Giving us the 'Biggest Bang for the Buck' (or Not): Anti-trafficking government funding in Ukraine and the United Kingdom
No. 3 (2014)
The focus of this paper is on government anti-trafficking policies and funding allocations in two case-study countries, Ukraine and the United Kingdom (UK). The paper discusses specific ways, or 'vectors', in which human trafficking has been discursively constructed by national policies and the solutions that have been offered to counteract it. It relies on publicly available information and information obtained via Freedom of Information requests from public authorities in these countries to explore the extent to which anti-trafficking funding allocated by national governments supports or unsettles such representations. A broader definition of human trafficking has been encoded into anti-trafficking policies in Ukraine, implicating migratory pressures and violation of irregular migrants' human rights as the root causes of trafficking. However, the ability of the government to act upon this definition is limited by the ongoing socio-economic and political crises in Ukraine. This is in comparison to the politicized construction of trafficking by the UK government as a threat from international organized crime and 'illegal' immigration. The paper concludes that governments in both countries put their anti-trafficking money where 'their mouths are': crime, immigration and victim care in the UK, and awareness raising, victim care and training of 'frontline professionals' in Ukraine.