Rescuing Trafficking from Ideological Capture
tention away from migrants’ rights and efforts to combat slavery in all its contemporary forms. U.S. law and policy have fueled controversy over anti-trafficking strategies, both at home and abroad. In 2000, the United States led negotiations over a new international law on trafficking, the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Per-sons, Especially Women and Children (the U.N. Trafficking Proto-col).
At the same time, the United States enacted a comprehensive domestic law on trafficking, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA).
Both instruments define trafficking as the movement or recruitment of men, women, or children, using force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting them to involuntary servitude or slavery in one or more of a wide variety of sectors (for example, agriculture, construction, or commercial sex).
These legal defini-tions reflect a concerted effort to move away from traditional perspec-tives that narrowly defined trafficking as the movement or recruitment of women or girls into the sex sector and toward a broader under-standing of the problem as also involving the exploitation of women, men, and children in non-sex sectors. Although trafficking into non-sex sectors arguably accounts for the larger proportion of trafficking activity,
anti-trafficking laws and policies—both within the United States and abroad—have nonethe-less remained focused on sex-sector trafficking and prostitution. This focus reflects the potent influence of prostitution-reform debates on the anti-trafficking movement. Those debates have embroiled anti-trafficking advocates and policymakers in a struggle over whether prostitution is inherently coercive, and therefore a form of trafficking, or whether the trafficking label should be applied only to instances of
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Or-ganized Crime, Nov. 15, 2000, 2237 U.N.T.S. 319 [hereinafter U.N. Trafficking Protocol].
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), Pub. L. No. 106-386, div. A, 114 Stat. 1466 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 8, 18, and 22 U.S.C.),
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 (2003 TVPRA), Pub. L. No. 108-193, 117 Stat. 2875 (codified in scattered sections of 8, 18, and 22 U.S.C.), Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (2005 TVPRA), Pub. L. No. 109-164, 119 Stat. 3558 (2006) (codified in scattered sections of 18, 22, and 42 U.S.C.),
William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthoriza-tion Act of 2008 (2008 TVPRA), Pub. L. No. 110-457, 122 Stat. 5044 (codified in scat-tered sections of 6, 8, 18, 22, and 42 U.S.C.).
TVPA § 103(8) (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 7102 (2006)); U.N. Trafficking Proto-col art. 3.