Beyond borders as risk

Dr Marie Segrave1,  Rebecca Powell2,  Dr Synnove Jahnsen3,  Dr Kat Hadjimatheou4,  Dr Sanja Milivojevic5

Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University and a DECRA Fellow (2014-2018, Irregular Migration Labour Exploitation)
Managing-Director of the Border Crossing Observatory and a PhD Candidate in Criminology at Monash University
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Research Department of The Norwegian Police University College
Research Fellow with the University of Warwick’s (UK) Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group
Lecturer in Criminology at LaTrobe University



‘Unlawful and exploited: exploring irregular migrant labour in Australia’

Dr Marie Segrave*

*corresponding author:

This papers presents some of the preliminary findings from a DECRA project, in progress, focused on unlawful migrant labour exploitation in Australia. It will identify some emerging findings regarding the impact of border and other regulations to create and sustain vulnerability of non citizens. It will map some of the practices that seek to support vulnerable workers, and victims of exploitation. In particular it will consider the bifurcation of the welfare-driven human trafficking response and the remuneration-focused Fair Work efforts that have come to the fore in recent cases of labour exploitation and consider the impact of these. The paper will finally consider the ways in which challenges to the border and labour regime are emerging, and the implications of these for reconsidering how we understand where intervention is best focused to prevent exploitation.

Construction of risk in the s501 visa cancellation pathway towards removal

Rebecca Powell*

*corresponding author:

Following the legislative changes to s501 of the Migration Act in December 2014, there has been a dramatic upward surge of visa cancellations under s501 of the Migration Act putting a large number of convicted non-citizens at risk of removal from Australia.  Criminal deportation is an example of “punitive pre-emption” (Weber 2013) in a “crimmigration” (Stumpf 2006) context which constructs convicted non-citizens as likely future offenders. This pre-emptive approach to the removal of convicted non-citizens from Australia is problematic because the individual is often perceived and treated as a bundle of risk with limited regard for their personal circumstance and ties to Australia. Protection of the Australian community from any unacceptable harm is at the forefront of the decision making process and can come at any cost, including at the cost of human rights to the individual (Zedner 2010). The individual is therefore left carrying the full weight and consequence of their offending with limited avenues for appeal. Risk is constructed in the s501 visa cancellation decision making process and AAT review process, through a future orientated, pre-crime, approach (McCulloch and Wilson 2016), where convicted non-citizens are treated as “presumptive offenders or enemies” largely on the basis of their criminal history and the nature and seriousness of their criminal conduct. This paper will examine the construction of risk in this visa cancellation and review process and the impact it has on the human rights of the individual placed on a pathway towards removal as a result of the cancellation decision. It will consider the need for a more systematic and human rights based visa cancellation review process that puts the individual and their circumstances, including ties to Australia, at the centre of decision making.

Expecting and preventing crime: Scandinavian approaches to Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs

Dr Synnove Jahnsen*

*corresponding author:

This paper contributes to the growing literature on organized crime prevention by examining how crime associated with Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMCGS) is understood and approached in Scandinavia. The author has analyzed a selection of open sourced strategic documents and trend reports from Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the period 2010 – 2015. This material is supplied with Europol threat assessments in the same period and a selection of available research, popular literature and media representations. Different understandings of the phenomena are described, in the form of past experiences and expected future developments. Equally, the response of the criminal justice systems and other innovative approaches are outlined. The aim is to provide insight into the challenges associated with OMCGs and Scandinavian efforts to prevent crime by disruption of OMCG activities, deterring recruitment and facilitate disassociation and desistance. Although all Scandinavian states seem to prioritize disrupting OMCG activity through domestic police enforcement as well as engagement exclusionary practices of members of foreign OMCG, only Denmark provides a systematic and national overview of their experiences and development of what they refer to as a more “holistic approach”. As the article shows the Danish strategy against OMCG is politically and institutionally intertwined with more overarching social integration programs targeting migrant youths and communities in efforts to deter gang related violence.

Vulnerability, consent, and the human rights approach to trafficking at the border

Dr Kat Hadjimatheou*

*corresponding author:

In this paper we examine the ‘human rights approach’ to trafficking in the context of UK border practices. Drawing on in-depth interviews with a Safeguarding and Anti-Trafficking (SAT) team at Heathrow Airport, we explore the challenges border officers experience in their attempts to fulfill their newly-acquired humanitarian duties under Modern Slavery legislation. We identify and analyse two such challenges in particular, both of which arise from constraints to the legal powers of border officers to enact SAT interventions on the ground. The first of these is EU Freedom of Movement. We argue that EU freedom of movement is fundamentally in tension with the human rights approach to trafficking. This tension arises because the latter requires that vulnerability override or ‘trump’ immigration status as the primary basis for sorting individuals at the border, whereas the former insists on exceptionalism for EU nationals. The second challenge arises from the requirement for border officers to obtain consent to referrals for assistance from victims, a requirement we call the ‘consent constraint’. We explore the significance of the consent constraint, the implicit judgments it entails about the autonomy of victims of trafficking, and its place in a human rights approach to trafficking. We conclude by calling for greater recognition of the limits to border officer capacities to implement the human rights approach to trafficking at the border, and further empirical and philosophical research into the consent constraint.

Beyond borders? Trafficking and instant digital communication technologies

Dr Sanja Milivojevic*

*corresponding author:;

This paper will consider cross-border exploitation, specifically human trafficking, and the role of information technologies (supposedly) play in both facilitation of, and responding to such exploitation. Internationally, development of new information technologies, such as the Internet, mobile telephony or social media garnered significant attention as a potential new platform for human trafficking; however the reality on the ground belies such concerns. What we see, nevertheless, are a range of ‘protectionist’ measures introduced online to protect potential victims and apprehend offenders, and efforts to increasingly prevent migration and/or ‘rescue’ victims from sex industry as a form of preventing future victimisation. This paper will examine the utilization of technology supposedly to enable and facilitate cross border migration, prevent exploitation and enhance counter-trafficking measures, and identify key concerns regarding the impact of these practices, particularly in relation to efforts that are aimed to reduce gendered violence and exploitation but which may in fact be enabling or sustaining such forms of violence.  This paper challenges the notion that international cross border trafficking is an increasingly ‘borderless’ crime, and poses important questions about the intersection of border regimes across a range of spheres, particularly immigration and technology



Marie Segrave is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University and a DECRA Fellow (2014-2018, Irregular Migration Labour Exploitation). Marie has undertaken extensive research examining the intersection of gender, violence, vulnerability and citizenship. She leads the human trafficking and labour exploitation research agenda within the Border Observatory. She is also currently working with InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence to undertake a comprehensive review of the impact of immigration status on risk and support for CALD women.

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