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Abstract

The new Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, is a wide-ranging international agreement to address the crime of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, on a transnational level. It creates a global language and legislation to define trafficking in persons, especially women and children; assist victims of trafficking; and prevent trafficking in persons. The trafficking in persons protocol also establishes parameters of judicial cooperation and exchanges of information among countries. Although the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children anticipates accomplishing what national legislation cannot do on its own, it is also intended to jumpstart national laws and to harmonize regional legislation against the trafficking in women and children.This article summarizes the key points of the new trafficking in persons protocol, the debate over the definition of trafficking, which was the most contentious part of the Protocol, how the Protocol is being interpreted, and its implications for regional and national policy against human trafficking. The article also addresses the connections between prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation, arguments of those who would dispute these connections, and policy and legislative trends in countries that are seeking to legalize/regulate prostitution as “sex work.”
... In addition, and following considerable debate during the finalization of the definition, the Protocol does not pronounce specifically on the issue of prostitution to which trafficking has traditionally been linked, and instead it has sought to encompass all non-consensual, economicexploitative slavery like conditions and relations of work and life at any stage in the migration process (Pearson, 2004). The Palermo Protocol identifies exploitation as the key actionable element; however it leaves nation states to deal with the definition of sexual exploitation and the legality of prostitution (Doezema, 1998;Raymond, 2002;Saunders, 2005). A further limitation is that while the Protocol's definition has been used as a reference point for a range of exploitation related to movement within the country, the issues that trigger and are triggered by such movement for instance economic need, have not been adequately addressed by it. ...
... The definition of human trafficking of the UNODC additional 'Trafficking Protocol' was the outcome of mainly informal and ideological battles led by two coalitions: one defending migrants' and sex workers' rights (GAATW), and the other anti-prostitution abolitionists (CATW) backed by statutory agendas of borders' protection (Doezema, 2010, p. 114). The ideological influence on the Protocol has had relevant consequences on how it has been implemented via governmental policies and non-governmental activities (Ditmore, 2012;Doezema, 2002Doezema, , 2005Raymond, 2002;Saunders, 2005;Sullivan, 2003). The final version of the Protocol was substantially a compromise reached by allowing the definition of human trafficking to be ambiguous enough to accept opposite interpretations, in particular regarding prostitution and the exact meaning to be attributed to 'sexual exploitation', 'abuse of power' and 'position of vulnerability' (Chuang, 2006a;Doezema, 2010, pp. ...
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