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UK less effective than Albania in tackling human trafficking

A new index which measures the effectiveness of government policies to fight human trafficking has found that the UK fares worse than some less developed countries such as Albania and Vietnam, and is only equal to Uzbekistan.

alleyAlthough the UK has robust policies to prevent trafficking and prosecute traffickers, it is let down by poor policies for the protection of trafficking victims.

The '3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index', created by Professor Axel Dreher and Ms. Seo-Young Cho from the University of Goettingen, Germany, with participation from Professor Eric Neumayer from the London School of Economics and Political Science, has evaluated anti-trafficking polices in 177 Countries from 2000-2009.

The Index is based on a country's compliance with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons and looks at three key areas of anti-trafficking policy: prevention of human trafficking, prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims. It measures a country's performance in each of these areas on a five point scale; five being the best and one being the worst.

While the UK achieved full marks for prosecution and prevention in 2009, it scored a mere two out of five for protecting victims of trafficking. The creators of the Index suggest that policies such as imprisoning victims on grounds of illegal immigration, an action against the mandate of the UN Protocol, is the reason behind the low score in this area.

But the UK is not alone in its lack of effective policies for protecting trafficking victims. While the Index suggests worldwide anti-trafficking policy has improved in the past 10 years, it also recently shows a modest deterioration in policies designed to protect victims, who would mostly be foreign nationals.

Commenting on these findings, co-investigator Eric Neumayer, Head of LSE's Department of Geography and Environment, said:

Eric Neumayer"There have been great improvements in tackling this horrifying industry, with stricter enforcement and improved co-operation between countries. However, many countries, including the UK, are neglecting their duty to adequately protect the victims of trafficking. These people deserve our full protection and should never be further victimized by treating them similar to criminals."

According to the Index ranking, in 2009 the top performing countries in terms of fighting against human trafficking included Germany, Australia and the USA. The worst performer was North Korea which scored a minimum of three out of 15.

The 3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index will continue to be annually updated and the new ranking for 2010 will be released in summer 2011.

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Notes to Editors:

The full 2009 3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index rankings are available here:

The Index Project was financed by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security (Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme).  


For further information, please contact: pressoffice@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7060. 

For detailed information about the methodology behind the Index and, trends in anti-trafficking policy and the full set of annual scores for each country please visit: www.human-trafficking-research.org

or contact: 

Ms. Seo-Young Cho (MA),
Chair of Development and International Economics,
Georg-August-University of Goettingen
+49 551 39 7368

Thursday 14 April 2011