Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

The War on Humans: Anti-trafficking in the Caribbean (Kamala Kempadoo)

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 4:30pm

Silverstein Forum, Stiteler Hall First Floor (Accessibility) / Free and open to the public
Co-sponsored by the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality & Women 

Discussant: Michael Hanchard (Africana Studies)

All attendees are encouraged to read Prof. Kempadoo's paper, available here.

PROFESSOR KEMPADOO CONSIDERS THE ATTENTION to human trafficking in the Caribbean by governments of the region. She first examines how countries in the region have been positioned in the annual US Trafficking in Persons Report from 2001 to 2016, discussing shortcomings of hegemonic discourses to trafficking such as problems with definitions, statistics and evidence, the political underpinnings of the TIP report, and contradictions in indices of ‘development’ in the region. She then turns to examine Caribbean government responses. She argues that a tension identified in earlier state responses between an increase in anti-trafficking policies alongside a growing refusal to accept the definitions and information produced by the US State Department has intensified, and that the ‘collateral damage’ of anti-trafficking interventions continues to affect some of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the region. Building from counter hegemonic discourses, her paper also suggests ways to address the subject that support human rights.

KAMALA KEMPADOO is Professor of Social Science, York University, and is affiliated with Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the graduate programs in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, Political Science, Social and Political Thought, and Development Studies. Specializations include transnational and Caribbean feminisms, human trafficking discourses, studies of sexual labor-economic relations, Black studies, Caribbean studies, and gender and development. She is author of Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean (1999) and Sexing the Caribbean (2004); and co-author of Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights (2005/2015).

All attendees are encouraged to read Prof. Kempadoo's paper, available here.