Protecting Persons

Asif Efrat

in Governing Guns, Preventing Plunder

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199760305
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950010 | DOI:
Protecting Persons

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Throughout the 20th century, several international agreements tackled human trafficking, starting with the 1904 International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic. This chapter opens with a historical overview of these agreements. Its focus, however, is on the American legislation on human trafficking: the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (hereafter the Trafficking Act or the Act). The Trafficking Act is a domestic law rather than an international agreement to which governments have consented. Yet in its purpose, the Act resembles the international regulatory agreements examined in this book: it sets global standards for the elimination of illicit trade and seeks to bring governments worldwide into compliance with these standards. The second section explores the domestic political process that culminated in the passage of the Trafficking Act. It examines how moral entrepreneurs stimulate government concern about the negative effects of illicit trade abroad. The third and fourth sections explore Israel's policy on sex trafficking and labor trafficking, respectively. Throughout the 1990s the Israeli government was indifferent to human trafficking and failed to take action against it. Only following the 2001 and 2006 Trafficking in Persons Reports, issued by the State Department, did remarkable changes occur in Israel's policy. The Israeli case illustrates how coercion can change government calculations and motivate the suppression of illicit trade.

Keywords: international agreements; Israeli policy; sex trafficking; labor trafficking

Chapter.  21690 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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