#61 Switching Hats: Sverre Molland On Anti-Trafficking Initiatives In The Mekong Region


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A content warning before this interview. Today’s topic centres around human trafficking activites in the Mekong reagion and our guest does mention some of the physical abuse that does take place in these situations. “I’m still to this day, very supportive of the UN if I’m going to put my policy hat on if you like” This week, we bring you an interview with Dr Sverre Molland who is currently head of Discipline in ANU’s Anthropology and Archaeology department. He is also on Alex’s PhD Supervisory panel! Some of Dr Molland’s research interests include, migration, government and politics of Asia and the Pacific and security. Previously, Dr Molland has worked with the United Nations Development Programme as part of the anti-trafficking efforts in the Mekong region. Dr Molland’s most recent work, “Sedentary Optics: Static Anti-Trafficking and Moblie Victims”discusses the potential weaknesses of anti-trafficking initiatives and how they can often be at odds with what the victims and the communities that are being affected actually need. Throughout this interview with Alex, Dr Molland discusses how often well meaning Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s) can operate in contrast to how governments want to operate. He also discusses the challenges and learnings from his time working for United Nations Development Programme and academia. He details how the outcomes of both policy and academia can often be different in their applications and use by both private and state actors. Head over to our website for a full list of links and citations!

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