Human-trafficking for sexual exploitation in Australia : the deafening silence on demand

Connell, Lisa Mary (2012) Human-trafficking for sexual exploitation in Australia : the deafening silence on demand. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Significant resources have been directed at stemming sex-trafficking. Despite this, it continues to flourish. The harm that results from an illicit global industry that nourishes crime, corrupt officials, and opportunistic consumers, is immense. This thesis presents a conceptual framework to consider the complexity, power relationships and reality of sex-trafficking. The thesis describes the extent of, and harms caused by, sex-trafficking internationally and into Australia. It examines international efforts to fight the problem, noting that these encounter two fundamental barriers. The first is that poverty and sex discrimination in source countries generates an ongoing supply of trafficked women. The second in the words of one senior United Nations official - is that ‘demand – at least for sexual exploitation – is largely the problem of the developed world ... Sexist attitudes, lifestyles that insult the dignity of women, and expensive media and advertising campaigns that exploit their bodies create a market for gender-based exploitation’ and trafficking (Luiz Carlos Da Costa ). Using an ethical-philosophical approach, the thesis explores fundamental concepts such as power, framing, choice, agency, exploitation, consent, adaptive preferences and the capabilities needed to lead a fully human life. Interviews on the ethical and policy issues with a number scholars, ethicists, criminologists, jurists, senior policy-makers and outstanding contributors to public-policy debates permits the thesis to test and extend its conceptual framework. This engagement, a virtual colloquium, reinforces that ethically robust policy development requires a demand focus that must take in the global political, economic, gender and cultural environment.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Keywords women, sexual exploitation, smuggling, prostitution, exploitation, slavery, sex industry, human rights, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, China, Chinese, Korean
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