This analysis of how the Bush administration brought religious and theological language to bear on the issue of human trafficking suggests that while the recourse to theological language appeared to highlight the imperative for decisive anti-trafficking measures, this strategy actually entailed policies that are inimical to ending trafficking violations. Zimmerman analyzes how the Bush administration used religious rhetoric to legitimate introducing to the United States’ anti-trafficking policies a sexual ideology that turns on a delegitimation of all nonmarital sexual activity, and the paradoxical effects that have been wrought on anti-trafficking efforts by this recourse to religious rhetoric. The article concludes by offering a set of recommendations for how the Obama administration can begin to reorient U.S. anti-trafficking policies away from their current preoccupation with moral impropriety toward promoting and protecting human rights.


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pp. 79-99
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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