to paying her bills. When I asked her how she thought she could save money working overseas, especially working low-wage jobs, she smiled and threw up her arms, “Who knows? I’ll do whatever, washing, cleaning, restaurant work.” 

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