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Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.

Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim's rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, especially women and children, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), forced labour alone (one component of human trafficking). Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations. Human trafficking is condemned as a violation of human rights by international conventions. In addition, human trafficking is subject to a directive in the European Union.

We publish in 2020 the following series on this subject.


The Human Trafficking Legal Series

Being a victim of trafficking for sexual purposes could mean being subject to the most flagrant human rights violations there is, such as forced prostitution, rape, physical violence and sexual enslavement. After escaping captivity, the victim needs both social and medical assistance. Additionally, a victim could have a strong desire to reside in the country where the exploitation has taken place and not be returned to the country or origin where she was lured into exploitation. The risks of such repatriation could be re-trafficking and retaliation or rejection from family and/or community and social deprivation due to their engagement in sexual activities. Such protection from refoulement does not exist to any greater extent in the specific trafficking frameworks.

To enjoy such protection victims ought to rely on other international legislation, such as claiming their right to refugee status or adherence to the complementary protection under the ECHR. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to test the boundaries of the refugee definition and the principle of non-refoulement under the ECHR, to examine to what extent they are appropriate mechanisms to secure the victims protection from refoulement. The purpose is furthermore to analyze the human rights perspective within the existing legal frameworks of human trafficking. This is done by examining existing laws, case-law and research by authoritative experts.

This book shows that the human rights perspective that is supposed to permeate the trafficking frameworks, in fact are highly unsatisfying. It also shows that challenges in recognizing victims as a refugees or as falling within the scope of the ECHR, largely is due to them often being at risk of socio-economic related harm. To reach the threshold of severity set in these frameworks is more challenging in such cases. The overarching barrier towards a satisfying protection scheme is the inability by states to fully understanding the concept of trafficking; how it at large is a part of a general discrimination in society, and that the traditional means of protection do not suit the specifics of how and why trafficking is in practice.