Exploring the Interaction between Statelessness, Legal Empowerment and Human Trafficking

In: Tilburg Law Review
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  • 1 Statelessness ProgrammeTilburg University
  • 2 Tilburg University and Research Fellow at Intervict
  • 3 The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL)

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There is a common claim and widely held perception that statelessness puts a person at greater risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking. The underlying logic is compelling: without any nationality, stateless people often face severe obstacles in access to education, employment, health care, legal remedies, freedom of movement and other basic rights - thus they are more likely to take risks in the hope of improving their lives and they are more readily exploitable. The link between statelessness and a heightened vulnerability to human trafficking has, however, never been decisively demonstrated using empirical data. In order to fill this information gap, the authors sought to develop a methodology that would enable the connection between statelessness and trafficking to be mapped. This article outlines the theory and assumptions that underlie the research methodology developed and briefly discusses how this methodology is being implemented in a concrete pilot project in Thailand.