The politics of marginilisation: identity and human trafficking in post-Soviet Estonia
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The following research seeks to answer several questions about the relationship between trafficking, identity, and vulnerability in Estonia today, looking at the underlying causes affecting the phenomenon and the response. Human trafficking is a phenomenon that occurs throughout the world though it often manifest itself in places where structural and social factors intersect to create conditions that put people at greater risk for exploitation. Estonia has struggled with human trafficking since the transition period following the collapse of the USSR. Estonia is a source and transit country for trafficking, with members of its Russian-speaking minority community disproportionately represented among victims. The paper explores how issues like poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and ethnic tension can all contribute to an increased risk of vulnerability for individuals belonging to certain groups and thus an increased risk of trafficking. In addition to capturing the current narrative of trafficking in Estonia, this analysis also seeks to highlights the causes of trafficking and how they have helped shape the counter-trafficking response and influenced the efficacy of these methods.