Human trafficking constitutes a grave human rights violation that is present in every continent. At the same time, it is one of the most profitable businesses for global organized crime. It involves the commercialization and exploitation of human beings worldwide. As such, it is regarded as the contemporary embodiment of slavery. People in certain social, migratory, or economic positions may be more vulnerable to be victims of human trafficking.
Moreover, these vulnerabilities have incremented with the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change. In response, the international community has recognized that slavery is absolutely prohibited, and has taken collective steps for the prevention and eradication of organized crime. However, universal and regional human rights mechanisms are dealing with an ever-growing number of human trafficking cases. In this context, we must ask ourselves What are the main elements and characteristics of human trafficking? How does this phenomenon manifests itself in different parts of the world? What conditions may present a risk to fall victim to human trafficking? What are the international obligations States must comply for the prevention and eradication of human trafficking? ¿Are these obligations sufficient? What are the roles of civil society and human rights bodies in these efforts?
José Daniel is a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Costa Rica. He has worked for the past four years as a Legal Assistant at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and previously served as an intern at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees regional office for Latin America.
He has participated in several international law courses, including the International Law Winter Course provided by the Hague Academy for International Law and the Interdisciplinary Human Rights Course organized by the Inter-American Human Rights Institute. Moreover, he has previously served as Secretary-General and Vice-President of the Costa Rican Association of International Law, where he carried out several activities for the dissemination of international law to students and public servants. In this context, Mr. Rodriguez co-organized a seminar on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery which involved the participation of government officials and representatives from international organizations. As a student, Mr. Rodriguez has participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and has given lessons on moot courts to international students at the Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation, in Switzerland.