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Doctoral Candidate @ University of Warwick


Ms. Cherisse Francis is a legal professional, researcher and educator from Barbados. She holds an LL.B (First Class Honours) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and a Masters of Law (LL.M) in Human Rights and Criminal Justice from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Since being called to the Barbadian legal bar in 2018 Cherisse has interacted with the Caribbean legal sector as a Judicial Law Clerk/Judicial Research Assistant, consultant and researcher. Throughout her professional career in both governmental and non-governmental spaces, Cherisse has remained dedicated to human rights issues in the Caribbean region. Presently, she is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Warwick researching trafficking in persons in the Anglophone Caribbean. More broadly, her research interests include gender, juvenile justice and human rights issues.

Geographical location : Coventry, United Kingdom

Research Area and Interest : human rights, trafficking in persons, gender, juvenile justice

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Session 2: Policy


Saviours or Disrupters: the role of non-state actors in the government-centric realm of anti-trafficking; A Belizean example

This chapter argues that non-state actors (NSAs) are valuable for combatting trafficking in persons (TIP). Despite their continuous presence in anti-trafficking in persons (ATIPS), domestic and international laws foreground governments’ contributions. Rhetoric and practice inaccurately position NSAs as ‘donors’ or ‘rescuers’ supporting where governments cannot or will not. Using Belize as a lens for other developing countries, shows that such framing promotes hierarchical and segregated responses to trafficking among and between states and NSAS that exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and inequalities thereby stagnating progress. Moreover, it does not holistically represent the impacts, both positive and negative that NSAs have on anti-trafficking. Unfortunately, this status quo means that NSA interventions often go unchecked by official sources and in many cases are sporadic and fail to address the real issues with trafficking. The prominent North-South divide, sovereignty vs the global good and economics affect actors’ interactions with each other and the ATIPs system. These tensions can only be mitigated by understanding of the role of NSAs better.

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