Scottish Universities Insight Institute : a development from the institute for advanced studies

a development from the institute for advanced studies


Human trafficking: Conceptualising definitions, responses and 'what needs to be done'

Trafficking in human beings is a worldwide phenomenon requiring an urgent and effective response. It is a growing problem across the UK; with Scotland required to meet UK-wide and international obligations. This has resulted in the introduction of procedures and processes aimed at identifying and responding to the victims of human trafficking and measures to tackle organised trade in the movement and exploitation of people. However, there has been little opportunity for reflection in the development of policies and practices; for the collation and application of empirical evidence; or for experts from academic, policy, and practice to reflect upon current practice and how to take this forward.

In particular, opportunities to determine theoretical imperatives underpinning definitions, estimates and responses have been limited. Aspirations to prioritise a human rights model with a wider discourse of `vulnerable people’ on the move has frequently been overtaken by law enforcement and border control priorities.

This programme will provide a unique opportunity to develop interdisciplinary collaboration in a space conducive to reflection and deliberation. Firstly, a clear theoretical and conceptual understanding of the issues will be considered and, secondly appropriate responses and support programmes will be examined. The programme is likely to have significant impact on collaborative developments in Scotland and internationally.



  • Programme team
  • Programme Documents

Programme Report

Download the Final Report and Executive Summary for the Human Trafficking series

External links

Key dates

11-12 October 2012

13-14 December 2012

14-15 March 2013