The BBC World Debate program recently held a debate on Human Trafficking with panelists Laura Agustin, Author of "Sex at the Margins"; Sophie Flak, Executive Vice-President of Accor; Rani Hong, Trafficking Survivor; Siddharth Kara, Author of "Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery"; and Ronald Noble, Secretary General of Interpol. Unfortunately, BBC videos are not embeddable, so I can only link to them here.
I have to say, this starts out slow, but the debate picks up quickly. These are really difficult discussions that I think are important for the field to have. There are some quick points that obviously were not settled and it would be great to hear the point of view of our readers:
- For all of the controversy that Agustin creates through her candidly hardened point of view, some of her points are difficult issues that service providers are faced with every day. At one point she stated that people are often educated or trained on the worst possible scenarios of trafficking, but that migration often invokes a range of abuse and exploitation. While some members of the audience disagreed with the premise of debating the definition, without (a more specific) one, do we risk missing potential victims and/or exposing/deporting migrants who then do not meet this "worst possible scenario?"
- Will it ever be possible to have reliable numbers of those trafficked? If not, will that affect the work of advocates and how?
- Just generally, how does the language we use surrounding trafficking affect the way we combat it? When we use numbers we don't fully understand? When we overly associate it with organized crime? Etc.
Thank you for any responses!