Human Trafficking 101: an Intern's Experience inside UN.GIFT
My alarm roused me at 6 a.m., followed by a second alarm strategically placed across the room, guaranteeing that I would really get up for the FIRST day of my much anticipated internship, a three-month internship with the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking also known as UN.GIFT. Since receiving my internship offer, six months earlier, I had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to work on a subject that I was passionate about. I was looking forwarding to working with the UN.GIFT, an organization that has been making an impact in the world of human trafficking since its 2007 inception. One of the reasons why UN.GIFT has been so effective is because it works with a multitude of stakeholders including governments, business, academia, civil society and the media. After studying forced migration during the summer at the University of Oxford, I was very much aware of the benefits of a multiparty approach to tackle the multifaceted topic of human trafficking.
My interest in human trafficking began in Sweden when I attended a course on International Migration, Ethnicity and Gender: Intersectional Perspectives on Labour, Power and Citizenship. The course examined several topics including sex work, trafficking and agency. (Agency being the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make choices.) The course encouraged me to explore the different topics that intersect with human trafficking such as poverty, development, organized crime, gender, drugs, unemployment, migration and violence.
So in the early morning hours of the first day in September, I excitedly made my way with the sea of UN employees, to begin the first day of my internship in Vienna.
Ashley Allen started her internship with UN.GIFT in September 2010. She is an American student at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She is working on a Master's in Migration and Intercultural Relations and recently attended the 2010 International Summer School in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford, and conducted research on protracted refugee situations at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.
The Intern's blog section is an open space for discussions on human trafficking offered by the UN.GIFT.HUB.
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