Reforming Mexico’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Legislation

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Arthur Sanders Montandon

Abstract

In the past few years, Mexico has taken a number of measures to further prevention, protection, and prosecution of trafficking in persons. The country’s government has signed international anti-trafficking conventions and has taken some aspects of widely accepted international definitions of this crime as a reference when drafting its anti-trafficking legislation. However, Mexican lawmakers have interpreted human trafficking in their own terms. Mexico’s current anti-trafficking legislation is based on a quite broad definition of trafficking in persons and shows serious limitations that have led to the misidentification of victims and traffickers, as well as to re-victimization. This adds to Mexico’s weak rule of law, corruption, and the involvement of interest groups with particular agendas/ideologies that have obstructed reform. The present analysis demonstrates the imperative necessity to modify the current anti-trafficking legislation in Mexico and provides some basic suggestions for this much-needed reform.

Keywords

Mexico; Palermo Protocol; human trafficking; anti-trafficking legislation; reform; Tapachula

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