The white slave traffic in International law

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 10
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    The evolution in the legal regime governing human trafficking can be separated neatly into three eras: the Pre-League of Nations, the League of Nations, and the United Nations. This study considers the first of these eras; in the development of the Pre-League of Nations legal regime surrounding the ‘White Slave Traffic’. While that very term was considered troublesome at the time; today it is downright offensive: clearly objectionable on a number of grounds, most obviously its overt racism and its equating of the slave trade with prostitution. Despite this, the regime of White Slave Traffic is the 1904 International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic and the 1910 International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic; and remains fundamental to understanding the evolution of what is today understood as human trafficking generally, and more specifically, trafficking related to sexual exploitation; and the dynamics which shaped its contemporary contours and the language used to define it.