Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Human Rights and Human Trafficking

James Hathaway has a post of note up at Opinio Juris on the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which is an addendum to the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The whole thing is worth reading; here's the abstract:

"It is doubtful that the advent of the Trafficking Protocol deserves anything approaching the nearly unanimous support it has received from those committed to the promotion of international human rights. To the contrary, the Trafficking Protocol has enabled governments to hive off a tiny part of the global problem of slavery as the focus of international attention and resources, leaving the overwhelming majority of slaves to depend on largely irrelevant and ineffective supervisory structures. Governments invoked the Trafficking Protocol to recast the duty to end slavery as best pursued through antitrafficking efforts, allowing states to claim the moral high ground in the fight against slavery despite the irrelevance of the new commitments made to most slaves."

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