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Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking Efforts and Policies (DemandAT)

Research objectives:
The criminalisation of clients, stricter controls for agencies, campaigns for fairly traded t-shirts – these are examples of currently discussed efforts to reduce trafficking by addressing the demand side. So far, there is little research on the impact of such measures. The European research project “Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking Efforts and Policies” seeks to gain a better understanding in this field. The project consortium assumes that it is not sufficient to analyse situations which conform to the sophisticated legal concept of ‘trafficking’. It seeks to analyse a range of forced and exploitative scenarios and ‘import’ insights from other fields. The project aims at delivering theoretical and empirical background knowledge for political decisions on European and national levels that should ultimately eliminate or at least reduce suffering from the worst forms of exploitation.

Research phases:
• Phase 1, starting in January 2014 and ending in June 2015, involves a comprehensive analysis of theoretical and empirical literature in different disciplines, fields and countries. Apart from being responsible for the overall coordination of the project, the ICMPD team will contribute to the analysis of debates on demand in relation to THB in the context of begging, forced/ servile marriages, criminal activities and organ removal and the comparative analysis of demand in different forms of THB. In addition, ICMPD will coordinate and contribute to the comparative analysis of a selected number of EU and non-EU countries’ policies addressing demand in THB and other forms of severe exploitation.
• Phase 2 involves five in-depth empirical case studies. Three of them address specific fields with systematic differences with regard to the type of demand linked to trafficking: Domestic work, prostitution and imported goods which are provided through global supply chains. Two case studies investigate specifically relevant policy approaches. ICMPD researchers will contribute to a workpackage investigating the role of law-enforcement actors, with ICMPD specifically examining the role of labour inspectors and comparable agencies in addressing demand for exploited labour.
• Phase 3 integrates insights from both phases into a coherent framework and intensifies dissemination which is informed by continuous, systematic stakeholder communication throughout the project.

The extended project summary is available here.

Research consortium
The interdisciplinary consortium includes partners from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. In addition, a high profile advisory board has been established, drawn from a number of relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions.

Project Duration: 2014-2017
Funding: 7th Framework Programme (FP7), European Commission (DG Research)
Project Coordinator: International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)
Project Partners: University of Bremen (UBr); University of Edinburgh (UEd), International La Strada Association (LSI), University of Lund (ULu), University of Durham (UDu), European University Institute (EUI); Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF); La Strada Czech Republic (LSCz)
Contact: Albert Kraler



Norbert Cyrus and Dita Vogel (2015): Demand Arguments in Debates on Trafficking in Human Beings: Using a historical and economic approach to achieve conceptual clarification. DemandAT Working Paper No. 1.

Norbert Cyrus (2015): The Concept of Demand in Relation to Trafficking in Human Beings. A Review of Debates since the late 19th Century. DemandAT Working Paper No. 2.

Dita Vogel (2015): The Concept of Demand in the Context of Trafficking in Human Beings: Using contributions from economics in search of clarification. DemandAT Working Paper No. 3.

Christina Boswell and Sarah Kyambi (2016): Steering Demand and the Quest for 'Better Regulation'. DemandAT Working Paper No. 4.

Alexandra Ricard-Guay (2016): Trafficking in domestic work: Looking at the demand-side. DemandAT Working Paper No. 5.

Mădălina Rogoz et al (2016): Responses to Demand in the Context of Trafficking in Human Beings: Regulatory measures from twelve national contexts. DemandT Working Paper No. 6.

For more information, please visit the project website

Research staff involved:

 Almut Bachinger
 Veronika Bilger
 Claire Healy
 Maegan Hendow
 Albert Kraler
 Jimy Perumadan
 Madalina Rogoz