chapter  9
11 Pages

Conclusions and looking ahead


The overall purpose of this book has been to explore trends and patterns in human trafficking and the organized crime that often comes with it, and to discuss whether the trade does pose a threat to human security in the northern Baltic Sea region by challenging rule of law, societal peace, and the welfare state. It has been shown that subsequent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union important changes can be noticed, both globally and within the northern parts of the Baltic Sea region as to the structure, substance, and impact on societies of human trafficking and the organized crime that facilitates the trade. The trade has been analyzed in a global, political, societal, and economical context, and this approach allows for conclusions to be drawn concerning the impact of the trade on both state and human security in countries of origin, transit, and destination. We argue that the understanding of human trafficking as a criminal, social, and economic phenomenon and its consequences for both individuals and states benefit from being conceptualized not only as a state security issue but also as a human-security issue. The human-security approach provides a framework for understanding potential consequences of human trafficking on all involved states, especially on their value basis, ability to uphold rule of law, public health, public order, and hence to protect its citizens. Necessary requirements for upholding or establishing human security were for the purpose of this volume identified as: rule of law, societal peace, and a nondiscriminatory welfare state able to provide both medical and social care as well as education to all its inhabitants. From a theoretical point of view, the human-security perspective allows for a comparison between disparate regions of the world explaining the costs, the actors, and the consequences of human trafficking. The result thus far, as illustrated by Shelley, Makarenko and Cornell is that the costs, actors, and political consequences of human trafficking are similar in different parts of the world, although different in terms of degree. Observable differences are best explained in terms of the degree of human security provided by origin, transit, and destination states. Hence the human-security perspective provides a very useful framework for the study of the multiple ways in which

human trafficking affects society at large, both at the level of the individual community, and the national and regional levels. As Shelley concludes, “using this broader perspective, the costs to society are much more comprehensible than examining the individual victim or the traffickers.”