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Free Content The European Union and the Fight against Human Trafficking: Comprehensive or Contradicting?

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Human migration is an eternal phenomenon. Although we may consider various motivations for human migration, it has largely been driven by the human instinct for survival. This motivation is the basic framework through which we must understand all movements of people, even human trafficking. This paper addresses the politics of human trafficking from an EU migration perspective. It shows that recent efforts by European governments to use the EU—a multilateral and supranational platform—to combat trade in persons has not resulted in putting a comprehensive approach into practice. The comprehensive approach proposes to hold the interests of migrants, sending and receiving countries on an equal basis. By contrast, current EU efforts can be characterized as securitarian. The securitarian approach aims to maintain ‘security’ within the Union at the expense of sending and transit countries, and even those who have been trafficked into the EU. As a result, current EU migration cooperation cannot fully address the underlying factors behind the human trafficking phenomenon. Rather than eliminate these factors, EU efforts perpetuate them.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2008

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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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