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Title: Cooperation, exploitation, and trust : migration from Edo State, Nigeria into sex work in Europe
Author: Baarda, Charlotte Susanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 1273
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis aims to understand cooperation and exploitation in human trafficking. The literature on human trafficking tends to regard these concepts as self-evident. This thesis argues that they are not self-evident and builds on sociological theories of trust in the context of criminal networks and the context of migration. The methodology of this thesis is a qualitative content analysis. It looks at the case study of sex trafficking from Edo State, Nigeria to Western Europe. The data consist of the court files of a large-scale law enforcement investigation, 'Operation Koolvis', from 2008. The analysis includes 826 manually extracted intercepted phone conversations between traffickers and migrants. These data are triangulated with life history interviews with 14 trafficked women and 40 anti-trafficking experts and informants, conducted between 2015 and 2017. The arguments are presented in the three core chapters of the thesis: hostage-taking and cooperation; markets and hierarchies; and exploitation, trust, and agency. The first chapter finds that trafficking between two regions starts through the mechanism of chain migration. A hostage-taking mechanism supports cooperation between traffickers and migrants. Hostage-taking is possible due to geographical clustering, social norms, and informal institutions for enforcement (traditional shrines in the case study). The second chapter presents a social network analysis, which shows that the network of the case study is market-oriented rather than hierarchical. The literature has typically argued that trafficking networks are hierarchical. Furthermore, I find that exploiters contract out transportation. The division of labour is such that transporters have no agreement with the migrants and do not monitor them. The third chapter explores why long-term exploitation of migrants is possible. High levels of trust in the migrant community, as well as monitoring, rather than coercion, contribute to exploitation.
Supervisor: Varese, Federico ; Kleemans, Edward Sponsor: Prins Bernhard Scholarship ; New College Old Members Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available