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Human Trafficking: Policy Needs and Political Responses

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Since the end of the 1980s, human trafficking has increasingly featured in the political agendas of governments, regional institutions, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organisations. It became a global issue in those years as evidence emerged of women from Eastern European and Asia being brought into Western Europe and forced into prostitution. Initially, civil society organisations denounced trafficking and were compelled to take action. Soon after this, intergovernmental institutions and governments followed suit. At present, human trafficking is on the action agenda of a huge number of private and public institutions. However, despite the increasing gravity of the problem, such action has not always been comprehensive or coherent nor, even less so, done in a coordinated way among all actors involved. Therefore, policymaking and implementation have seldom responded to the real need to eliminate this type of crime and rather have been restricted by the many social, political, ideological, and moral implications involved in human trafficking. This has also been reflected in the policies and practical activities against trafficking of some non-governmental organisations. Three important elements will be taken into account in this analysis: the link between international migration policy and trafficking in human beings, the need for appropriate legislation on trafficking and the need for a well-structured policy assessment and monitoring of anti-trafficking activities.
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Document Type: Research Article

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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