Discourses on Danger and Dreams of Prosperity

Samuel Martínez

in International Migration and Human Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258211
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942578 | DOI:
Discourses on Danger and Dreams of Prosperity

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This chapter primarily focuses on the problems with the data on “trafficking.” It discusses the role of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in shaping discourses about “trafficking” across the globe, including in the former Soviet Union, and particularly in the Russian Far East. Subsequently, it focuses on recent ethnographic material gathered in the Russian Far East among NGOs and tour agencies interacting with labor migrants. It demonstrates the ways in which U.S. policy initiatives to police trafficking are problematic. U.S. policies supporting structural adjustment measures directly contribute to the extreme poverty that has engulfed households and communities since the 1990s. Incongruously, however, U.S. policy initiatives also seek to control and prevent unauthorized border crossing, a movement of people primarily related to labor migration and to negotiating a way out of poverty.

Keywords: trafficking; Soviet union; ethnographic material; poverty

Chapter.  7753 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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