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Human trafficking: A brief introduction to issues of responsibility and accountability

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Chapter Summary

Trafficking and related exploitation have been standing items on the international agenda for at least a century. This chapter provides an introduction to human trafficking from an international legal perspective with specific emphasis on the issues of state responsibility and accountability. It begins with a short summary of the wrong of trafficking: the primary rules that are implicated in trafficking situations and that provide the starting point for identifying the key obligations of states. The chapter outlines the secondary rules of state responsibility applicable in a typical trafficking situation where the state itself is not the direct agent of harm. It attempts to identify the parameters of a state accountability index for trafficking: a set of criteria, derived from these primary and secondary rules, which could be used to determine the circumstances under which a state is in violation of its international obligations.

Keywords: human trafficking; state accountability index; state responsibility



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