Dancing on the borders of article 4. Human trafficking and the European Court of Human Rights in the Rantsev case

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Abstract

Abstract in Undetermined
This article points to four worrisome aspects of the Court’s reasoning in Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia. First, the Court takes on board the concept of ‘human trafficking’ without offering any meaningful legal analysis as to the elements of the human trafficking definition. Second, the adoption of the human trafficking framework implicates the ECtHR in anti-immigration and anti-prostitution agenda. The heart of this article is the argument that the human trafficking framework should be discarded and the Court should focus and develop the prohibitions on slavery, servitude and forced labor. To advance this argument I explain the relation between, on the one hand, ‘human trafficking’ and, on the other hand, slavery, servitude and forced labor. I suggest hints as to how the Court could have engaged and worked with the definition of slavery which requires ‘exercise of powers attaching to the right of ownership’, in relation to the particular facts in Rantsev v Cyprus and Russia. Lastly, I submit that the legal analysis as to the state positive obligation to ‘take protective operation measures’ is far from persuasive.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law

Keywords

  • forced labour, Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, Rantsev v Cyprus and Russia, human trafficking, servitude, slavery, human rights
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-194
JournalNetherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
Volume30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes