Traffic: Transnational Migration from Indonesia to Malaysia

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2005
End date: 31/12/2008
Funding: 1105000 SEK


There is increasing human mobility in the world today, but diminishing opportunities for unskilled migrants to cross national borders legally. This has led to increasing illegal migration, attempts by governments to control this movement under the guise of national security, as well as intensifying debates about human rights abuses against transnational migrants. At the center of these relationships is the emergence 'human trafficking' as a new global problem. In this context, Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, has been identified as one of the worst culprits. This project focuses on transnational migration from Indonesia to Malaysia, one of the main receiving countries in Asia. Case studies of male plantation workers, female domestic servants, and female sex workers will highlight the complexity in the movement of male and female migrants, thereby allowing for a critical engagement with discourses and practices concerning 'human trafficking.' An overall aim is to consider the experiences of migrants in relation to emerging policy that aims to protect their rights. It will analyze the connections and lack of connections between policy and the actual trafficking of migrants. The global discourse on 'human trafficking' focuses on 'innocent' women and children who are mainly forced into prostitution. This project, however, attempts to move away from this focus on 'victims' and map a more complicated understanding of transnational migration.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:57