April 23, 2014

Issue Papers


The Program on Human Trafficking and Forced Labor is creating Issue Papers in response to recommendations at the Summit on Human Trafficking.  [read more...]

ISSUE PAPER 1: UN Trafficking Protocol: An imperfect approach

Since the creation of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons in 2000, most governments have enacted or plan to enact laws criminalizing human trafficking. Almost all of those laws are based on the Trafficking Protocol language. As many service providers, advocates and commentators have pointed out, the Trafficking Protocol is a law enforcement tool that is weak on human rights protections and approaches. Read the article / Lea el artículo / Lisez l’article

ISSUE PAPER 2: Slavery, Forced Labor, Debt Bondage, and Human Trafficking: From conceptual confusion to targeted solutions

Human trafficking has grabbed the headlines around the world but what is human trafficking and what is its relationship to forced labor, debt bondage and slavery? Has the focus on human trafficking and particularly trafficking into forced prostitution, undermined or marginalized efforts to address forced labor, debt bondage and slavery?  Read the article / Lea el artículo / Lisez l’article

ISSUE PAPER 3: Fact or Fiction: What do we really know about human trafficking?

Statistics form the core of many policies, funding decisions and program designs around human trafficking into forced labor and debt bondage. But are the statistics accurate? How can people decide whether statements such as the following ones are supported by evidence? Read the article / Lea el articulo / Lisez l’article

ISSUE PAPER 4: The Swedish Law to Criminalize Clients: A failed experiment in social engineering

In 1999, the Swedish government embarked on an experiment in social engineering to end men’s practice of purchasing commercial sexual services. The government enacted a new law criminalizing the purchase (but not the sale) of sex (Swedish Penal Code). It hoped that the fear of arrest and increased public stigma would convince men to change their sexual behavior. The government also hoped that the law would force the estimated 1,850 to 3,000 women who sold sex in Sweden at that time to find another line of work. Lastly, the government hoped that the law would eliminate trafficking into forced prostitution and the presence of migrant sex workers.

Not surprisingly, the experiment has failed. In the thirteen years since the law was enacted, the Swedish government has been unable to prove that the law has reduced the number of sex buyers or sellers or stopped trafficking. Read the article

Issue Paper 5: Children, Adolescents and Human Trafficking: Making sense of a complex problem

This Issue Paper presents current knowledge about the scope and meaning of child trafficking. Although it might seem to be a simple subject to describe, it is not. First, there is the question of what a ‘child’ is. The international definition in the Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a ‘child’ as a [Read More...]