How gangs recruit girls: the hidden world of people trafficking

 Tuesday 19 September 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm

People trafficking and, more commonly, people smuggling are increasingly in the news. But do we fully understand these terms and what they mean?

In this fascinating and unique talk Professor Felia Allum of the University of Bath will explain why enslavement of the weak and the vulnerable by organised criminal gangs is the very definition of people trafficking. And how those that are trafficked, especially women and young people, are the lifeblood of organised crime that generates and sustains its profits around the globe. Unlike those smuggled, people who are trafficked have never consented to being taken, let alone to being financially, physically or sexually exploited, in their own or another country.

Felia has spent many years researching and working with organised crime groups, including the Neapolitan Mafia in order to access the personal stories of those trafficked into these criminal underworlds. She shows how girls and young women are the ones most often taken against their will, by the men of criminal gangs, into a hidden existence as modern slaves. She shares compelling insights into this closed and violent world with four first-hand accounts from girls inducted into County Lines and British gangs, Nigerian Syndicates, Italian Mafias and Albanian drug gangs.

These stories are taken from Felia’s graphic novel Graphic Narratives of Organised Crime, Gender and Power in Europe, created in collaboration with the artist Anna Mitchell which depicts the voiceless lives of those hidden in these complex social and criminal groups. By imaginatively bringing their untold stories to life, Felia will share the lived experiences and life stories with us of women involved in international organised crime, from victims to perpetrators. Based on ethnographic interviews and police files, these not only illuminate personal stories but also provide valuable new perspectives on broader conversations about power relations, crime and victimhood.
Felia Allum is a Professor of Comparative Organised Crime and Corruption at the University of Bath, renowned and awarded for her innovative teaching methods. Her research interests relate to West European Politics, organised crime, Italian mafias (the Neapolitan Camorra), gender and political corruption. She has published two monographs: Camorristi, Politicians and Businessmen, The Transformation of Organized Crime in Post-War Naples (Northern Universities Press, 2006; in Italian, Il Crimine Organizato a Napoli, Napoli: L’Ancora, 2011) and The Invisible Camorra, Neapolitan Crime Families Across Europe (Itaca: Cornell University Press, 2016) which won the Outstanding Book Award 2017, given by the International Division, American Society of Criminology. Between 2018 and 2021 she was a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow focusing on gender and organised crime.
Join us to hear more about girls and women’s lives in these exploitative, dangerous and hidden worlds, from one of Europe’s leading academics and experts.
In person at Queen Square or Livestream online. Tuesday 19 September 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm. Tickets £3 or £6

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