Slavery-Like Conditions and Abuse of Positions of Vulnerability: Why the United States Should Judge Countries’ Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking Based on the Palermo Protocol and Consider the Effects of Legalized Prostitution on Human Trafficking
34 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2019 Last revised: 27 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 24, 2019
The United States recognizes that human trafficking is a transnational problem and created incentives under domestic law to help other countries combat human trafficking, especially in light of international law, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the “Palermo Protocol”). However, if the United States truly wanted to comply with international law and help other countries combat trafficking more effectively, it would use the Palermo Protocol instead of domestic law when judging other countries’ efforts to combat trafficking. Specifically, the United States should: 1) use the Palermo Protocol’s definition of trafficking to more accurately represent the realities of modern-day human trafficking, 2) use the Palermo Protocol as the basis for determining whether countries have adequately assisted and protected victims of trafficking, and 3) refuse to assign a top-tier ranking to countries that have legalized prostitution because legalized prostitution violates the Palermo Protocol by allowing traffickers and pimps to engage in practices similar to slavery and to exploit persons in positions of vulnerability, and because legalizing prostitution has been proven to increase trafficking, especially child trafficking.
Keywords: palermo protocol, tvpa, international, prostitution, gender, policy, human trafficking, sex trafficking, TIP Report
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