1st Edition

Human Trafficking, Structural Violence, and Resilience Ethnographic Life Narratives from the Philippines

By Amie L. Lennox Copyright 2022
    208 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores and examines human trafficking in Eastern Mindanao in the Philippines, and the social conditions which facilitate and maintain this exploitation.

    Through a combination of ethnographic research and life-narrative interviews, the book tells the stories of those who have experienced exploitation, and analyses the social conditions which form the context for these experiences. This book places the trafficking of migrants in context of the local social setting where migration, including human trafficking of migrants, is one of the limited options available for work. It explores how these social configurations contribute to exploitation both domestically and internationally. This book also draws on first-person accounts from those who have experienced trafficking or exploitation, offering lived experiences which reveal deep and complex cultural, social, and personal expressions of meaning, resilience, and hope within constrained, unequal, and even violent circumstances.

    This book will appeal to students and scholars researching and studying in the fields of social and cultural anthropology, and Southeast Asian studies.

    1. Researching human trafficking in a local context: research design, challenges and aims 2. Rural Mindanao: history, conflict, and underage soldiers 3. Labour and exploitation 4. Migration and globalisation: migrant experience and multiple violences 5. Risk and violence: producing and reproducing vulnerability 6. Agency, Sacrifice and human trafficking in Mindanao: Conclusions


    Amie L. Lennox is a New Zealand-based social anthropologist. Her research interests include migration, human trafficking, and the relationships between individual experiences of exploitation and wider social structures in the Philippines.

    Human Trafficking, Structural Violence and Resilience is a beautifully written piece; deep yet breezy, colloquial yet academic. This text is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the nuances of human trafficking experiences beyond notions of victim, particularly in light of those who rarely get to have voice.’

    Associate Professor Rochelle Stewart-Withers, Massey University, New Zealand.


    ‘With careful attention to Mindanao migrants’ agency and the social ties that can both be a source of personal resilience while also being coercive, this powerful volume makes a significant contribution to the ethnographic literature on Philippine labour migration by troubling the simplified dichotomy that separates literatures on migration from those on human trafficking. The author’s detailing of individual migration histories illuminates the compounding social conditions and rural social disparities that compel migrants into risk-prone irregular international migration channels in a nation where historically produced structural violence limits local livelihood options and state-sponsored labour brokerage has normalized migration for several generations of global travellers.’

    Professor Pauline Gardiner Barber, Dalhousie University, Canada.


    ‘In Human Trafficking, Structural Violence and Resilience, Dr Lennox considers the first-person narratives of Filipino trafficking survivors and situates them within a framework of compounding structural violence. Understood this way, trafficking becomes not only a possible, but normalised and tolerable option for these survivors.’

    Dr Jesse Hession Grayman, University of Auckland, New Zealand.