Afong means strength

[Here is a sneak peek at the Preface to my book manuscript on trafficked children] It was a crisp fall afternoon in 2013. I was waiting in front of the Silver Diner in suburban Maryland to meet Evelyn. Several years older than when I first interviewed her, Evelyn has not lost her exuberance. Pushing her …

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Low hanging fruit: Domestic minor sex trafficking v. foreign-born trafficked children

I have been conducting empirical research on child trafficking in the United States for over a decade. I began by “studying up”: looking at existing decision-makers, policies, and programs set up to prevent child trafficking, protect trafficked children, and prosecute perpetrators. Access to trafficked children and adolescents, guarded by their protectors almost as closely as …

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The Global Catch: Trafficking of Fishermen

Although trafficking continues to capture the imaginations of the global public, we rarely hear about trafficked men. Most of the international focus is on women and children; especially those trafficked for sexual exploitation. This week Twitter is especially busy with tweets about the upcoming Counter Child Trafficking Online Conference. Kevin Bales is personally inviting people …

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Methodology: CBPR

CBPR or community-based participatory research has been much lauded by many anthropologists and other social scientists. This model pairs academic researchers and community members; both partners should have active roles in shaping the research’s design and implementation. In theory, CBPR offers many benefits to academic researchers, the community involved in the research, and individuals in …

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The plight of the Rohingya

We spent Saturday afternoon in an apartment complex housing urban poor, including refugees and labor migrants. The 10-story building, eerily reminiscent of the 1970s socialist architecture in my native Poland, is badly in need of a fresh coat of paint. Despite the presence of a cleaning crew sorting recyclables from the adjoining dumpster, garbage was …

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Syrians in Malaysia

The number of Syrian refugees is on the rise. Reports about Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries abound, but until today I was not aware that refugees from Syria are also arriving in Malaysia. The number of arrivals from Syria is not clear; UNHCR-Malaysia does not mention them on their website. And yet local NGOs are …

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Access to health care

After an all day of training on research ethics and interviewing techniques, our refugee research assistants have been sent to the field to identify and recruit families for household interviews in the Chin and Daai Burmese, Iranian, and Sri Lankan refugee communities as well as among the urban poor. Sadly, we could not find a …

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