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International Human Rights

Traffickers and Trafficking in Southern and Eastern Europe: Considering the Other Side of Human Trafficking


Surtees, Rebecca. 2008. “Traffickers and Trafficking in Southern and Eastern Europe: Considering the Other Side of Human Trafficking.” European Journal of Criminology 5 (1): 39–68. doi:10.1177/1477370807084224.

Author: Rebecca Surtees


This paper describes patterns of trafficking from and within South-Eastern Europe, with particular attention to traffickers and their activities. This helps to determine the most effective methods of tackling these grave crimes through the strategic use of the criminal justice system. To date, attention has primarily been paid to victims of trafficking – who they are and what makes them vulnerable – in an effort to develop counter-trafficking interventions. To complement these studies of victims, studies of traffickers and their operations are also required. There is a need to address traffickers’ behavior through more effective law enforcement and through legal, social and economic reforms that will cause them to reassess the economic benefits of pursuing this strategy.

Keywords: criminal justice, prevention, prosecution, protection, recruitment, South-Eastern Europe, trafficker profiles, trafficking operations, Trafficking

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2008

Intersectionality and Feminist Politics


Yuval-Davis, Nira. 2006. "Intersectionality and Feminist Politics." European Journal of Women's Studies 13 (3): 193-209. doi: 10.1177/1350506806065752

Author: Nira Yuval-Davis


This article explores various analytical issues involved in conceptualizing the interrelationships of gender, class, race and ethnicity and other social divisions. It compares the debate on these issues that took place in Britain in the 1980s and around the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism. It examines issues such as the relative helpfulness of additive or mutually constitutive models of intersectional social divisions; the different analytical levels at which social divisions need to be studied, their ontological base and their relations to each other. The final section of the article attempts critically to assess a specific intersectional methodological approach for engaging in aid and human rights work in the South.

Keywords: identity politics, intersectionality, social divisions, social positionings

Topics: Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, International Law, International Human Rights, Race, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2006

Child Brides, Global Consequences: How to End Child Marriage


Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach, and Lynn S. ElHarake. 2014. Child Brides, Global Consequences: How to End Child Marriage. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.

Authors: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Lynn S. ElHarake


Child Brides, Global Consequences is a collection of two previously published CFR Working Papers on child marriage: "High Stakes for Young Lives" and "Fragile States, Fragile Lives."

In "High Stakes for Young Lives," Senior Fellow Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Research Associate Lynn S. ElHarake examine the social, economic, and cultural factors driving child marriage in order to help policymakers and civil society leaders curb, and eventually eliminate, child marriage. Since no single strategy will end the practice, Lemmon and ElHarake argue for a combination of legal frameworks, education policies, enforcement standards, attitude shifts, and economic incentives.

"Fragile States, Fragile Lives" hones in on the correlation between child marriage and state fragility. Many of the countries with the highest rates of child marriage are found on the top of lists such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) list of fragile states and the Fund for Peace's Failed States Index, yet there is a wide gap in data that assesses the degree to which fragile contexts perpetuate child marriage.

Lemmon writes that closing this gap will help produce more effective and targeted interventions to assist the youngest and most at-risk members of communities in crisis, and improve the future prospects of all members of the next generation in some of the most challenging corners of the world.

This report was made possible thanks to generous support from the Ford Foundation, and is part of the Women and Foreign Policy program. (CFR)

Topics: Class, Economies, Education, Gender, Girls, Health, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Year: 2014

Particularity of Rights, Diversity of Contexts: Women, International Human Rights and the Case of Early Marriage


Bunting, Margaret Annie. 1999. "Particularity of Rights, Diversity of Contexts: Women, International Human Rights and the Case of Early Marriage." SJD Doctorate Thesis, University of Toronto.

Author: Margaret Annie Bunting


This thesis presents an alternative way of approaching and analyzing practices that are criticized on the basis of human rights and defended on the basis of culture. I illustrate the thesis through the case of early marriage. Rather than reinforcing the dichotomous debate between universalistic conceptions of human rights and culturally relative challenges to universalistic interpretations of rights, this thesis inhabits the space between the dichotomous poles. I argue that human rights can be appropriated, particularized and used in diverse contexts, but not without attention to the local and global socio-political contexts in which the rights debate takes place.

I argue throughout the thesis that, to address practices that are criticized according to international women's rights and defended as integral to culture, the presuppositions of judgement must be exposed and criticized. This methodology includes an understanding of the context in which the practice takes place as well as the context from which criticism emanates. I argue that this is particularly true when the external critics are evaluating practices that take place in a Muslim context, given the problematic manner Muslim women's bodies have taken center stage in the international debates. This thesis critically interrogates the preoccupation with Muslim women in international human rights and the treatment of Muslim women's claims in the case of early marriage.

