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Supporting victims of human trafficking: examining the design and implementation of victim support within Australia and the UK

posted on 17.02.2017, 00:01 by Noweir, Maie
Set against the backdrop of international and national counter-trafficking initiatives, including within the domestic regions of Australia and the UK, this thesis seeks to examine responses to victims of trafficking and the implementation of victim support frameworks. In a context in which human trafficking can be explored through numerous paradigms, this thesis examines the implementation of victim support within a critical victimology framework informed by feminist critiques of the increased recognition of the status of victims. This thesis examines the ways in which both government and non-government organisations involved in antitrafficking responses come to define and recognise victims of trafficking and how dominant victim narratives have been translated into the implementation of support. This thesis examines the processes involved in the identification of victims of trafficking and access to victim support and the range of services provided to victims via government and non-government organisations. Using a qualitative research approach, this thesis draws on a range of publicly available reports and semi-structured interviews with non-government organisations and victim support providers within Australia and the UK who are involved in anti-trafficking initiatives. The analysis reveals that the process of identification of potential victims of trafficking, and thus the withholding of access to support, is often complex and presents structural, organisational and individual barriers to identification and access to support. The research also revealed that victim support frameworks and post-trafficking support continue to be implemented within a protectionist and therapeutic framework that is informed by the predominant construction of trafficking victimisation according to an 'ideal victim' narrative. The findings call for a more critical account and understanding of trafficking victimisation through the deconstruction of dominant trafficking discourses and ideal victim narratives. The conclusions of the research suggest that alternative approaches which take into account the experiences and needs of trafficked persons are required when designing and implementing victim support measures.


Principal supervisor

Marie Segrave

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Social Sciences (Monash Australia)

Campus location



Faculty of Arts