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Call for Papers: Anti-Trafficking Review

Guest Editor: Jacqueline Bhabha

Deadline for Submission: 1 June 2014

2015 will mark the 15 th anniversary of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Is this a time to celebrate progress or has the Protocol caused more problems than it has solved? The Protocol created frameworks which have impacted people's lives: differentiating smuggling from trafficking; marking out women and children, rather than men, as priority stakeholders; defining trafficking broadly; placing organ sale within the mainstream of anti trafficking work; and emphasizing the concept of 'abuse of power' in the identification of trafficking. What do the effects of these aspects of the Protocol look like on the ground, after 15 years of building anti-trafficking into government, NGO and INGO programming?

How do those who negotiated the Protocol view it now? How has the Protocol's definition of trafficking been received and what aspects of the definition continue to be problematic or controversial? Furthermore, what work needs to be done to make the Protocol more useful (to people who are trafficked) in the decades ahead? Some have questioned the new international legal framework around trafficking established by the Protocol due to its placement under a crime control convention and the implicit prioritisation of prosecutions over human rights and victim protection. Many have worked hard to prioritize human rights in anti-trafficking laws as well as in anti-trafficking practice.

The   Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a Special Issue '15 Years of the UN Trafficking Protocol'. This issue will present thoughtful, innovative and well-researched articles that address critical questions such as those set out below. The journal is also interested in papers that propose new ways of thinking about the Protocol and anti-trafficking work more generally, looking toward shaping the future. Authors may be interested in addressing the following:

  • What good work has been done as a direct or indirect result of the Protocol? What has been less useful or even harmful?
  • What problems has the definition of trafficking in Article 3 of the Protocol posed? What strategies and innovations have been adopted to address these?
  • Have the definitions and requirements set out in the Protocol enabled work to progress with more clarity on agreed terms and priorities?
  • What unexpected responses to the Protocol have emerged? 
  • Is the trafficking framework in the Protocol largely an immigration control measure? What evidence is there that this has been the case?
  • Has the response to and impact of the Protocol been uneven across regions?
  • How have practitioners and advocates worked to prioritize rights in anti-trafficking measures?
  • Are other frameworks, such as refugee-related legislation or labour laws, easier to use in national contexts? In practice, are they less stigmatizing for trafficked persons?
  • Has work under the labels of migrants' rights, women's rights, labour rights or women's health been left behind due to the popularity that anti-trafficking has gained in the last 15 years?

This issue features a  'Debate Section' for short (800-1000 words) opinion pieces. We welcome articles either supporting or rejecting the following proposition:  "The Trafficking Protocol has advanced the global movement against human exploitation."

The  Review promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking, and it aims to explore the issue in its broader context including gender analyses and intersections with labour and migrant rights. The journal offers a space for dialogue for those seeking to communicate new ideas and findings. Academics, practitioners, trafficked persons and advocates are invited to submit articles. Contributions from the global South are particularly welcome. The  Review presents rigorously considered, peer reviewed material in clear English. The journal is an open access publication with a readership in 78 countries.

The  Anti-Trafficking Review is abstracted/indexed in: CrossRef, Ulrich's, Ebsco Host, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Directory of Open Access Journals, WorldCat, eGranary,, Google Scholar and ProQuest.

Deadline for submission: 1 June 2014

Word count for Full Article submissions: 4,000 - 6,000 words, including footnotes and abstract

Word count for 'Debate' submissions: 800-1,000 words

Special Issue to be published in 2015

We advise those interested in submitting to follow the  Review's style guide and online submission procedures at . Email the editorial team at with any queries.

Special Issue Guest Editor: Jacqueline Bhabha

Editor: Rebecca Napier-Moore