UCL LLB graduate published in the International Journal of Human Rights
25 April 2018
Danielle Worden, UCL LLB graduate and the Andrews Medal recipient of 2017, recently had her paper 'Sex Trafficking: Towards a Human Rights Paradigm' published in the International Journal of Human Rights.
Although regulated by international criminal law since the early 20th century, the paper highlights that the existing legal framework is indisputably insufficient as sex trafficking remains globally ubiquitous. As a product of human behaviour, the responsibility must fall on society to combat the endemic.
However, the paper argues that the existing legal framework overwhelmingly fails to appreciate its multifaceted causes or to achieve any of the necessary 'three Ps': prosecution, prevention, and protection. The tendency for sex trafficking to be unhelpfully conflated with other forms of trafficking within the contemporary modern slavery discourse only increases the difficulty of combating sex trafficking.
The paper critiques both the outdated international anti-sex trafficking regime, the UN Palermo Protocol, and a contemporary domestic regime, the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. After arguing that both legal frameworks are insufficient due to their criminal law foundations, it then proposes as a replacement an anti-sex trafficking paradigm grounded in human rights. Finally, the paper argues that the full potential of this paradigm will only be realised once labour rights are recognised as human rights.