Human Security and trafficking of human beings: the myth and the reality

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This chapter considers the relevance of human security to people trafficking. It concludes that human security as an idea may be helpful in guiding states' behaviour with regard to the victims of traffickers but rejects the criticism that the existing legal regime with regard to trafficking is unreasonably skewed in favour of state security at the expense of the victims of trafficking.

Trafficking of human beings (human trafficking) is a major threat to the security of people and states the world over. The essence of trafficking is that a person is taken from one country to another (or from one region to another region in the same country), by one or more of a variety of means involving some kinds of force and/or deception, with the aim of exploiting that person's labour at the destination (and sometimes in transit too).

The practice has been linked with and compared to slavery, and it certainly can involve aspects of slavery, in particular with regard to the restrictions placed on the freedom of movement of the individual and the fact that victims may not receive appropriate payment for their labour. Typically, human trafficking will entail the recruitment of a person for some employment in another country, though often the real nature of the work, or the conditions of the work, will be concealed from the victim. The individual will then travel to the destination country, directly or via transit states, perhaps crossing borders illegally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Security and Non-Citizens
EditorsAlice Edwards, Carla Ferstman
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780511808371
ISBN (Print)9780521513296, 9780521734943
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2010


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