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Trafficking in Slavery's Wake

Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa

Benjamin N. Lawrance and Richard L. Roberts

Publication Year: 2012

Women and children have been bartered, pawned, bought, and sold within and beyond Africa for longer than records have existed. This important collection examines the ways trafficking in women and children has changed from the aftermath of the “end of slavery” in Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present.

The formal abolition of the slave trade and slavery did not end the demand for servile women and children. Contemporary forms of human trafficking are deeply interwoven with their historical precursors, and scholars and activists need to be informed about the long history of trafficking in order to better assess and confront its contemporary forms. This book brings together the perspectives of leading scholars, activists, and other experts, creating a conversation that is essential for understanding the complexity of human trafficking in Africa.

Human trafficking is rapidly emerging as a core human rights issue for the twenty-first century. Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake is excellent reading for the researching, combating, and prosecuting of trafficking in women and children.

Published by: Ohio University Press

Series: New African Histories

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

Reports and images of human trafficking are appearing with ever greater regularity on television, magazines, and the Internet. Collectively they suggest that we are in the midst of an epidemic of trafficking. The most recent Trafficking in Persons Report...

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Intro: Contextualizing Trafficking inWomen and Children in Africa

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pp. 1-26

The fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, and the subsequent unraveling of the Soviet Union catapulted the problem of trafficking in women onto the world stage as impoverished Eastern European women were duped by recruiters into the sex trade and trafficked...

Part I: Trafficking in Colonial Africa

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Trafficking and Reenslavement

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pp. 29-44

In the waning years of slavery on Pemba Island in the Zanzibar archipelago, a variety of people, mostly women and children, petitioned the British viceconsul for help because they had recently been kidnapped and trafficked as slaves. Scholars often focus...

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“Without the Slave Trade,No Recruitment”

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pp. 45-64

Against a current of anti–slave trade measures adopted by Great Britain and its allies since the early nineteenth century, the slave trade in the lower Congo region of west-central Africa experienced a major revival between 1830 and 1860. Since the Congo River...

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The End of Slavery, “Crises” overTrafficking, and the ColonialState in the French Soudan

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pp. 65-85

Among the great paradoxes in the making of the modern world were the unintended consequences of European abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and, later, slavery itself. Far from yielding an industrious and obedient working class, the abolition of the slave trade encouraged freed men and women to become...

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“Under the Guise ofGuardianship and Marriage”

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pp. 86-100

Following the colonial conquest of the French Soudan in the second half of the nineteenth century and with the official ban of slavery decreed in French West Africa in 1905, slaves began to leave their masters. In the region of Kayes, women, who made up the...

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Sex Trafficking, Prostitution,and the Law in Colonial BritishWest Africa, 1911–43

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pp. 101-120

In 1939, Bessey Assor, a Nigerian living in the Gold Coast, traveled back to Nigeria to purchase a young girl. After paying the girl’s parents an unspecified amount in cash, Assor brought her to the Gold Coast under the pretense of marrying her to John Nuji. Nuji was later discovered to be a nine-year-old boy and no marriage took place. Rather...

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Islamic Law and Trafficking inWomen and Children in theIndian Ocean World

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pp. 121-142

Historians make much of the impact that the transatlantic slave trade and New World slavery have had on contemporary understandings of world history and particularly the history of Africa in relation to the Euro-American world. The history of the transatlantic slave trade is thus a central feature in the construction of the...

Part II: Contemporary Antitraffickingin Africa and Beyond

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Trafficking and HumanExploitation in InternationalLaw, with Special Reference toWomen and Children in Africa

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pp. 145-162

It may seem counterintuitive but the issue of the trafficking of women and children in Africa has yet to be addressed in legal terms, at the continental level. This is made easier by the understanding that trafficking is not synonymous with the slave trade...

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Documenting Child Slaverywith Personal Testimony

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pp. 163-183

In 2003, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that West African childtrafficking networks involved “thousands of children.” The report documented “the trafficking of girls into domestic and market work and the trafficking of boys into agricultural work.”1 The organization made specific recommendations with respect to prosecution...

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Child-Trafficking Polic ymaking between Africa and Europe

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pp. 184-204

Trafficking in human beings is a major problem in Europe and beyond, but estimates on the number of children who have been trafficked do not provide a comprehensive picture of the size of the problem.1 Africa is a region of origin for trafficked women and children and also...

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The Story of Elsie

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pp. 205-220

Elsie was born in the Eastern Cape to a mother who did not want her. Elsie does not know her date of birth, so she’s never celebrated a birthday. She never knew her father and was raised from infancy by her maternal grandmother, who took care of...

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Ranking States

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pp. 221-240

Thirty years after human trafficking reemerged as an international policy agenda and a decade after the Palermo Protocol defined trafficking as a crime, a surge in reports of trafficking in West Africa has given rise to an antitrafficking industry. Well into this global “war against trafficking...

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Afterword: The Paradox of Women, Children,and Slavery

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pp. 241-254

There is nothing new about the enslavement of women. There have always been women slaves. Until the publication of this book, it might have been possible to say that there is equally nothing new about our understanding of women in slavery. This volume, however, illuminates...

Selected Bibiliography

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pp. 255-258


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pp. 259-264


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pp. 265-271

E-ISBN-13: 9780821444184
Print-ISBN-13: 9780821420027

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: New African Histories