Friday, January 8, 2010

Landmark European Judgment on Sex Trafficking

In a landmark judgment issued in a case involving Cyprus, the European Court of Human Rights noted that, like slavery, trafficking in human beings, by its very nature and aim of exploitation, was based on the exercise of powers attaching to the right of ownership; it treated human beings as commodities to be bought and sold and put to forced labour; it implied close surveillance of the activities of victims, whose movements were often circumscribed; and it involved the use of violence and threats against victims. Accordingly the European Court of Human Rights held that trafficking itself was prohibited by Article 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits slavery and forced labor. For more analysis, see the ECHR Blog.

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