Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

African trafficking survivors struggle with anti-immigrant rhetoric and migration securitization in throughout the Global North. Globalization has elevated the importance of documentation; individuals fleeing trafficking face high thresholds to prove captive, coerced, or imprisoned status. This talk explores asylum politicization in Europe and North America and the role of millennial anti-trafficking advocacy in resisting it. Asylum claims (from Togo, Benin, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria) provide unique insight into how trafficking survivors struggle for recognition as social persons. West African case histories show how experts and lawyers in the US and the UK mobilize documentation to resist anti-migration policy.

This is an additional public lecture, open to all.

About the Speaker

Benjamin N. Lawrance holds the Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA. A graduate of Stanford University and University College London, his research interests include comparative and contemporary slavery, human trafficking, cuisine and globalization, human rights, refugee issues and asylum policies.

His forthcoming book, Amistad's Orphans: An Atlantic Story of Children, Slavery, and Smuggling (Yale 2015) examines West African child smuggling in the 19th century. His other books examine asylum, refugee issues, expert testimony, historical and contemporary trafficking in women and children in Africa. His essays appear in the Journal of African History, Biography, Slavery & AbolitionAfrican Economic History, Anthropological Quarterly, Cahiers d'Études Africaines, and the African Studies Review, among others.

Professor Lawrance is a legal consultant on the contemporary political, social and cultural climate in West Africa. He has served as an expert witness for over two hundred and seventy asylum claims of West Africans in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, the Netherlands, Israel, and many other countries, and his opinions have featured in appellate rulings in the U.S. and the U.K. He volunteers as a country conditions expert for Amnesty International USA.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Past Annual Harrell-Bond Lectures

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Past Annual Elizabeth Colson Lectures

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

Forthcoming seminars

Connect with us

To keep up to date with our events and activities, sign up for email alerts from the RSC and Forced Migration Review, and connect with us on social media.

Sign up here

Forthcoming events

Multilocality and refugee-nomad interchange in northern Mauritania

Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, OX1 3TB

SEMINAR CANCELLED | An intersectional approach to policy and decision making on SOGI asylum claims in Europe

Wednesday, 26 February 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Rohingya refugee crisis: examination of the causes of persecution

Tuesday, 03 March 2020, 1pm to 2pm @ Seminar Room 1 Oxford Department of International Development 3 Mansfield Road OX1 3TB

SEMINAR CANCELLED | Bordering

Wednesday, 04 March 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Exiled: The Plight of Rohingya Refugees | Screening and Discussion with the Director

Friday, 06 March 2020, 5pm to 7pm @ Meeting Room A, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB

SEMINAR CANCELLED | Access to SGBV protection services for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

Wednesday, 11 March 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB