Modern Day Slavery? Race and Gender in the Trafficking Protocol

March 8, 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Saunders Hall 637

Please join us at the Women's Studies Colloquium Series for a presentation by Dr. Petrice Flowers, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UHM.

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, (Trafficking Protocol) outlines three essential characteristics of human trafficking: act, means, purpose. This definition appears to be essentially race and gender neutral and includes trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ removal. In practice most state definitions rely on the centrality of coercion, exploitation, and foreignness that constructs a one dimensional and inaccurate understanding of trafficking in persons where “trafficking” becomes shorthand for sex trafficking of foreign women. If the Protocol employs an expansive, seemingly race and gender neutral definition of trafficking, how do state policies almost uniformly become raced and gendered? The literature on human trafficking suggests that the similarity in state anti-trafficking policies can be attributed to the dominant understanding of human trafficking as a threat to state security. I propose an alternative argument that relies on an analysis of race, gender, and movement in international law. I will argue that the taken-for-granted nature of trafficking as the sexual coercion of foreign women is an example of how race and gender are embedded in international law and circulate at the national level; thus, encouraging states to create policies that have race and gender at their core. A genealogy of the Trafficking Protocol will uncover the legacy of the intersection of race and gender embedded in the Protocol through the Protocol’s legal antecedents.>          

Ticket Information
Free and open to the public.

Event Sponsor
Women's Studies , Mānoa Campus

More Information
Brianne Gallagher, 808-388-0821,

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