Abstract

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, passed by the US Congress in 2000, criminalizes the forced or deceptive movement of people into exploitative conditions of labor and provides services to victims. The law makes a symbolic distinction (although it holds no legal meaning) between “sex” and “non-sex” trafficking, (i.e., movement into forced prostitution and movement into other forced labor sectors), thereby marking “sex trafficking” as a special category. This article explores how the law is translated into action through symbolically-mediated processes that incorporate assumptions and narratives about sex, gender, and victimization, as well as how the symbolic privileging of “sex trafficking” results in uneven treatment of victims.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 221-255
Launched on MUSE
2013-03-01
Open Access
No
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