Julie Ham

Dr Julie Ham

Assistant Professor

+852 3917 2057

9.08, 9/F., The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus


Julie Ham’s research is grounded in ongoing engagement with community-based organizations and international networks working for migrant rights, sex worker rights and social change. She has published on domestic work, sex work, anti-trafficking, gender and migration, feminist participatory action research, and activist efforts by trafficking survivors, sex workers and domestic workers. Prior to joining the Department of Sociology, Julie worked with the Border Crossing Observatory (Monash University), the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) and with community-based research projects and organizations in Canada, working with sex workers, immigrant and refugee communities, women substance users, low-income urban communities, and anti-violence organisations.

Her recent research explores knowledge production and cultural production by migrants in Hong Kong through participatory and visual methodologies. For more information, see Mobile Methodologies and Migrant Knowledges.

Courses taught


Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)

University of Toronto

University of Victoria

BA Psychology
University of British Columbia

Research interests

Gender and migration
Sex work
Domestic work
Civil society
Social justice

Current research

POETRY – Poly-Occular Engagement and Transnational Research Yearnings: Innovations in Research Across Community-Academic Divides (Co-Principal Investigator). New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), 2022-2023.

The stories we tell: Mobile methodologies and migrant knowledges (Principal Investigator). General Research Fund, 2019-2022.

Informal creative economies and domestic workers’ encounters with the good, the bad and the law in Hong Kong (Principal Investigator). Faculty of Social Sciences Research Cluster Seed Funding, 2019-2021.

The lives of migrant remittances: An Asian comparative study (Collaborator). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, Canada), 2017-2021.

Sustainable Sunday couture: Domestic workers and upcycling designers (Project Coordinator). Knowledge Exchange (KE) Impact Project Scheme, 2017-2018

Visualizing the voices of women migrant workers, with Vivian Wenli Lin. Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange (KE) Project Fund, 2016-2017.

Globalized labour knowledges between the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East (Principal Investigator). Seed Funding, 2016-2018.

Non-Chinese sex workers in Hong Kong and emerging sex work spaces (Principal Investigator). General Research Fund/Early Career Scheme, 2016-2019.

Honours and recognitions

British Journal of Criminology Radzinowicz Memorial Prize 2014 for ‘Hot pants at the border: Sorting sex work from trafficking’, British Journal of Criminology, 54(1): 2-19.

Selected publications


Ham, J. (2017). Sex work, Immigration and Social Difference. London: Routledge.

Pickering, S. & Ham, J. (2015). The Routledge Handbook on Crime and International Migration. London: Routledge.

Journal articles:

Gheorghiu, I. & Ham, J. (2022). Biographical work and the production of credibility in sex work interviews. The British Journal of Criminology, https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azac003

Ham, J. & Ceradoy, A. (2021). “God blessed me with employers who don’t starve their helpers”: Food insecurity and dehumanization in domestic work. Gender, Work & Organizationhttps://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12643 

Ham, J. & Gheorghiu, I. (2020). Scripting pragmatic intimacies in sex work, migration and intimate-material exchanges. Culture, Health & Sexuality, https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2020.1785011

Ham, J. & Sunuwar, M. (2020). Experiments in enchantment: Domestic workers, upcycling and social change. Emotion, Space and Society, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2020.100715

Ham, J. (2020). Rates, roses and donations: Naming your price in sex work. Sociologyhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0038038520906773

Lin, V.W., Ham, J., Gu, G., Sunuwar, M., Luo, C. & Gil-Besada, L. (2019). Reflections through the lens: Participatory video with migrant domestic workers, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities. Emotion, Space and Societyhttps://authors.elsevier.com/a/1ZwAC6F9IFN9ri

Ham, J. (2018). Using difference in intersectional research with im/migrant and racialized sex workers. Theoretical Criminology, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1362480618819807

Vecchio, F. & Ham, J. (2018). From subsistence to resistance: Asylum-seekers and the other ‘Occupy’ in Hong Kong. Critical Social Policy, 38(3): 201-221.

Ham, J. & Gilmour, F. (2017). ‘We all have one’: Exit plans as a professional strategy in sex work. Work, Employment & Society, 31(5), 748-763

Ham, J., Jung, K. & Jang, H. (2016)Silence, mobility and ‘national values’: South Korean sex workers in AustraliaSexualities, 19(4): 432-448.

Clancey, A., Khushrushahi, N. & Ham, J. (2014). Do evidence-based approaches alienate Canadian anti-trafficking funders? Anti-Trafficking Review, 3, 87-108.

Ham, J. & Gerard, A. (2014). Strategic in/visibility: Does agency make sex workers invisible? Criminology and Criminal Justice, 14(3): 298-313.

Pickering, S. & Ham, J. (2014). Hot pants at the border: Sorting sex work from trafficking. British Journal of Criminology, 54(1): 2-19.

Ham, J., Segrave, M. & Pickering, S. (2013). In the eyes of the beholder: Gender and suspect travelers at the border and within the nationAnti-Trafficking Review, 2: 51-56.

Book chapters:

Ham, J. (2020). Anti-trafficking in Southeast Asia. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.612

Mackenzie, K. & Ham, J. (2019). SWAN Vancouver: Supporting immigrant and migrant women in the sex industry. In A. Lebovitch & S. Ferris (Eds.), Sex Work Activism in Canada: Speaking Out, Standing Up (pp. 104-117). Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing.

Ham, J. (2014). Intuiting illegality in sex work. In S. Pickering & J. Ham (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook on Crime and International Migration (pp. 206-219). London: Routledge.

Ham, J. & Dewar, F. (2014). Shifting public anti-trafficking discourses through arts and media. In S. Yea (Ed.) Human Trafficking in Asia: Forcing Issues (pp. 185-199).Abingdon: Routledge.

Ham, J. for GAATW. (2013). Trafficking and gender. In D.M. Figart & T.L. Warnecke (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life (pp. 542-558).Northhampton: Edward Elgar.


Ham, J. for Zi Teng and SWAN Vancouver. (2015). Chinese Sex Workers in Toronto & Vancouver. Vancouver: SWAN.

Ham, J. for GAATW. (2011). Beyond ‘Supply and Demand’ Catchphrases: Assessing the Uses and Limitations of Demand-Based Approaches in Anti-Trafficking. Bangkok: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.

Ham, J. for GAATW. (2011). What’s the Cost of a Rumour? A guide to sorting out the myths and the facts about sporting events and traffickingBangkok: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.

Ham, J. for GAATW. (2010). Beyond Borders: Exploring Links Between Trafficking and Gender (GAATW Working Paper Series). Bangkok: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.

Ham, J. for GAATW. (2007). Respect and Relevance: Supporting Self-Organising As A Strategy for Empowerment and Social Change. Bangkok: Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.


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