BBC Debate on Human Trafficking
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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 23:07:40 +0100
From: laura agustín <laura@...>
Subject: BBC Debate on Trafficking
Last December the BBC World Service invited me to speak at one of their
World Debates to be held in Luxor, Egypt: Can Human Trafficking Be
Stopped? The occasion was a campaign event attended exclusively by people
who agree and the organisers (including Mrs Mubarak and the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime) did not wish it but the BBC insisted they could not hold
a debate without disagreement. What I referred to in my book as the Rescue
Industry is now a major, multi-faceted field and academic production is
very heavy and scattered across many disciplines. The change over the 16
years I have been thinking about the phenomena is enormous. Now you can
watch it online:
I described why I was going despite knowing it would be highly unpleasant:
I made a short report when it was televised the weekend of 18-19 December:
I was interviewed about it in the Huffington Post not long ago:
Historians will note how such events are manipulated into specific
narratives. It has been edited so that all the audience interaction is cut
in at random new points. One result is that Mira Sorvino’s (as UN Goodwill
Ambassador for Trafficking) attack on me, which took place very early on,
has been shortened, softened and moved close to the end. Alas, the comment
made that I am like a holocaust denier isn’t heard here.
Media mavens may notice how often they cut back to my reactions. There is
no drama in four panellists agreeing about everything, and 50 minutes is a
long time to expect television viewers to stay tuned. Now you understand
why the BBC invited me and why the editors keep cutting back to me.
Some people who saw this on television criticised me for frowning, which
leads me to reveal that those are not my own eyebrows but a Bollywood
version added by a makeup artist at the last moment. I am far more likely
to laugh than frown – which can also be criticised of course.
You can’t tell but the temperature had sunk to five above zero and we on
the panel could not wear coats, so the whole time I was pressing my hands
on my leg to avoid shivering and shaking.
The debate is in five parts, with the following description on the BBC site:
Human trafficking exists in almost every country on earth. As many as 27
million people are estimated to live in modern slavery. Can this problem
Zeinab Badawi presents this World Debate from the Luxor Temple in Egypt.
The panel consists of:
Laura Agustin, Author, Sex at the Margins
Sophie Flak, Executive Vice-President, Accor
Rani Hong, Trafficking Survivor
Siddharth Kara, Author, Sex Trafficking
Ronald Noble, Secretary General, Interpol
Laura Agustín, The Naked Anthropologist
Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry
Annick T.R. Wibben, Ph.D.
Chair, International Studies
Asst. Professor, Politics
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Author of Feminist Security Studies: A narrative approach (Routledge, 2011)
Available in the U.S. on February 28, 2011: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415457286/