Underlying Motives, Moral Agendas and Unlikely Partnerships: The Formulation of the U.S. Trafficking in Victims Protection Act through the Data and Voices of Key Policy Players



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Advances in Social Work


In response to the overwhelming amount of attention to human trafficking, the debates surrounding its definition, and its focus on the sex industry, the purpose of this study was to understand the motivations behind the formation of the Trafficking in Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) as a model, data was collected and analyzed in order to examine the coalition identities of key players and their positions. Through the presentation of in-depth interview data with key policy players involved in the making of the TVPA, this article illustrates how and why the TVPA was formulated, the implications of its development, and the necessity for critical analysis of its effects. The use of alternative frameworks of labor and migration for understanding trafficking is proposed. Further consideration is given to legislative changes to eliminate anti-prostitution ideology and to support anti-oppressive approaches to addressing forced or deceptive working conditions.



Trafficking in victims protection act (TVPA), Sex trafficking, Legislation, Prostitution, Advocacy coalition framework (ACF)


Copyright 2012 The Authors. Recommended citation: Bromfield, Nicole Footen, and Moshoula Capous-Desyllas. "Underlying motives, moral agendas and unlikely partnerships: The formulation of the US Trafficking in Victims Protection Act through the data and voices of key policy players." Advances in Social Work 13, no. 2 (2012): 243-261. Reproduced in accordance with licensing terms and with the author’s permission.