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The role of consent in the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation: establishing who the victims are, and how they should be treated

Elliott, Jessica Christine (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The most recent international legal definition of „trafficking in humans‟ is provided within Article 3 of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and is reproduced verbatim in Article 4 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, and almost verbatim in Article 2 of the recent Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, 2011. This definition has taken significant and at times controversial steps in clarifying what human trafficking is in a legal sense. The definition is comprised of three elements – the „action‟, „means‟ and „purpose‟, all of which must be present in order for the activity in question to constitute human trafficking. The definition goes on to state that consent is irrelevant where any of the listed „means‟ such as force or coercion have been employed by the trafficker(s). The „lack of consent‟ element has the potential to be problematic, due to the elasticity of the notion of consent. If it is to be accepted that consent (or lack thereof) is relevant in the context of human trafficking – and therefore sexual exploitation – then this renders it difficult to determine who are, and who are not, victims of human trafficking, and leaves those who have „consented‟ in a state of limbo – they have been less than trafficked, but more than smuggled. This thesis aims to explore the nature and role of consent in the transnational trade in women for sexual exploitation, and what the ramifications of inclusion of this controversial element are for the putative victims.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Warbrick, John and Wicks, Elizabeth
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Law
Subjects:K Law (General)
KD England and Wales
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2868
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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