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New EU project investigates initiatives against trafficking

Christina Boswell (Politics and International Relations) and Angus Bancroft (Sociology) have been awarded €322k by the European Commission to conduct research on addressing demand for trafficking in human beings.

Christina Boswell (Politics and International Relations) and Angus Bancroft (Sociology) have been awarded €322k by the European Commission to conduct research on addressing demand for trafficking in human beings. The research is part of a major €3.2 million project, coordinated by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (Vienna), and involving partners from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.

Trafficking in human beings covers a range of forms of forced labour and exploitation of women, men and children. While responses to trafficking have traditionally focused on combating the criminal networks involved in trafficking or protecting the human rights of victims, European countries are increasingly exploring ways of influencing demand for the services or products of those trafficked within their own economies and societies – for example, through criminalising clients, better control of recruitment agencies, or fair trade campaigns. This major interdisciplinary project, entitled “Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking: Efforts and Policies”, will examine the history, economics and politics of such measures, and explore how effective they have been in practice. Rather than restricting the analysis to narrow international legal definitions, it will analyse efforts to address demand for a range of forced and exploitative scenarios of labour and production, and draw on insights from related areas such as addressing demand for drugs, irregular domestic labour, or fair trade campaigns. The project will feed into EU and national policy-making to address trafficking.

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