GRIDLOCK: Labor, Migration, and Human Trafficking in Dubai
Palmer, Katie, Herizons
GRIDLOCK Labor, Migration, and Human Trafficking in Dubai PARDIS MAHD AVI Stanford University Press
Public interest in human trafficking is at an all-time high, and there are countless books, movies, magazines and documentaries on the topic. Having read many of them, I am confident in saying that anthropologist Pardis Madhavi's Gridlock: Labor, Migration, and Human Trafficking in Dubai offers new insights, relevant to both academic and policy circles, in an accessible language.
Her most significant contribution with the book is that she dispels the narrow and highly gendered representation that human trafficking involves helpless women and youth being kidnapped by bad men who in turn sell them into the sex industry. Mahdavi's empirical research, undertaken in Dubai, shows that victims of trafficking include a range of both women and men, including those forced into prostitution, agricultural labourers, construction workers and domestic workers.
Not only does Mahdavi widen our understandings of who is trafficked, she also lays out how this narrow representation of trafficking problematically informs public policies - namely the Americentric Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) - and imposes negative consequences on the ground in places such as the Middle East. …