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 10: Conclusions: Quadruple Victimisation?

Leslie Holmes

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


Leslie Holmes Human trafficking has become much more of a problem since the early 1990s than it previously was. It is possible that some of the data cited by various states, international organisations (IOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the number of people trafficked are too high, as suggested both by Milivojevic and Segrave in Chapter 3, and more recently in a British government investigation into trafficking in the UK (N. Davies 2009) – though the highly clandestine nature of this crime means that nobody knows the real figures (on the problems of measuring human trafficking see Savona and Stefanizzi 2007). Nevertheless, the number of prosecutions and convictions globally for trafficking each year, plus the number of people cared for by victim support centres, constitute clear evidence of a serious and large-scale problem.1 And while growing awareness of the phenomenon of human trafficking may also inflate the figures, there is no question that global structural changes since 1989 have stimulated human trafficking. Two of the principal changes have been highlighted in this book. One is that the collapse of Communism and end of the Cold War created new opportunities, as well as new problems; this conflation of opportunities and problems was fertile soil for trafficking. The other also represents a conflation of new opportunities and problems. It focuses on the contradictions between globalisation’s advocacy of open borders and the tendency of (groups of mostly affluent) states to tighten immigration laws; all too often, finance capital enjoys more ‘rights’ than people do....

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