Working Title of PhD: Shedding light on the ‘dark figure’ of human trafficking: Past experiences, problems of identification, secondary victimisation and future prospects for male victims of human trafficking in the UK
Year commenced PhD study: 2017-2018 (full-time)
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Funding Source: Onassis Foundation
PhD Supervisors: Professor Lesley McAra and Dr Steve Kirkwood
Konstantinos’s research will focus on the British context and will explore human trafficking of male victims in the UK, where there has been a sharp increase in trafficking incidents, and especially in the trafficking of men. He wants to learn more about the victims’ experiences, past stories and their primary victimisation in the hands of traffickers.
However, his main concern and focus of research is the issue of male victims’ treatment by the British Criminal Justice System and specifically any issues of disbelief towards them or even cases of secondary victimisation. He is particularly interested in the CJS practitioners’ perceptions and ideas regarding the concept of a ‘human trafficking victim’ and any cases of victims’ misidentification, criminalisation and labeling as undocumented ‘crimmigrants’. He would also like to hear the victims’ point of view, how they have experienced their involvement with the British CJS and potential feelings of being wronged, prejudiced or wrongfully punished for crimes that they were compelled by their traffickers to commit.
As regards methodology, he will initially approach this subject by employing a document analysis on UK policies and statutes. However, the main methodology that he intends to use is qualitative interviews with CJS practitioners (police, judges, lawyers), medical staff, NGOs and other agencies/actors involved in the battle against human trafficking and of course victims.
Keywords: criminal justice system, victims, human trafficking