British policy on human trafficking: the role of non-governmental organisations in seeking change

Rebecca Powell

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis looks at the role of British anti-trafficking NGOs in the development of the British policy response to human trafficking. Anti-trafficking NGOs are classified as insiders in the policy process which allows them access to the decision makers during policy developments. Through their insider status, NGOs have promoted their policy agenda for a victim-centred, balanced policy response to human trafficking to the government. A balanced policy response to human trafficking that contains a law enforcement approach with adequate and supportive measures for the protection and support of trafficked victims, has been internationally hailed as being required to tackle human trafficking at a national level. Although the British government has welcomed the input of NGOs in policy developments in response to human trafficking in Britain, the government's primary association of human trafficking with illegal immigration has prevented NGOs from achieving influential success. This thesis argues that the government's associations of human trafficking with illegal immigration have prevented it from further developing its human rights response to trafficking. A victim-centred approach to trafficking will support the existing law enforcement response in achieving an increase in successful prosecutions against the traffickers. Further, it is noted that policy developments in Britain are incremental and slow and the development of a policy response to human trafficking is no exception. By looking at the latest stage of British policy developments on human trafficking, the possibility of a balanced response has emerged for the first time. However, although the government has indicated its commitment to achieving such a response, no practical policy initiatives have been developed or implemented to affirm this commitment. This thesis contributes to the existing and growing body of literature on human trafficking policy in the UK. It aims to contribute to an understanding of how British anti-trafficking NGOs have used their status as insiders in the policy making process in order to influence policy developments, and to understand the limited success that they have experienced.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMasters
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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