Warranting Attention in Anti-Trafficking Discourse
A highly lucrative industry of marketers has popped up to drive the growing conversation on trafficking. “We must do something,” is the rallying cry. “Donate now!” However, dollars are scarce for practical prevention, intervention, rehabilitation and reintegration programs, while millions are funneled to public advocacy and media campaigns with limited, if loose, metrics for impact.
Are we witnessing a self-serving cycle? Worse, are we fooling ourselves into thinking that an awareness blitz can resolve an issue that, as far as we can tell, has endured in various forms for thousands of years?
Michael Brosowski isn’t the first to point this out. Yet, he warrants our attention – Blue Dragon is highly esteemed in Vietnam, on the frontline and involved in precisely the controversial, dangerous work that deters or is beyond the capacity/will of other actors.
I think we need to be more comfortable sitting in this grey area, feeling the tension between inaction and action. There are many legitimate questions about raids, best practices and undermining the role of the state – some countries enjoy donor funded capacity-building projects to counter trafficking, while simultaneously underreporting, minimizing or facilitating the issue. However, there are also human beings that can be helped at this very moment.