n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - The legal framework to combat human trafficking in Germany : a critical perspective

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



Human trafficking is high on the agenda of Germany. The country has a long tradition of coordinating anti-trafficking efforts, dating from the 1890s and re-emerging again in the 1970s and late 1990s. The basic protection of trafficked persons' fundamental rights is also provided for in the German Constitution. To address the trade in human beings in the jurisdiction, traditional offences and other legislative measures to combat human trafficking were initially employed; however these laws were not sufficient to effectively counter the phenomenon. As such, the available anti-trafficking provisions in its Penal Code were adjusted to amend identified deficiencies. The main focus of Germany's anti-trafficking policies has traditionally been trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In 2005 the legal framework was brought into line with the Palermo Protocol and all forms of trafficking (trafficking for sexual exploitation, labour purposes and forced marriage) are currently criminalised. This article aims to provide a comprehensive diachronic as well as contemporary overview of the anti-trafficking efforts, the constitutional framework and trafficking legislation of Germany. The results drawn may assist when considering the adequacy and possible efficacy of the legal framework dealing with human trafficking in South Africa.

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