Sex Trafficking: Trends, Challenges, and the Limitations of International Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The passage of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in 2000 marked the first global effort to address human trafficking in 50 years. Since the passage of the UN Protocol international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and individual states have devoted significant resources to eliminating human trafficking. This article critically examines the impact of these efforts with reference to the trends, political, and empirical challenges in data collection and the limitations of international law. I argue that current international law disproportionately addresses the criminal prosecution of traffickers at the expense of trafficking victims' human rights, and has therefore not yet reached its full potential in the fight against human sex trafficking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-286
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Rights Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • International law
  • Prostitution
  • Sex trafficking
  • Slavery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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