By the same authors

The Wrong(s) in Human Trafficking

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Publication details

Title of host publicationWhat is Wrong with Human Trafficking?
DateAccepted/In press - 2019
DatePublished (current) - 2019
EditorsRita Haverkamp, Ester Herlin-Karnell, Claes Lernestedt
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9781509921515


TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN beings is ‘news’. Indeed, for the British Prime Minister Theresa May, it and its related evils represent ‘the great human rights issue of our time’. The argument of this chapter is that in many instances, the focus on trafficking threatens to distract from more serious issues. These include the issue of what is done to those trafficked, but also the conditions in which both trafficked and ‘ordinary’ workers work. To anticipate part of the conclusion of the argument, many of the harms suffered by trafficked persons are harms endemic to the labour markets in which they work. These markets are not the products of traffickers or of international organised crime, but of political choices made by governments (and, by extension, voters). To remedy these wrongs requires investment not in the policing of human trafficking, but in the strengthening of employment regulations and in the resources available to those who enforce them. The focus throughout is on the UK, but many of the arguments will apply to other jurisdictions.
The chapter proceeds by examining three cases in which employees are treated badly, only one of which is a case of trafficking. It then looks at the wrongs done to those trafficked and the wrongs of exploitation. However, to put these in the correct context, the chapter begins by asking the following question: what is the distinctive wrong(s) in trafficking?


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