Victims of trafficking and modern slavery or agents of change? Migrants, brokers, and the state in Ghana and Myanmar

Deshingkar, Priya, Awumbila, Mariama and Teye, Joseph Kofi (2019) Victims of trafficking and modern slavery or agents of change? Migrants, brokers, and the state in Ghana and Myanmar. Journal of The British Academy, 7 (S1). ISSN 2052–7217

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Abstract

The authors provide critical insights into the creation of precarious and unfree labour in Ghana and Myanmar by examining the inner workings of the migration industry and the roles of brokers, the state and employers in positioning migrants in exploitative work in Libya, The Middle East, Singapore and Thailand. The evidence is based on in-depth interviews with returned and current migrant construction workers and domestic workers, formal and informal brokers, transport providers and other stakeholders. The research shows that brokerage is culturally embedded in local systems of reciprocity and closely depends on the collusion and cooptation of state actors. The research suggests that rather than viewing migrants and those who mediate migration in opposition and the state as a benevolent facilitator, they should be analysed as co-constituting systems of brokerage, irregular migration and exploitative work. The findings highlight the need for states to take greater responsibility in managing their own involvement in creating modern slavery. At the same time, the findings highlight the ways in which migrants use brokerage to exercise agency by taking advantage of irregular migration routes and informal employment.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 13:53
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84156

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