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Human trafficking, modern day slavery, and economic exploitation

  • Koettl, Johannes

Human trafficking, as it is defined by international law, subsumes all forms of nonconsensual exploitation. That is, whenever people are forced or lured into exploitation no matter if movement of victims is involved it is considered human trafficking. There is, though, a large overlap with consensual exploitation, namely when economic vulnerabilities forcevictims to accept exploitative work arrangements. Consensual exploitation is mostly addressed through social and labor law, which is also an area where the World Bank has ample experience, while nonconsensual exploitation is mainly addressed through criminal law. Both types of exploitation have adverse effects on equity and efficiency and are therefore obstacles to development. The World Bank could consider strengthening its efforts on nonconsensual exploitation, in particular in the area of access to justice for the poor and empowering vulnerable groups to demand justice and good governance. In addition, there is a need to enhance the knowledge on prevalence, causes, and consequences of nonconsensual exploitation. In doing so, the World Bank should seek partnerships to complement existing initiatives and expertise, but should also consider providing leadership in the fight against exploitation and human trafficking.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 49802.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:49802
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