This thesis proceeds along three levels: the international, national and local levels. On examining the international level through the work of the women's committee, CEDAW, I show the predominance of the universalism/relativism dichotomy, with CEDAW invested in rhetorical claims to the universality of human rights. This thesis demonstrates that the practice in the area of marriage age tolerates particularity and variance. Further, I argue that a strength of international law on this point is its flexibility or ambiguity, which can allow for constructive particularity, without sanctioning all instances of cultural particularity. The local level of analysis stems from fieldwork in northern Nigeria and grassroots activism to address early marriage. Finally, I evaluate the national domestication of international norms through the example of Canadian refugee cases concerning marriage and culture.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence

Year: 1999

The Application of Human Rights Treaties in the Development of Domestic and International Law: A Personal Perspective


Doherty, Teresa A. 2009. “The Application of Human Rights Treaties in the Development of Domestic and International Law: A Personal Perspective.” Leiden Journal of International Law 22 (4): 753–59.

Author: Teresa A. Doherty


This article considers the application of international human rights treaties or conventions to domestic law in common law countries and the historical differences in approach between some jurisdictions. It promotes the view that the judiciary of a country which has signed an international human rights treaty or convention may refer to such a treaty when interpreting domestic law, notwithstanding the fact that the treaty or convention has not been incorporated into domestic legislation. The article also suggests that international human rights treaties and conventions have a role in developing international criminal law and international humanitarian law. It cites the example of the decision that forced marriage is an inhumane act, a crime against humanity, by the Special Court of Sierra Leone, and gives the factual and jurisprudential background to that decision.

Topics: Gender, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2009

Between Victim and Agent: Women’s Ambivalent Empowerment in Displacement


Rajasingham-Senanayake, Darini. 2004. “Between Victim and Agent: Women’s Ambivalent Empowerment in Displacement.” In Refugees and the Transformation of Societies: Agency, Policies, Ethics, and Politics, edited by Philomena Essed, Georg Frerks, and Joke Schrijvers. New York: Berghahn Books.

Author: Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake


Highlighting gross violations of women's bodies and space in situations of conflict and displacement has been part of an important intervention by activists and women's groups to promote women's rights as human rights internationally. The various and systematic forms of violence that women experience at the hands of armed combatants, whether state armies or paramilitary personnel, in situations of armed conflict and displacement was extensively documented in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and other parts of Africa and Asia. This process culminated in the UN resolution that established rape as a war crime and saw the appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women in 1994. But the focus on women as 'victims' of war and displacement in international human rights and humanitarian discourses may have also resulted in the elision of how long-term social upheaval might have transformed gender roles and provided new spaces for women's agency.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Humanitarian Assistance, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2004

Understanding and Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Human Trafficking: Final Report


Farrell, Amy, Jack McDevitt, Stephanie Fahy, Scott Decker, Vince Webb, and Nikos Passas. 2008. Understanding and Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Human Trafficking: Final Report. Boston: Northeastern University: Institute on Race and Justice.

Authors: Amy Farrell, Jack McDevitt, Stephanie Fahy, Scott Decker, Vince Webb, Nikos Passas

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Globalization, Health, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

Power, Gender and Human Trafficking


Hart, Amanda. 2007. “Power, Gender and Human Trafficking.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, New York, August 11.

Author: Amanda Hart


The purpose of this meta-analytic research was to determine the gender and power influences at play within the phenomenon of international human trafficking. Utilizing a lens of Gender Relations Theory and an array of previously conducted research, the push, pull, and facilitating factors influencing these migrant's immigration are examined. The emotional and physical stresses of the trafficked persons (primarily women and children) as well as trafficking techniques are presented through a variety of cases. The concepts of gender and power relations tie together to form a startling conclusion: many times underprivileged and susceptible men, women, and children are trafficked simply because they can be. Unfortunately, the government's response to human trafficking has not been extremely successful, with only 46 trafficked migrants having been served and rehabilitated as of September 2005 under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. This research concludes that merely rehabilitating trafficked persons will not solve the root of the problem: the deep-seeded gender and power inequality still existing between men and women.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, NGOs, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2007

Data and Research on Human Trafficking: A Global Survey


Gozdziak, Elzbieta, and Frank Laczko, eds. 2005. Data and Research on Human Trafficking: A Global Survey. Offprint of the Special Issues of International Migration 43 (1/2). Geneva: International Organization for Migration.

Authors: Elzbieta Gozdziak, Frank Laczko


Human trafficking has become a global business, reaping huge profits for traffickers and organized crime syndicates, generating massive human rights violations, and causing serious problems for governments. Despite the magnitude of the problem, however, it has only recently seized policy makers’ attention.

During the last decade there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies about human trafficking. This review of research and data on trafficking shows that despite the growing literature on trafficking around the world, relatively few studies are based on extensive or empirical research, and information on the actual numbers of people trafficked remains very sketchy. The book, which includes 9 regional chapters, and 3 chapters dealing with methodological issues, suggests a number of ways in which to enhance research and data on human trafficking.

The study includes papers from more than a dozen experts. These papers were first discussed at an international conference sponsored by the Italian government which was held in Rome in May 2004. The volume is edited by Dr. Frank Laczko, Head of Research, IOM Geneva, and Dr. Elzbieta Gozdziak, Research Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Washington.

Topics: Gender, Health, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, NGOs, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, North America, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Oceania

Year: 2005


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