Search and ‘rescue’
The challenges involved in identifying victims of trafficking are often related to their status as unlawful migrants and/or labourers, and the fact that they often come to the attention of authorities on these grounds. This chapter investigates identification processes and, drawing on research from the original volume and our more recent research, identifies the persistent myths and assumptions about what victims ‘look like’, what accounts for ‘real’ exploitation, and where victims can be found. This chapter focuses on what we describe as the initial phase of the anti-trafficking intervention – best characterised as the ‘casting of the net’ and we examine both the role and motivations of state and non-state actors. The chapter lays an argument for understanding both how the process of identification works and the experiences of victims, particularly those who do not come into contact with authorities, in order to better understand how exploitation can best be addressed.