Beyond Corruption: An Assessment of Russian Law Enforcement’s Fight Against Human Trafficking
36 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2009 Last revised: 8 Oct 2009
Date Written: August 27, 2009
Over the past two decades, human trafficking has become an increasingly serious problem for Russia. Because it has been framed as a manifestation of transnational organized crime, law enforcement has the primary role in making sure that traffickers are found and punished. Russian law enforcement’s perceived failure to effectively prosecute traffickers is often blamed on corruption and their efforts have been criticized by domestic and foreign actors alike. This article explores human trafficking in the context of the criminal justice system as a whole, examining the incentives and disincentives that Russian law enforcement agencies have for enforcing anti-trafficking laws. Analysis reveals that poor performance is not due solely to corruption or disinterest in human trafficking. Structural impediments combined with problems specific to the anti-trafficking law have made it more likely that they will use other parts of the Criminal Code to prosecute traffickers instead of the laws specific to trafficking.
Keywords: human trafficking, law enforcement, Russia, police, corruption, criminal justice system, crime
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