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Lost in implementation? Human rights rhetoric and violations — a critical review of current European anti-trafficking policies

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Human rights rhetoric is a predominant approach in European anti-trafficking policies. Human rights activists, however, criticize measures designed to combat trafficking in human beings as being inherent harmful and a violation of human rights. The article examines the historical foundations and rationale of the anti-trafficking framework and focuses on two central concepts that pose a challenge to the overall understanding of trafficking due to the lack of international legal definitions, namely the concept of 'exploitation' and 'trafficked person'. The author argues that a clarification of these concepts should be worked upon and consequently the culture and politics of the external identification of trafficked persons should be transformed into securing the agency of (migrant) workers.


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