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Problematizing Canadian Human Trafficking Policy


Problematizing Canadian Human Trafficking Policy

Simunic, Emily (2021) Problematizing Canadian Human Trafficking Policy. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis seeks to determine how human trafficking is problematized in Canadian policy and what subsequent effects are produced by this problem representation in the lived experience of political subjects in Canada. Using Carol Bacchi’s “What’s the problem represented to be?” poststructural analytic strategy to Canadian policy texts, I demonstrate that human trafficking is represented as a “criminality problem” in Canadian policy texts. The criminality problematization represents the “problem” of human trafficking to be crime requiring state intervention in the form of enforcement and punishment through fees and incarceration. The criminality problematization is predominantly interested in women as potential victims of sex trafficking, and emphasizes strategies to safeguard women from predominantly male violence. Chapters three and four perform Foucauldian archaeology and genealogy, troubling the assumptions which undergird the problematization and revealing the impact of white slavery as a discursive precedent to human trafficking. Chapter five identifies the discursive, subjectification and lived effects of the problematization, revealing that the criminality problematization has served only to reinforce preexisting inequalities, oppressions, and vulnerabilities that create the conditions that lead to human trafficking in the first place. I conclude that the criminality problematization of human trafficking cannot yield socially just policy, and I suggest the “inequality problematization,” as an alternative problem representation that considers human trafficking to be a “problem” rooted in, and exacerbated by, inequality.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Simunic, Emily
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Public Policy and Public Administration
Date:6 July 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Paterson, Stephanie
ID Code:988525
Deposited On:29 Nov 2021 16:46
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 16:46
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