Food Matters: Trafficked Transnational Migrants’ Experiences and the Matrix of Food (In)Security

Annie Isabel Fukushima Journal of Human Rights Practice, huaa024,

Published: 24 June 2020

This article traces a particular object, food, in the context of the human rights violation of human trafficking of transnational migrant labourers, to answer: how does food come to matter for transnational migrants who labour in the United States and experience abuse in the form of human trafficking? To answer the research question, this article employs a qualitative method—thematic analysis of human trafficking court complaints in the legal system (N¼133). Through scavenging legal complaints made by transnational migrant labourers in the United States between 2000 and 2017, the author provides a novel framework: a matrix of food (in)security. A matrix of food (in)security is a framework describes how food is socially, politically, and legally articulated in transnational migration: food as a weapon of abuse, food (in)security, and workers in a food chain.
Keywords: abuse; food chains; food insecurity; human trafficking; immigration; labour

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