Get Into, Get By and Get Out of Trafficking; Uncovering the Agency of Rural Women in Vietnam

University essay from Lunds universitet/LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Abstract: Human trafficking is an alarming issue that has been discussed by many scholars and policy makers from different fields. It has been argued that poverty is one of the root causes of trafficking, making people to take any risks to improve life. The severe exploitation that occurs during trafficking experience has put victims of trafficking in a difficult situation where they are often seen as objects rather than subjects. This thesis was designed to give voice to those who have been in trafficking situation and uncover hidden aspects of it. The ambition of this thesis was thus in line with some scholars who insisted on the importance of putting humanity and agency of poor people into trafficking discourse. By looking at poverty from a broader sense, I discovered that agency is indeed a fundamental issue for trafficking experience. The case of trafficking experience among rural women in Vietnam showed that agency was exercised in many ways, starting from the time they got in to trafficking trap, got by with everyday deprivation, and got out of it. The agency demonstrated the ‘power to act’ among individuals when experiencing trafficking, which had often been ignored.

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