Guest Editor: Dr Anne Gallagher
Since the implementation of the Human Trafficking Protocol in 2003 the UN Office of Drugs and Crime estimates that the numbers of States with dedicated national anti-trafficking legislation has doubled (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, UNODC, 2009, p. 8); 143 States are now parties to the Protocol. Alongside governmental policy development in this field civil society has also entered the arena, including celebrities, major media operations, NGOs and often competing inter-governmental organisations. Consequently the ‘anti-trafficking industry’ has become big business, as an industry it not only has huge popular public appeal but has also provided a politicized terrain where States have sought power by vying for dominance of international criminal justice frameworks.
The anti-trafficking industry has grown alongside accountability vacuum, which has meant a growth in opportunities for intervention in this field has not translated into increased opportunities for trafficked or affected persons to voice their views or concerns on the way in which such interventions are implemented. Further it remains unclear if many of the anti-trafficking initiatives of the previous decade have had an impact on decreasing trafficking and strengthening the rights of trafficked persons.
This 1st issue explores how the ‘accountability vacuum’ affects the ability of migrants to realise their rights and entitlements; what this means for rights-based approaches to human trafficking; and the role that anti-trafficking organisations could play in promoting greater accountability.
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