chapter  5
26 Pages

International countermeasures against human trafficking

ByINGER ÖSTERDAHL

Faced with transnational trafficking in human beings, the states of the world have agreed on international legal instruments in order to coordinate and make more effective their fight against human trafficking. International agreements have recently been concluded both on the global and on the European level. This chapter analyzes the recent international legal instruments, focusing on their strengths and weaknesses. The chapter begins with an inventory of some of the constitutional legal challenges to the nation-state and to the international legal system posed by human trafficking as one of several forms of the growing business of transnational organized crime. A detailed analysis of the content of three recent major international agreements on human trafficking will follow: the United Nations (UN) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings; and the EU Council Framework Decision on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. This is a highly limited but hopefully illustrative selection of instruments, whereas in reality there are numerous international conventions and policy instruments relating to human trafficking and transnational organized crime in general.1 Last, conclusions are drawn as to the adequacy of these international legal instruments in the efforts to counter the threats to law and order caused by the lucrative trade in human beings.