School of Law

A Moral Geography of Sex Trafficking

25 November 2014 | 17:00-18:00 | Seminar
G.33 Liberty Building, School of Law


The extreme harm of sex trafficking has caught the public's imagination with other forms of trafficked labour less likely to encourage politicians and governments to act on international conventions and domestic legislation with the same speed.

There are a number of reasons for this differentiation of sex trafficking from other forms of exploited labour which this presentation will explore.  The first relates to the heterosexual scripts of masculinity and femininity and the differentiation between smuggling, trafficking and illegal migration, where men are positioned as more likley victims of smuggling and labour exploitation, while women are more likley to be seen as victims of trafficking and sex exploitation. The second relates to the script of victimisation which is so central to the capacity to rescue, and is in fact an impossibility for women without claiming this status, even if the have been exploited.  The third relates to the ways in which consent is problematised for women, especially in commercialised sex where consent is negated by the payment of money. 

In all of this is the creation of a hierarchy of victimisation, where women from less developed nations are perceived as less capable than women from wealthy nations to make their own decisions to cross borders to sell sex.


Professor Belinda Carpenter (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia).

This event is hosted by the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies.

Attendance at this event is free.  

Location Details

G.33 Liberty Building
School of Law
University of Leeds

(Please use postcode LS6 1AN for Sat Nav's)

The Liberty Building is number 16 on the campus map.

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