Stopping the Traffic: the National Vigilance Association and the international fight against the ‘white slave’ trade (1899–c.1909)

Attwood, R. 2015. Stopping the Traffic: the National Vigilance Association and the international fight against the ‘white slave’ trade (1899–c.1909). Women's History Review. 24 (3), pp. 325-350. doi:10.1080/09612025.2014.964064

TitleStopping the Traffic: the National Vigilance Association and the international fight against the ‘white slave’ trade (1899–c.1909)
AuthorsAttwood, R.
Abstract

The National Vigilance Association was the most prominent organization to take on the fight against sex trafficking in turn-of-the-century Britain. In 1899, it established and presided over the first global multidenominational anti-trafficking task force, the International Bureau for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic (later Traffic in Persons). This article focuses on the configuration of the National Vigilance Association's anti-trafficking work during the formative years of the Bureau, paying particular attention to the relationship between the Association and the state. It sheds new light on the nature and significance of both the Association's role in the Bureau and the Association's domestic anti-trafficking operations. It exposes the way in which, while making notable advancements in the fight against trafficking, the Association brought an assumption of British superiority to its international work, and operated on the basis of a misdiagnosis of ‘sexual exploitation’ informed by a gender- and class-biased xenophobia, such as to detract from its commitment to the suppression of trafficking.

KeywordsSex trafficking, traffic in women, immigration restriction, anti-trafficking, National Vigilance Association, Modern British History, Jewish History
JournalWomen's History Review
Journal citation24 (3), pp. 325-350
ISSN0961-2025
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscriptAttwood_WHR _2014.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/09612025.2014.964064
Web address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09612025.2014.964064
Publication dates
Published07 Oct 2014

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