The Newsletter 62 Winter 2012

Debt bonds and Vietnamese migrant sex workers in Singapore: exploitation or win-win system?

Nicolas Lainez

Counter-trafficking discourse perceives informal debt-fi nanced sex migration as a manifestation of exploitation and human trafficking. This paper examines in short the social form and function of the debt-bond in a specific case study,1 and shows that contrary to commonly held assumptions, debt-bonds in the migration process do not necessarily always lead to risk and exploitation, but at times to a migration system in which both parties benefit.

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