This module is a resource for lecturers


An effective response to the crime of trafficking in persons requires a comprehensive approach that aims to prevent it, assist and protect victims, and prosecute and punish offenders. When the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Protocol against Trafficking in Persons) was created, the United Nations adopted what is known as the three P's approach: prevention, protection and prosecution. A fourth P was added later to stress the need for partnership in countering trafficking in persons (see for further discussion Sheldon-Sherman, 2012).

This Module addresses prevention measures. To be effective, such measures must be directed at the factors that enable trafficking. The Protocol refers to poverty, underdevelopment and lack of equal opportunities as examples of such causes. There are, however, many others. General crime prevention theories will not be addressed in detail in this Module (for additional material please see Module 4 of the Teaching Module Series on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants).

This Module first explains the duty of prevention placed on States parties to the Protocol against Trafficking in Persons, before examining the root causes of trafficking, such as poverty, inequality and corruption. The Module then proceeds to explore effective prevention strategies, including those addressing both the demand and supply sides of trafficking, together with crime prevention and the opening of safe migration channels. It also emphasizes the importance of monitoring and assessing the efficacy of prevention strategies.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand prevention duties imposed on States by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
  • Understand the root causes of trafficking in persons, including:
    • The factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking.
    • The factors that fuel demand for goods and services produced or provided by trafficked labour.
    • The factors that allow crime and organized crime to flourish.
  • Identify effective prevention strategies, including an understanding of:
    • The shortcomings of many "supply side" prevention strategies and initiatives.
    • Demand side strategies - discouraging or prosecuting demand.
    • The role of the media.
    • Safe migration channels and crime prevention.
  • Analyse monitoring, evaluating and reporting mechanisms used to assess the effectiveness of prevention strategies.

As explained in the Recommended Class Structure, this Module should commence with the screening of the short film Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Curriculum by kNOw MORE! (approx. 4 minutes), which lecturers can also find in Exercise 1.

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