Citation Malloch M (2016) Criminalising Victims of Human Trafficking: State Responses and Punitive Practices. In: Malloch M & Rigby P (eds.) Human Trafficking: The Complexities of Exploitation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 175-193. https://doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401128.003.0011
Abstract International responses to trafficking in humans include a presumption against the prosecution of victims who commit crimes as a direct result of their victimisation. However, there is increasing international evidence that victims of trafficking continue to be detained or imprisoned in state institutions following ‘liberation’ from traffickers. This chapter examines the social, political and economic depiction of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ victims and the political basis for the criminalisation of certain victims of human trafficking. The broader questions that this raises in terms of appropriate responses to victims of human trafficking, and the limitations of effective survivor care, are considered.