Human Trafficking, Vulnerability and the State

Fouladvand, Shahrzad and Ward, Tony (2019) Human Trafficking, Vulnerability and the State. The Journal of Criminal Law, 83 (1). pp. 39-54. ISSN 0022-0183

AAM_Fouladvand and Ward revd. 2 Nov 2018.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (388kB) | Preview
Official URL:


This article looks at human trafficking from a perspective influenced by the ‘vulnerability theory’ developed by Martha Fineman and her associates. It draws particularly on empirical studies of human trafficking from Albania to the UK and elsewhere. It suggests that Fineman’s approach needs to be modified to see the state not only as ameliorating vulnerability, or failing to do so, but as actively creating and using vulnerability to control or exploit its population. The fact that people are placed, for political, social and economic reasons, in situations of heightened vulnerability does not of itself deprive them of agency or responsibility. People should, however, be understood as ‘vulnerable subjects’ whose capacity for autonomy may be lost when they are deprived of supportive social relationships. The implications of this view for the criminal responsibility of trafficking victims are explored.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human trafficking, vulnerability, responsibility, duress, legal theory
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 10:29
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 10:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics