Authoritarianism and Human Trafficking

Documenting the links between human trafficking
and authoritarianism

HRF believes that authoritarianism is one of the structural problems at the root of human trafficking, and we are working to document this relationship. Authoritarian regimes lack rule of law, and tend to encourage corruption — factors that allow traffickers to commit crimes with impunity. Without rule of law, trafficking victims lack an avenue through which to challenge their abusers, and cannot count on the state to intervene to protect their rights. Arrests, detentions, and sentencing occur arbitrarily and often are politically motivated. Authoritarian regimes generally prosecute fewer trafficking cases. In corrupt states, police and politicians can be bought off to intentionally ignore and profit from trafficking.