3 Utrecht L. Rev. 44 (2007)
Human Trafficking for Labour Exploitation: Interpreting the Crime

handle is hein.journals/utrecht3 and id is 204 raw text is: Human trafficking for labour exploitation:
Interpreting the crime
Jill E.B. Coster van Voorhout'
1. Introduction
What does human trafficking entail? One generally thinks of the immigration offence undertaken
by organised crime groups that transfer women and girls illegally from their home to a country
in which they are forced into prostitution, the escort branch, sex entertainment, web cam sex, or
pornography.2 However, nowadays, the crime encompasses human trafficking for labour
exploitation, following implementation of international,3 pan-European4 and European5 legisla-
tion. The definition has thereby expanded to also include the crime of forcing others into work
in other - generally legal6 - sectors and industries. However, how do we interpret this newer
definition of the crime in the European Council Framework Decision?
This indicates a crucial legal problem; behaviour has already been criminalised, or at least
European Union (EU) Member States are obliged to criminalise this behaviour, yet the definition
does not unequivocally describe what constitutes it. However, legal certainty requires a precise
definition for persons to reasonably understand what it exists of. This entails two issues: the
crime has to be specifically and coherently based on criminal elements of the behaviour, as the
corpus delicti requires, and persons should be able to know what it entails before they possibly
1   The author is a PhD researcher at Utrecht University, School of Law (LLBs in international criminal law and international and European
institutional law, MsC in General Social Sciences, and LLM in Legal Research (criminal law) (cum laude)). She gratefully acknowledges
indispensable feedback of Prof Dr. I. Boerefijn and Dr. A. Beijer. She also wants to express her gratitude to Dr. C.R.J.J. Rijken for sharing
her expertise. This article follows from the author's Master's Thesis, which will be published as a book in February 2008.
2   This perspective is formed by the earlier international conventions and EU approach. The latter is shown in Joint Action 97/154/JHA and
Council Framework Decision of28 November 2002 on the strengthening of the penal framework to prevent the facilitation ofunauthorised
entry, transit and residence (2002/946/JHA), but also by Europol's mandate that is restricted to sexual exploitation (Convention based on
Art. K.3 of the treaty on European Union (Europol Convention), Annex Referred to in Art. 2, OJ C 316, 27.11.1995, p. 2). Also Europol,
Trafficking of Human Beings for sexual exploitation in the EU: a Europol perspective, January 2006. International conventions are:
International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic, 18 May 1904, 35 Stat. 426, 1 L.N.T.S. 83, as amended by the
Protocol of 4 May 1949, 92, U.N.T.S. 19; International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic, 4 May 1910 III L.N.T.S.
278; International Convention forthe Suppression ofthe Traffic in Women and Children, 30 Sept. 1921, as amended in Protocol, 93 U.N.T.S.
43; International Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic of Women of Full Age, 11 Oct. 1993; Convention for the Suppression of the
Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, adopted in G.A. Res. 317 (IV) of 2 December 1949,25 July 1951,
96 U.N.T.S. 272; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 12 U.N.T.S. 14, Art. 6, Convention on
the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3.; Also G.A. Res. A/52/637 (12 December 1997).
3   Art. 3, Para. (a) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN Protocol),
Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC), G.A. res. 55/25, annex II, 55 U.N.
GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 60, UN Doc. A/45/49 (Vol. I) (2001).
4   Art. 86 of Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, CETS No. 197, 16 May 2005, Warsaw (CoE
5   Council Framework Decision, OJ L 203, 1.8.2002. (Does neither include sexual exploitation of children and child pornography
(CNS/2001/0025) nor organ removal).
6 To highlight two questions: may forced committing of crimes be part of it as well? And what about the countries that consider prostitution
to be legal, e.g. the Netherlands?

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