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Crime Control and Victim-Centred Approaches to Human Trafficking: A Response to Testai

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Testai’s article ‘Victim Protection Policy in Italy: Between “Emancipation” and “Redemption”’ adeptly captures the international debates on human trafficking, as well as their influence on the implementation of Italian anti-trafficking policy and the provision of services to victims of trafficking. Her article concentrates on the shortcomings of the Italian victim-centred approach. She further claims that these shortcomings are largely based on the policy implementers’ own agendas and ideological beliefs. The aim of this response article is to underline the importance of the Italian approach to human trafficking, despite its shortcomings. We will situate the Italian case within the wider international debate between crime control and victim-centred approaches to human trafficking and then use the comparative example of Germany to show how a crime control-centred policy impacts on the legal status and rights of trafficking victims. German policy is chosen purposefully, as it represents the predominant approach to human trafficking in European countries and helps to highlight the exceptional nature of victim-centred Italian policy. We will argue that, despite the hidden and ideological agendas interfering with victim protection in Italy, the internationally dominant crime control-centred approach to human trafficking has far more severe implications for victims of trafficking.

Document Type: Discussion

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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