“Existing beyond ourselves:” civil society in anti-labor trafficking efforts in the Philippines

Pellerin, Greggy (2022) “Existing beyond ourselves:” civil society in anti-labor trafficking efforts in the Philippines. Masters thesis, Memorial University of newfoundland.

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This thesis explores the development of protection and support efforts to address labor trafficking from the Philippines, particularly the contribution of civil society. While civil society’s participation in policy and governance in developing countries is significantly researched, the literature is scant about their involvement in trafficking in persons. This point is relevant to the Philippines for two reasons; (1) it is located in the region with the highest number of global trafficking victims, and (2) it is described to have one of the most vibrant civil societies in the world. This research is engaged with the literature on human trafficking, civil society, and Foucault’s ideas of power and discourse. As such, it examines the ways in which civil society act and organize their efforts in relation to institutional stakeholders, like government organizations and donor agencies. This research utilizes a qualitative approach to illustrate the participation of civil society in protection efforts, particularly in the conflict-ridden southern region of Mindanao. A thematic analysis of plans and reports submitted by the Philippine government to different conventions of the United Nations underscoring human trafficking, as well as alternative reports submitted by non-government stakeholders, is utilized to demonstrate how civil society’s efforts are framed by government stakeholders and how they are negotiated. In-depth interviews with representatives from 11 organizations supplement the analysis. Results generally reveal a heavy reliance by institutional stakeholders on the services of civil society groups for both its prosecutorial and protection obligations, despite civil society’s often adversarial relations with state organizations, shifting relationship with donors, and ideological differences between and among civil society groups themselves. My findings indicate that, beyond mere altruism, these social processes are significantly impacted by civil society’s political interests and its embeddedness to global migration policy and aid.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15490
Item ID: 15490
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 106-117).
Keywords: labor trafficking, civil society, Southeast Asia, Philippines
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: April 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/7FC8-R507
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Civil society--Philippines; Forced labor--Philippines; Human trafficking—Philippines; Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984.

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