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Gender, Technology & Law -session on gendered law making: the case of human trafficking, by Amy Weatherburn

Location: Online
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The 5th session of the Gender, Technology & Law series will be animated by Amy Weatherburn (FRC). The session will be focused on gendered law making: the case of human trafficking and will be animated by dr. Amy Weatherburn..

The development of international legal instruments aimed at tackling human trafficking adopted a gendered lens, emphasizing the need to protect the “ideal victim”. Over time, the concept of human trafficking has expanded, but a focus remains on women and children as they are deemed to be the most vulnerable. 

What are the implications of such an approach and how has is affected perceptions of human trafficking? In particular, we will consider a few contemporary examples of the ongoing impact of focusing on victims of a specific gender, such as the lack of recognition of male victims (namely, in labour exploitation), the role of agency and self-identification (in society, law and adjudication) and the mis-labelling of victimhood (e.g. the superbowl myth, Nordic model). We will also consider the non-recognition of potential victims of trafficking where competing matters of public interest take priority, such as counter-terrorism and security.  

Overall, whilst the emphasis on the ideal victim stems from the understanding of vulnerability, we call for an assessment of victimhood that adopts an inclusive perspective of vulnerability that goes beyond gender. 

In light of the circumstances, the session will be held remotely. If you are interested in participating, please write an email to: