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Debate - The Trafficking Protocol has Advanced the Global Movement against Human Exploitation: The case of the United Kingdom

  • Caroline Parkes The Trafficking Research Project


When politicians, responding to public campaigns focused on human trafficking, make bold and over-emotive statements, invoking William Wilberforce and the pressing need to lead the global fight against slavery, the Trafficking Protocol,[1] proves its worth.  Insulated from national political rhetoric, international treaties, be it the Trafficking Protocol or regional instruments, provide an invaluable structure for governments’ national legislative responses to human trafficking. As the United Kingdom’s (UK) Solicitor General noted,[2]

The UK’s legal framework has been directly influencedby UN [United Nations] and EU [European Union] Conventions and Directives (emphasis added) … [and] The ‘Palermo Protocol’ continues to shape the UK’s response to human trafficking and in particular the care and support afforded to identified human trafficking victims.

[1] In full: Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

[2] Speech, Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC MP, ‘Prosecuting human trafficking and slavery: The law and the UK response’, UK Government, 12 October 2012, retrieved 6 January 2015

Author Biography

Caroline Parkes, The Trafficking Research Project

Caroline Parkes is Co-Founder and Researcher at The Trafficking Research Project. She currently works for the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman as an investigator. Caroline has ten years work experience in human rights including five years as a Researcher at British Irish Rights Watch, focusing on transitional justice, equality and counter-terrorism and as a human rights consultant to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones. She has also worked for the Committee on the Administration of Justice in Belfast and undertaken field research and policy analysis in Bosnia and Israel. Caroline holds an LLM Human Rights Law (dist), an MSc in Development Practice (dist) and an MA in American Studies. She is based in London, United Kingdom.

How to Cite
PARKES, Caroline. Debate - The Trafficking Protocol has Advanced the Global Movement against Human Exploitation: The case of the United Kingdom. Anti-Trafficking Review, [S.l.], n. 4, apr. 2015. ISSN 2287-0113. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 jan. 2018. doi: