Early Critiques of Trafficking Policy and Practice


Although the initial U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in 2000, and reauthorized in 2003, there was scant critique until the middle of that decade.

Implications of Anti-trafficking Policy and Practice (web archive) or pdf
This page links to a number of papers compiled until 2009 through Soros’ Sexual Health and Rights Project (Sharp)

Human Trafficking  by David A. Feingold (September/October 2005)
Feingold was International Coordinator for HIV/AIDS and Trafficking Projects for Unesco, Bangkok and writer/director of movie ‘Trading Women’ with Angelina Jolie dispels common myths about trafficking.

News: The New Abolitionists: How did the anti-trafficking crusade evolve, and
is it being overhyped?
by Nina Shapiro (October 2006)
Early report documenting links between feminists and Christian Fundamentalists.

Trafficking in Politics Bush’s strong rhetoric on sex slavery masks policy failures.
by Eartha Melzer (March 2005)

Only rights can stop wrongs: A critical assessment of anti-trafficking strategies by Marjan Wijers and Marieke van Doorninck (September 2002)
“This paper critically examines the current strategies employed by both governmental and non-governmental agencies (NGOs) to address trafficking in persons, focussing on their impact on the women affected. In this context attention is also paid to the measures taken by the European Union, in particular the recent European Commission Proposal for a Council Directive on a short term residence permit for trafficking victims. Central perspective throughout the paper is that of the women concerned.”

News: Debate Roars Over Anti-Trafficking Funds by Jennifer Friedlin (April 2004)
The U.S. government is striking out at the global sex slave trade with new vigor, focusing on prostitution as the cause for the practice. Some critics say, however, the new plan misses the point and actually is a disservice to women.

Sex Trafficking: Zero Tolerance by Lisa Katayama (May 2005)
Mother Jones writer on Bush Administration’s Anti-Trafficking Policies: “The law marked a high point in a growing U.S. campaign against the global sex trade. A few months later, when George W. Bush took office, he worked to expand that fight, emphasizing its moral dimension above all else…This failure to distinguish the two different cases has led progressive human rights activists to claim that the Bush administration’s interpretation and use of anti-trafficking laws like the TVPA are too simplistic, and often do as much harm as good.”

The Call for a Gender-Sensitive Perspective in International Law by Phyllis Coontz and Catherine Griebel (April 2004)
This paper discusses the history of trafficking laws and the way the concept of agency for women is denied in this framework. WOMEN’S HEALTH JOURNAL, Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network.

Having the rug pulled from under your feet: one project’s experience of the US policy reversal on sex work by Joanna Busza (2006)

A 2006 report about the fate of sex workers at a Cambodian project (Lotus Project) project after the Anti-Prostitution Pledge was adopted. Health Policy and Planning Volume 21, Issue 4.

The US Anti-Prostitution Pledge: First Amendment Challenges and Public Health Priorities by Nicole Franck Masenior, Chris Beyrer (July 2007)
A 2007 study about the effects of the Anti Prostitution Pledge,from PLoS Medicine 4(7).

Report to the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Joy Ezeilo (November 2008)
Summary of trends and policy recommendations from GAATW.

Archival Collections

The Trafficking Debate: Collection of Papers on BAYSWAN
These papers are an early compilation of sex worker rights responses to trafficking issues and discourse.

Migration, Trafficking and Sex Work: Links and Papers from Laura Agustin
This is an earlier collection of Dr. Agustín’s work.

Nordic Prostitution Policy Reform see web archive if unavailable
A comparative study of prostitution policy reform in the Nordic countries. This website links to research and discussion.