Trafficking and Human Rights

Trafficking and Human Rights

European and Asia-Pacific Perspectives

Edited by Leslie Holmes

Human trafficking is widely considered to be the fastest growing branch of trafficking. It has moved rapidly up the agenda of states and international organisations since the early-1990s, not only because of this growth, but also as its implications for security and human rights have become clearer. This fascinating study by European and Australian specialists provides original research findings on human trafficking, with particular reference to Europe, South-East Asia and Australia. A major focus is on how many states and organisations act in ways that undermine trafficking victims’ rights.

Chapter 3: Responses to Sex Trafficking: Gender, Borders and ‘Home’

Sanja Milivojevic and Marie Segrave

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, development studies, migration, law - academic, asian law, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights, international relations, social policy and sociology, migration


Sanja Milivojevic and Marie Segrave INTRODUCTION Human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of women into the sex industry, is an issue that continues to gain traction as a major concern for the global community. Estimates that thousands, even millions of women have been kept as sex slaves (Raymond et al. 2002) have dominated the trafficking debate since the late 1990s (see also Kelly 2005). These estimates continue to be used despite their variability and the questionable nature of the research upon which they are based.1 A body of criticism has recently emerged that has called for the recognition that these broad statistical claims are problematic (Doezema 2000; Agustin 2005; Kelly 2005; Kempadoo 2005). This call, however, has largely gone unnoticed, as estimates continue to play a pivotal role in fuelling global anti-trafficking responses. Reflecting the emphasis on quantifying the issue and approaching trafficking as a crime with identifiable (and quantifiable) victims, the policy responses that have emerged internationally operate almost exclusively within a law and order framework. The burgeoning scholarship and reporting in this area also privilege criminalisation and victimisation as the central tenets of this issue – where trafficked women are victims of crime, and the role of the state and of other anti-trafficking bodies is that of ‘rescuer’. As a consequence, concerns around this issue have translated into efforts within three key areas: preventing trafficking, prosecuting trafficking offences and protecting victims.2 The focus of the analysis in this chapter is on prevention and protection, rather than prosecution. Since the late...

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