My name is Sebastian Boll. I am the Regional Research Specialist at the United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT), a regional, UNDP-managed project against human trafficking in Southeast Asia and China. We would appreciate your assistance in circulating the below call for papers for a forthcoming confernce in partnership with Mahidol University/Thailand.
Should you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks and best regards,
With two months left to submit abstracts, this is a reminder of the forthcoming academic conference on ‘Irregular Migrants, Refugees or Victims of Human-Trafficking? Analysis, Advocacy and Assistance between Categorizations and (Self-)Identifications’, organized by Mahidol University and UN-ACT in Bangkok on 21-22 June 2017.
Migration, displacement and human trafficking have attracted significant attention globally in recent years. Reactions range - and sometimes change - from outrage over abuse and sympathy for individuals and groups seen as victims, to open hostility towards those perceived as alien intruders or threats to political, cultural and business interests.
Where international instruments of varying age and origin provide a set of at times overlapping categorizations, policy-makers and public discourse often look for clear classifications and impose mutually exclusive labels on groups and individuals, whose circumstances are complex, diverse and not always well understood. Such categorical overlaps, however, may be exploited at the expense of the individuals concerned. It is hardly surprising then that persons caught in this legal and conceptual web at times prove wary of the labels offered to or imposed upon them.
Further, organizations working in the areas of migration, displacement and human trafficking cannot avoid the contest over categorizations and classifications either. Legal definitions help shape opportunities for and conditions of assistance while public perceptions associated with different terms impact on available funds. Donors of development programs expect accountability, which requires clear classifications of those provided with assistance. But actual needs for support may cut across rigid differentiations between economic migrants, refugees or victims of human-trafficking.
The response to migration, displacement and human trafficking is thus in part contingent upon conceptual schemes and classifications and at the same time impacts upon them. It is this interdependence and the challenges resulting from it that are the focus of the conference. We invite:
- conceptual studies,
- reports on empirical research,
- and reflection papers by practitioners
in the areas of migration, displacement, human trafficking and related phenomena in the wider Southeast Asian region.
Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following questions:
- How do individuals respond to labels such as migrant, refugee, victim of human trafficking or slave applied or available to them? What motivates these responses?
- How and to what extent can individuals assert their own agency and express their own views of their circumstances in the face of categorizations and classifications by public discourse, state authorities, or development agencies?
- How are public perceptions shaped and articulated in relation to these labels?
- How are government and non-government service providers impacted by such categories in their ability and willingness to extend services to different populations?
- To what extent, and in what ways, are advocacy and assistance efforts shaped, enhanced or limited by categories in international and national law, or the labels - and changes therein - dominant in public discourse?
- How do problems of, and contests over, classifications impact the compilation of data on migration, displacement, human trafficking and related phenomena?
Proposals including paper abstracts and the CVs of presenters are due by 31 March 2017. More information can be found here: https://sites.google.com/a/mahidol.edu/trafficking-seminar/ .
Please note that we are working to secure funding that allows authors of accepted papers who cannot afford the costs for their participation to take part in the event. Further, we are also exploring options to produce a publication on the conference including the papers presented and discussed.
If you are interested in the event, we are happy to answer any questions you may have. We also appreciate your support to circulate the call among relevant networks.
Looking forward to your submissions and with best regards,
Regional Research Specialist
United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT)
UN Service Building, 1st Floor
Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
10200 Bangkok, Thailand
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