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Why the U.S. Government’s Anti-Trafficking Efforts are Hurting Women Around the World

When people hear the word, “trafficking,” they often think of young women held in bondage, forced into prostitution against their will. This is certainly a circumstance that takes place around the globe—one that is real, and very serious. But often, sex workers, many of whom are migrants seeking a better life in a country far from home, know what they are getting into when they enter the trade. The real problem they face is that their work is criminalized. Anti-trafficking [...]

By |2018-05-12T15:03:46+00:00April 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Leaked Amnesty International Document Calls for Decriminalization of Sex Work

When scholars and activists fight for the rights of sex workers, people occassionally take notice. But when a humanitarian giant gets on board the sex worker rights movement, its time for the world to stop and listen. Amnesty International, one of the most prestigious human rights organizations in the world recently made headlines when a document entitled “Decriminalisation of Sex Work: Policy Background Document” was leaked. The document outlines the organization’s emerging stance on defending the rights of sex workers through [...]

By |2018-05-12T15:03:46+00:00March 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|2 Comments

A Heroic Escape: Nan Pyung’s story

25-year-old Nan Pyung works for the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand’s anti-trafficking program in Laiza, Kachin State. She is also a former trafficking victim. I had the privilege of meeting with her today in Ruili, China, where she told me her story over a delicious Burmese lunch. Nan Pyung migrated to China when she was 13 years old. She came here to work and support her family, as they had little income in Burma’s Kachin State. Upon arriving in China, [...]

By |2014-03-28T19:13:23+00:00March 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Presenting “Women of Kachin State”

I enjoyed speaking at Chiangmai University's Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD) last week, where I presented key findings from my recent research on the trafficking of Kachin women into China as “forced brides.” In the talk, I discussed conditions in Kachin State, an ethnic region in northern Burma that has long suffered from an armed conflict with the central Burmese government. Engaging interviews with over 25 trafficking survivors, female soldiers, CBO women’s organizations, lawmakers, cultural leaders, IDP [...]

By |2014-04-13T19:22:32+00:00March 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dancing the Manau in Ruili, China

February 20 marked the celebration of the Jingpo World Manau Festival in Ruili, China. The Chinese government hosted this special cultural event, which brought together members of the Kachin ethnic minority group residing in northern Burma, Yunnan, China and Arunchal Pradesh, India. The festival, which traditionally takes place every year in Laiza, Kachin State and in Ruili, is also the home of the famous Manau dance. Led by traditional elders, Manau dancers move in a circular processional around tall poles, in a [...]

By |2018-05-12T15:03:46+00:00March 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments