Perpetrators or Preventers? The Double Role of Corporations in Child Trafficking in a Global Context

20 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2018 Last revised: 20 Feb 2018

Date Written: January 8, 2018


English Abstract: In recent years, the engagement of corporations in child trafficking has become a matter of growing importance. Many corporations have adopted global subcontracting systems and complex structures that boost their productivity and profits, but might also create more opportunities for trafficking and exploitation of both adults and children. Taking this context into account, the ways in which corporations can commit child trafficking are explored and illustrated to highlight their diversity. This paper also offers a brief overview of the responses given by international and European anti-trafficking instruments concerning corporate criminal liability for child trafficking. Moreover, the mechanisms adopted by some companies to prevent trafficking and promote transparency within their supply chains are also addressed. Overall, this paper serves to illustrate the pivotal role of corporations from two perspectives: as potential perpetrators of this serious crime, and as actors necessary for its prevention.

Spanish Abstract: El compromiso empresarial sobre el tráfico infantil es un asunto de creciente importancia. Muchas corporaciones han adoptado sistemas globales de subcontrataciones y complejas estructuras que incrementan su productividad y sus beneficios, pero que también podrían crear más oportunidades para la trata y la explotación de adultos y niños. Partiendo de este contexto, se exploran y ejemplifican las diversas formas en que las corporaciones pueden cometer tráfico infantil. El artículo repasa brevemente la respuesta de los instrumentos internacionales y europeos en lo tocante a la responsabilidad penal de las corporaciones por la trata infantil, y aborda los mecanismos adoptados por algunas empresas para prevenir la trata y promover la transparencia en sus cadenas de suministro. En suma, se pretende ilustrar el rol crucial de las corporaciones desde dos puntos de vista: como potenciales perpetradores de este grave crimen y como actores necesarios para prevenirlo.

Keywords: child trafficking, corporate liability, exploitation, corporate social responsibility, Trata infantil, responsabilidad empresarial, explotación, responsabilidad social empresarial

Suggested Citation

Rodríguez-López, Silvia, Perpetrators or Preventers? The Double Role of Corporations in Child Trafficking in a Global Context (January 8, 2018). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2018. Available at SSRN:

Silvia Rodríguez-López (Contact Author)

University of A Coruña, Faculty of Law ( email )

A Coruña

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics