Call for Papers: 'Armed Conflicts: Migration, Trafficking, and Labour Markets'

Guest editor: Mónica Hurtado 

 Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a Special Issue themed ‘Armed Conflicts: Migration, Trafficking, and Labour Markets’.

There is a variety of situations that may lead to a Highly Violent and Militarised Context (HVMC): international wars, internal armed conflicts, territorial struggles involving the state, the presence of drug cartels and other forms of organised crime are perhaps the most common.

In most HVMCs, both the military and different combinations of non-state armed actors (such as guerrilla organisations, paramilitary groups, or criminal gangs) victimise society with dire consequences for the civilian population. These contexts often generate forced migration, sexual violence, and other human rights violations, leading to increased risks of human trafficking and exploitation. At the same time, not everyone flees HVMCs: when they endure for several years or even decades, a number of survival practices and informal (or illicit) labour markets develop, and some people learn to survive and cope with these types of social orders. This is the case of recruited children who receive a salary from illegal armed organisations, or of people who engage in sex work in prosperous areas of extractive industries in war-torn zones. Some vulnerable populations find sources of income, protection, and even defend their territories in HVMCs.

This Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review will aim to analyse the dynamics of migration, trafficking, labour markets, and trade that occur in these contexts, with a focus on two problematics: on the one hand, how HVMCs impact migration, human trafficking, and labour markets. On the other hand, how the civilian population is involved and survives in these contexts.

Contributors are invited to engage with, but need not limit themselves to, the following questions:

  • How do civilians living in HVMCs adapt and survive? What are the main risks they face in different HVMCs and how do they cope with economic and security challenges?
  • What risks of exploitation and trafficking do people living in, or fleeing, HVMCs face? 
  • What types of labour markets develop in HVMCs and how do vulnerable populations become involved in licit or illicit labour markets?
  • How do civilians interact with the formal and informal institutions of HVMCs?
  • How do people exert agency in HVMCs (especially children, women, LGBTIQ, and ethnic minorities)?
  • How is this population discursively constructed or portrayed by government and multilateral agencies, NGOs, and mass media?
  • How does international law approach complex situations related to different HVMCs? How are states upholding their commitments to protect the rights of people fleeing HVMCs?


Deadline for Submissions: 1 June 2023

In addition to full-length conceptual, research-based, or case study thematic papers, we invite short, blog-style articles related to the issue’s theme. We particularly encourage contributions from those with direct experience of human trafficking, forced migration, and armed conflicts, as well as supporting victims.

Word count for full article submissions: 5,000 - 7,000 words, including footnotes, author bio, and abstract.

Word count for short article submissions: 1,200 - 1,500 words, including footnotes and author bio.

We advise those interested in submitting to check out the journal’s style guide and submission guidelines and/or email the editorial team at with any queries. 

Special Issue to be published in April 2024.


Thematic issue Guest Editor: Mónica Hurtado

Editor: Borislav Gerasimov