Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake — 2012

Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa

Edited by Benjamin N. Lawrance and Richard L. Roberts

“This is a paradigm-shifting volume…a ground-breaking book with potential to change not only academic theory but also legal practice on the enslavement and trafficking of African women and children.”

Benedetta Rossi — Slavery & Abolition

Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake provides much-needed historical context and conceptualization of the problem of trafficking, with specific attention to its impact on the continent of Africa.…[It is] a highly readable, richly researched, and interdisciplinary set of chapters, appropriate for college students and policy-makers alike.…A great strength…is that it deconstructs categories and historicizes processes while also suggesting solutions to the problem of human trafficking.”

Journal of Global History

“Human trafficking, a central human rights concern of the 21st century, is a phenomenon with deep historical roots…. Based on a wide range of written and oral sources, (Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake) gives special prominence to the voices of women and children. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”


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Women and children have been bartered, pawned, bought, and sold within and beyond Africa for longer than records have existed. This important collection examines the ways trafficking in women and children has changed from the aftermath of the “end of slavery” in Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present.

The formal abolition of the slave trade and slavery did not end the demand for servile women and children. Contemporary forms of human trafficking are deeply interwoven with their historical precursors, and scholars and activists need to be informed about the long history of trafficking in order to better assess and confront its contemporary forms. This book brings together the perspectives of leading scholars, activists, and other experts, creating a conversation that is essential for understanding the complexity of human trafficking in Africa.

Human trafficking is rapidly emerging as a core human rights issue for the twenty-first century. Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake is excellent reading for the researching, combating, and prosecuting of trafficking in women and children.

Margaret Akullo
Jean Allain
Kevin Bales
Liza Stuart Buchbinder
Bernard K. Freamon
Susan Kreston
Benjamin N. Lawrance
Elisabeth McMahon
Carina Ray
Richard L. Roberts
Marie Rodet
Jody Sarich
Jelmer Vos

Benjamin N. Lawrance is the Hon. Barber B. Conable, Jr. Endowed Professor of International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the author of Local Foods Meet Global Foodways: Tasting History, Locality, Mobility, and ‘Nation’; Interpreters, Intermediaries and Clerks; and The Ewe of Togo and Benin.

Richard L. Roberts is the Frances and Charles Field Professor of History and the Director of the Center for African Studies at Stanford University. His most recent books include Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa and Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Postcolonial Challenges.

Cover of 'Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake'


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