Rights and responsibilities in trafficking for forced labour: Migration regimes, labour law and welfare states
van den Anker, C. (2009) Rights and responsibilities in trafficking for forced labour: Migration regimes, labour law and welfare states. Web Journal of Current Legal Issues,  (1). ISSN 1360-1326
Publisher's URL: http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk/2009/issue1/vandenanker1....
Trafficking in human beings is often associated with women and girls and especially the sex industry. Gradually information is getting through more widely about cases of exploitation in domestic work, agriculture, hospitality and construction, too. In this paper I add to the conventional picture of trafficking in human beings by illustrating that trafficking for labour occurs in a long list of industries by discussing the outcomes of a recent collaborative research project across Europe http://www.esf.org/activities/eurocores/programmes/ecrp/ecrp-i-2005.html). I put forward an argument that vulnerability to labour exploitation is often exacerbated by current complex and restrictive migration regimes, the complexity and restrictive nature of labour laws and the harsh exclusions from welfare provisions in several European states. I suggest that cosmopolitanism is a good starting-point for addressing these issues. Usually cosmopolitanism is associated with duties across borders but in an age of migration the duties of states and their ‘global citizens’ are as much towards their disenfranchised counterparts within their countries. This means that creating accessible human rights involves initiatives in countries of origin, transit and destination; these should be supported by cross-border collaboration and social investment. Therefore campaigns of solidarity with trafficked persons and measures to prevent trafficking should be directed both to national provisions and international law. I also sketch some implication of cosmopolitanism for individual duties to combat trafficking and transform the regimes that exacerbate it.
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