Sunday, August 2, 2020
In recent years, there have been dramatic developments in law, policy, and programs aimed at confronting human trafficking. Yet despite these initiatives, the consensus among experts is that the prevalence of human trafficking has not declined. There are many reasons for the lack of progress on reducing prevalence of human trafficking, including: the early and ongoing emphasis on sex trafficking cases at the expense of addressing labor trafficking, the over-reliance on criminal justice frameworks in many jurisdictions, the failure to develop meaningful responses to the root causes of human trafficking, the limited evaluation of existing antitrafficking law and programs, and, ultimately, a failure to take prevention seriously.
Although prevention is the ultimate goal, it has rarely received top priority in antitrafficking responses. To address this, the Georgia State University Law Review’s 2020 Symposium — “Prioritizing Prevention in Human Trafficking Research, Innovation, and Advocacy” — brought together some of the leading thinkers (and advocates) on human trafficking and tasked them with exploring how the field can move toward prevention. The result is an invaluable collection of articles. These articles explore a breadth of critical issues — from understanding the root causes of human trafficking, to sector-specific initiatives, to the challenge of building a comprehensive, integrated response. This Foreword introduces the symposium and provides an overview of the insightful articles included in the issue.