Deconstructing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender victim of sex trafficking: harm, exceptionality and religion-sexuality tensions

Contrary to widespread belief, sex trafficking also targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) communities. Contemporary social and political constructions of victimhood lie at the heart of regulatory policies on sex trafficking. Led by the US Department of State, knowledge about LGBT victim...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:International review of victimology
Main Author: Boukli, Avi (Author)
Contributors: Renz, Flora (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:International review of victimology
Year: 2018, Volume: 25, Issue: 1, Pages: 71-90
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Keywords:
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Summary:Contrary to widespread belief, sex trafficking also targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) communities. Contemporary social and political constructions of victimhood lie at the heart of regulatory policies on sex trafficking. Led by the US Department of State, knowledge about LGBT victims of trafficking constitutes the newest frontier in the expansion of criminalization measures. These measures represent a crucial shift. From a burgeoning range of pre-emptive measures enacted to protect an amorphous class of ‘all potential victims', now policies are heavily premised on the risk posed by traffickers to ‘victims of special interest'. These constructed identities, however, are at odds with established structures. Drawing on a range of literatures, the core task of this article is to confront some of the complexities and tensions surrounding constructions of LGBT trafficking victims. Specifically, the article argues that discourses of ‘exceptional vulnerability' and the polarized notions of ‘innocence' and ‘guilt' inform hierarchies of victimhood. Based on these insights, the article argues for the need to move beyond monolithic understandings of victims, by reframing the politics of harm accordingly.
ISSN:2047-9433
DOI:10.1177/0269758018772670