Widening Our Lens: Incorporating Essential Perspectives in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

25 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2011 Last revised: 30 Nov 2011

See all articles by Jonathan Todres

Jonathan Todres

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: November 10, 2011


More than a decade has passed since the international community formally launched the modern movement to combat human trafficking with the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. Nearly 150 countries are a party to this treaty, yet progress in reducing the incidence of trafficking has been slow. Although there are challenges associated with the implementation and enforcement of international law, this symposium essay suggests that a key shortcoming occurred at the design stage. The international community’s choices when it developed its framework for combating human trafficking produced a narrow construct focused primarily on criminal law measures, thereby marginalizing other vital perspectives. Failure to adequately incorporate these other perspectives has hindered efforts to combat human trafficking. This essay examines the limitations inherent in current law. It then explores places and perspectives the international community might look to in seeking to strengthen anti-trafficking law so that it is better equipped to prevent this gross violation of human dignity. In particular, this essay draws upon human rights law, public health methodologies, and international development perspectives to suggest strategies for addressing the root causes of human trafficking.

Keywords: human trafficking, international law, human rights, public health, international development, prevention, root causes

JEL Classification: K33, K42, I10, I18, I30, O10, O20

Suggested Citation

Todres, Jonathan, Widening Our Lens: Incorporating Essential Perspectives in the Fight Against Human Trafficking (November 10, 2011). Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 33, pp. 53-76, 2011, Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1958164

Jonathan Todres (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

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