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Rewriting the VictimDramatization as Research in Thailand's Anti-Trafficking Movement$
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Erin M. Kamler

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190840099

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190840099.001.0001

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Community-Based Organizations and the Narrative of Resistance

Community-Based Organizations and the Narrative of Resistance

(p.101) Chapter 5 Community-Based Organizations and the Narrative of Resistance
Rewriting the Victim

Erin M. Kamler

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, I discuss migrant community-based organizations (CBOs) operating in Thailand that work to combat labor exploitation in wholly different ways. Run by ethnic women and operating “below the radar” of the anti-trafficking movement, these organizations address the issue of trafficking from a unique perspective. Rather than pressuring sex workers to enter “rehabilitation” programs, these groups operate in solidarity with female migrants, fostering participatory, rather than top-down approaches to combating trafficking. As a result, these CBOs engage an ethic of “horizontalism”—an organizational approach to social change that is based on partnership, trust, and mutual understanding between the organization and its beneficiaries. I show how, through offering female migrant laborers positive alternatives to the tropes of victimization commonly used by anti-trafficking NGOs, their work is generating more productive results.

Keywords:   community-based organizations, Burma, Thailand, labor, migration, trafficking, NGOs, participation, narrative

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