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Call for papers: 'Following the Money II'

18.7.2023 | News item

Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a special issue themed 'Following the Money II'.

A phot of a desk with a laptop, cup of coffee and notebook

Almost a decade ago, "Anti-Trafficking Review" journal published a special issue titled ‘Following the Money: Spending on Anti-Trafficking’ (issue 3, September 2014). Since then, anti-trafficking funding has continued to increase in both volume and scope. There is an acute need to resume the evidence-based discussion about where the money dedicated to a broad range of anti-trafficking activities (understood in its broader sense as activities to combat human trafficking, forced labour and slavery: see the Editorial of Issue 5: N Piper, M Segrave & R Napier-Moore, ‘Editorial: What’s in a Name? Distinguishing forced labour, trafficking and slavery’, Anti-Trafficking Review, issue 5, 2015, pp. 1–9, comes from, to whom and for what actions it is given, and with what results. Understanding the flows of money is key to understanding the political economy of anti-trafficking, the way the political and cultural influences apparent in many anti-trafficking initiatives are organised, and whose interests are being served by investing money in specific ways and under specific conditions.

This special issue will focus on the funding preferences and practices of major anti-trafficking donors, including national governments, supranational institutions, development agencies, philanthropic foundations, private individuals, businesses, and religious organisations, and the implications of these preferences. It will aim to analyse trends in donor financing (patterns of change detectable over time) and the main beneficiaries (including intergovernmental organisations, faith-based or secular NGOs, research institutes, governmental agencies, and others). The editoes are also interested in comparisons between anti-trafficking funders and those operating in other sectors, for example, public health (combatting malaria, or HIV/AIDS) or violence against women. The editors hope that the issue will help increase accountability of anti-trafficking funders as well as project implementers and will, ultimately, lead to more efficient allocation of anti-trafficking funding, which truly serves the needs of survivors and at-risk groups.

Contributors are invited to engage with, but need not limit themselves to, the following questions:

  • How much funding is available for anti-trafficking work (overall, in a specific country or region, or allocated by a specific agency)? Who are the main donors investing in anti-trafficking work and what are their criteria, priorities, and interests?
  • How does funding for combating human trafficking compare to funding in other social sectors, such as HIV/AIDS prevention or violence against women?
  • How and by whom are funding priorities decided? Do they respond to the needs of populations that are supposed to benefit from them, or are they determined by funding agencies and/or government agendas?
  • Is the concept of participatory grant making gaining popularity in the anti-trafficking field and, if so, with what results?
  • How much anti-trafficking funding is dedicated to different aspects of anti-trafficking work, for example, protection and assistance, prosecution and law enforcement, prevention, advocacy, and research?
  • Have there been evaluations of the effectiveness or impact of this funding?
  • How has funding impacted individual anti-trafficking organisations over time, including placing them in positions of dependence on specific donors or encouraging them to change their language and priorities to respond to the demands of donors?
  • Has government funding impacted anti-trafficking NGOs’ role of independent and critical ‘watch dogs’ and reduced them to mere service providers? What are the broader social implications of such a shift on the role of NGOs or communities they work with?
  • How has terminology (for example, trafficking in persons, sex/labour trafficking, modern slavery, forced labour) shaped funding priorities of implementers and donors?
  • What, if any, limitations can or should exist when accepting anti-trafficking funding from sources that may be involved in the exploitation of workers or other human rights violations (such as businesses or corporations)?
  • What, if any, due diligence do funding recipients conduct (or should conduct)? What criteria should be in place before accepting funding?

Deadline for Submissions: 12 December 2023

In addition to full-length conceptual, research-based, or case study thematic articles, editors invite authors to submit short, blog-style pieces reflecting on the question “What would be the best use of twenty million US dollars for anti-trafficking work?” The editors particularly encourage contributions from advocates, service providers, and those with direct experience of human trafficking or forced labour.

Word count for full article submissions: 5,000 - 7,000 words, including footnotes, author bio, and abstract. Word count for short article submissions: 1,200 - 1,500 words, including footnotes and author bio. The editors advise those interested in submitting a manuscript to email the editorial team at [email protected] to discuss their ideas as early as possible.

Special issue to be published in September 2024.

Thematic issue Guest Editors: Kiril Sharapov, Suzanne Hoff, Jonathan Mendel
Editor: Borislav Gerasimov


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