Kirsten Foot is a researcher, activist, and author of “Collaborating against Human Trafficking”. She presents a first-hand account and thoughtfully constructed conclusions around the many issues that develop when anti-trafficking organizations work together towards defeating human trafficking. The appropriate audience for this book includes: government agencies, victim service providers, community service/non-profit agencies including faith-based organizations and survivor-activists. Academics within other fields including sociology, public policy, policing, and psychology may also benefit from reading it.
Foot aims to identify the main problems that are encountered at the interpersonal, intra- and inter-organizational levels when aiming to reduce human trafficking and to give recommendations for tackling these issues. She succeeds in doing this by providing detailed analysis of interviews and observations with key informants within anti-human trafficking initiatives in three states within the United States. Her analysis is complemented by her personal experiences and feelings around being an anti-trafficking activist.
This book is organized into chapters that identify systemic barriers to collaboration as well as opportunities for organizations to improve collaboration efforts. Issues include the value of power and how it is gained and utilized, race and gender issues and the effects of differing beliefs, as well as values and principles held by various stakeholders.
The book summarizes and provides a clear structure to many issues that have yet to be collectively considered in this field. Foot has written a highly practical text that makes many useful suggestions for improving inter-organizational collaboration by offering group exercises and resources that combat human trafficking. Her protocols are well referenced and include detailed footnotes.
This book is best suited for a socio-political system similar to the United States. Foot mentions early on that these accounts and suggestions have the potential to be applied to other locales, despite that the book is from the perspective of organizations within the United States. Perhaps, the
most powerful implication for interprofessional practice is that researchers or activists from other countries should provide their own accounts in order to add further knowledge to Foot’s work and enhance a collaborated global response to human trafficking.
Overall, Foot succeeds in drawing the reader in with captivating notes from her interviews, field work and experiences and utilizes jargon that is accessible to audiences of different levels. This text is succinct yet detailed, and the author makes a clear point to remain as impartial as possible in order to encourage the reader to view issues presented from multiple perspectives. This book is very relevant to inter-professional care because it can be used as a point of reference when considering potential issues and improvements for collaboration within not only criminal justice and social work, but also other health-related and community-focused fields. Foot states that trust, respect and perseverance are the values required to improve interdisciplinary collaboration – a necessary and central factor – in the fight against human trafficking.
Janelle Panday, Masters Student, McMaster University