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USING INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW TO BETTER PROTECT VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: THE PROHIBITIONS ON SLAVERY, SERVITUDE FORCED LABOR AND DEBT BONDAGE by Anne Gallagher

Trafficking was a matter for international human rights law long before it became an issue of migration or of transnational organized crime. However human rights law has not, on balance, been especially useful to victims of trafficking. Rarely are even the most clear-cut and uncontested provisions (e.g. those relating to slavery, debt bondage, forced marriage and forced labor) advanced in relation to a situation of trafficking. When such connections are made, their purpose is often rhetorical and, even when presented by legal scholars, conspicuously lacking in legal justification. While many examples could be cited, one of the most significant relates to the human rights treaty-bodies: the key enforcement mechanisms of the international human rights system. Despite this issue being raised with increasing frequency in the context of human rights treaty-body work, none of the relevant committees has managed to tie trafficking to a violation of a specific right in a specific treaty. Perhaps this is because trafficking is just too complicated. Perhaps it is because the norms themselves are devoid of sufficient content to support their application to real life. Perhaps the situation is aggravated by the fact that traffickers are generally bad people and bad organisations, not bad governments.

Using International Human Right Law to Better Protect Victims of Human Trafficking 

Related posts:

  1. The Right to an Effective Remedy for Victims of Trafficking in Persons: A Survey of International Law and Policy by Anne Gallagher
  2. Recent Legal Developments in the Field of Human Trafficking: A Critical Review of the 2005 European Convention and Related Instruments by Anne Gallagher
  3. Human Rights and the New UN Protocols on Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling: A Preliminary Analysis by Anne Gallagher
  4. Human Rights and Human Trafficking: Quagmire or Firm Ground? A Response to James Hathaway by Anne Gallagher
  5. A Shadow Report on Human Trafficking in Lao PDR: The US Approach vs. International Law by Anne Gallagher