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12 Nw. U. J. Int'l Hum. Rts. 47 (2014)
Prevention of Human Trafficking for Labor Exploitation: The Role of Corporations

handle is hein.journals/jihr12 and id is 49 raw text is: Nicola Jdgers & Conny Rijken

Prevention of Human Trafficking for Labor
Exploitation: The Role of Corporations
Nicola JAgers & Conny Rijken*
Captives from Myanmar and Cambodia are sold to captains on Thai fishing boats to
work for months or even years on the boats with little or no payment, with long working
days up to 20 hours a day under grave conditions.
The Indian garment industry has been accused of using child labor for fancy labels
that are sold in Western countries.
In the greenhouses in Almeria in the Southeastern part of Spain, illegal migrants
live in shacks made of old boxes and plastic sheets without sanitation and access to clean
running water, receive less than half the minimum wage, and harvest vegetables sold in
supermarkets in other European countries.'
These are a few examples of the criminal exploitation involved in the trafficking in
human beings (THB). The crime is severe and widespread, evoking violations of
multiple fundamental rights. THB can take place for the purpose of sexual exploitation,
labor exploitation, or the removal of organs. All these different forms of THB have their
own dynamics, relevant actors, and stakeholders, and to some extent need to be addressed
differently. Reliable figures are hard to come by, and there is no clear-cut line between
trafficking and non-trafficking cases. Estimates on the number of trafficking cases vary,
but the most recent estimate by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) claims that
there are around 20.9 million victims of modern slavery worldwide at any time.2 The ILO
estimates that 55 percent of the victims of forced labor are female, but in the case of
victims of sex trafficking, that figure reaches 98 percent. The ILO figures also show that
in Asia and the Pacific region, the number of trafficking victims remains high and that the
number of victims from the African continent is on the rise.
Despite the increased attention for THB over the last ten years there are no
indications that the number of cases is decreasing. What has been learned in this period is
that addressing THB only as an organized crime issue limits the options for adequately
addressing the phenomenon. The figures from the ILO show that a law enforcement
Nicola Jagers works as Professor of International Human Rights law and Conny Rijken as Associate
Professor specializing in Trafficking in Human Beings at the International Victimology Institute Tilburg,
Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands. Both authors contributed equally to the article.
1 See, e.g. Felicity Lawrence, Spain's Salad Growers are Modern-Day-Slaves, Say Charities, THE
GUARDIAN (Feb. 7, 2011, 2:00 PM), http://www.theguardian.com/business/201 1/feb/07/spain-salad-
http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed norm/---
declaration/documents/publication/wcms_1 82004.pdf.
3 Directive 2011/36, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on Preventing and
Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting Victims Replacing Council Framework Decision

Vol. 12: 1 ]

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