Norbert Cyrus: The Concept of Demand in Relation to THB: A Review of Debates since the Late 19th Century

Norbert Cyrus: The Concept of Demand in Relation to THB: A Review of Debates since the Late 19th Century

The 2000 UN Trafficking Protocol obliged states to discourage demand that fostered exploitation leading to trafficking. Fifteen years later, there is still no shared understanding of what demand means in the context of debates on trafficking in human beings (THB).

Working paper 2 charts the history of the use of the concepts “trafficking” and “demand” in the context of debates on trafficking since the 1860s. It shows that terminological confusion was and still is a constant feature of these debates. The paper argues that conceptual confusion hampers mutual understanding, prevents reasonable dispute and undermines the capacity to develop policy approaches which effectively provide protection from trafficking and exploitation.