April 23, 2014

Book and Article Reviews

New books and articles on human trafficking, forced labor, slavery and related topics are released regularly and some of them become quite influential in shaping public opinion and even policy. Only rarely are any of these books reviewed critically by experts in the field.

This web page will provide a space for experts to discuss and debate current books and articles.  If there is a book or article that you would like to review or have reviewed, please contact info@rightswork.org

Featured Posts

Chaitanya Lakkimsetti reviews Prabha Kotiswaran’s “Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labor: Sex Work and the Law in India”

Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms Magazine and a veteran of the U.S. feminist movement, during her recent trip to India expressed her strong concern over the ‘global epidemic of trafficking’ and mentioned that Indian sex workers are the most exploited and underprivileged group in the country. She calls prostitution as “bodily invasion” and conflates prostitution [Read More...]

Trafficked Victims or Labor Migrants? – The Indentured Mobility of Filipina Hostess Workers in Japan Kimberly Kay Hoang reviews Rhacel Parrenas’ new book: Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration, and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo

In her book Illicit Flirtations, Rhacel Parrenas provides us with cutting edge, systematic, and empirical research on Filipina migrant hostesses— the women the U.S. government called the largest group of “trafficked” persons in the world in its 2004 and 2005 Trafficking in Persons Reports. Illicit Flirtations challenges this simplistic long-distance assessment.  It presents the nuances, differences, struggles and hopes of Filipina women working in Japan as bar hostesses. [Read More...]

Coerced Victims or Exploited Workers?: Prabha Kotiswaran reviews Pardis Mahdavi’s new book Gridlock: Labor, Migration, and Human Trafficking in Dubai

Mahdavi’s book Gridlock offers a fascinating report of the negative consequences in the Middle-East, specifically in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dubai as a result of the impact of the UN Trafficking Protocol[i] and the U.S. anti-trafficking law[ii]. Mahdavi focuses an invisible group of the Emirates’ inhabitants, namely, its migrant workers, ranging from domestic [Read More...]

Book Review of On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea by Sealing Cheng, Reviewed by Wendy Chapkis

In her excellent new book, On the Move for Love, Sealing Cheng (Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Wellesley College) offers a multilayered account of the dynamics surrounding migration and prostitution in U.S. military camp towns in South Korea.  Each chapter opens with a different aspect of a single incident: seven Filipina entertainers working in [Read More...]

“Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex” by Elizabeth Bernstein, Reviewed by Samantha Majic

Scholars often engage in research on controversial issues with the goal of informing related policy development and implementation. While prostitution is one of many such issues, research and public policy development regarding it is particularly susceptible to ideological biases. In the United States in particular, governments at all levels continue passing laws that criminalize prostitution. [Read More...]

Sex Trafficking and the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara

Reviews by Sealing Cheng, Ann Jordan and Laura Agustin

Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves by Kevin Bales

Reviewed by Ruth Carmi

In his latest book, Kevin Bales draws on his experiences and encounters with ‘slaves,’ to outline a comprehensive plan to abolish slavery. His plan includes the involvement of individuals, communities, governments, international organizations and development organizations. The key ingredients include public awareness, education, law enforcement, removing of corrupt officials, government action, economic support for anti-slavery workers and rehabilitation of freed slaves. Read More