Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014

First Page



The U.S. government and influential NGOs have been promoting a greatly expanded legal and policy understanding of the problem of human trafficking, recasting forced labor as trafficking, and trafficking as "modern-day slavery." The aggregate effect is a doctrinally problematic "exploitation creep." For strong legal and policy reasons, anti-trafficking efforts should target struc- tural vulnerability to trafficking through strengthened labor frameworks. On the same grounds the article contests initiatives to conflate human trafficking with slavery and to address trafficking primarily under an ex post crime-control par- adigm focused on perpetrator accountability and victim protection.