Imperfect Victims and an Imperfect Protocol: Reflecting on the Trafficking Experiences of Indonesian Migrant Fishermen

Avyanthi Azis, Ridwan Wahyudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the event of its twentieth anniversary, this exploratory essay invites reflections on the Palermo Protocol by sketching a profile of a subset of victims, migrant fishermen. Their relative autonomy, and the context of their labor exploitation in a fragmented, global industry, constitute a trafficking experience that is not easily represented by the definition enshrined in the Palermo Protocol. In addition to the narrow construction of a victim that the Palermo Protocol promotes, we view its criminal justice orientation as particularly problematic as it falls short of its intended purpose of suppressing crime and preventing future victimization. Following the narratives of five Indonesian migrant fishermen, the article provides careful assessments of transnational recruitment, off-shore forced labor, and the posttrafficking stage—identifying the latter as the main locus where male victims’ grievances are situated. Our study concludes by joining previous calls for more recognition and incorporation of rights—in particular, labor rights—in anti-trafficking efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Indonesia
  • labor trafficking
  • migrant fishermen
  • Palermo Protocol

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