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Trafficking and Smuggling in Human Beings: the British Perspective

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Chapter Summary

Irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling in human beings represent major challenges for policy makers at national, European Union and international levels. In contrast to international and European developments, UK law and policy in this field are relatively underdeveloped. The UK seeks to come to grips with trafficking in human beings. This chapter examines past and present legislative responses to smuggling and trafficking in human beings in the UK and assesses the role of the courts in either establishing or weakening their legitimacy. If trafficking in human beings is, simply, seen as a form of 'immigration crime' to be tackled by law-enforcement measures, then not only human rights and gender dimensions are disregarded, but such an approach is likely to have limited chances of success. In discussing the British legislative framework, the chapter pays attention to the framing of smuggling and trafficking and its correlation with existing policies of migration control.

Keywords: British legislative framework; European Union; human rights; immigration crime; smuggling; trafficking; UK law



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