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The Prosecution of Human Traffickers?

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A Comparative Analysis of Enslavement Judgments Among International Courts and Tribunals

image of European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance

Despite its international construction and codification, the criminal offence of ‘trafficking in persons’ is absent from the statutes of international judicial institutions. Does this result in the inability to hold those who engage in the traffic of human beings accountable under international criminal law? While certain offenders are charged with the international crime against humanity of enslavement, it appears as though the establishment of their guilt often materialised (at least in part), on the converging characteristics of ‘trafficking in persons’ as codified in the Palermo Protocol and enslavement. Can this course of action survive, or should our present international judicial forums recognise ‘trafficking in persons’ as a separately codified offence and crime against humanity?

Affiliations: 1: Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Groningen,


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