Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Governments began to react to the increased power of organised crime and the growth of illegal trafficking, including in human beings, during the 1990s. This drive culminated in 2000 with the passage of the Palermo Convention to combat organised crime and its Protocol to combat human trafficking. Since then, the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery has received political attention and millions have been poured into different anti-trafficking initiatives around the world. National penal laws have been adopted andnational referral mechanisms have been set up. Judges, special police units and border guards were trained to identify victims, while international cooperation and coordination improved through new intergovernmental platforms such as Frontex and Eurojust in Europe. Nevertheless, there is no indication that the level of ‘modern-day slaves’ in the world has decreased due to these developments. On the contrary, recent estimates suggest that the number has been rising. One can only conclude that, by and large, government responses have been ineffective.