The website for critical discussion about migration in Central and Eastern Europe.
11. 10. 06
Victor Nnamdi Opara

Consent Dilemmas - Contextualising the Trafficking of African, Asian and Eastern European Women for Prostitution

The contours of the consent that a woman gives to traffickers in order to enable them to assist her to travel out of her community/state have continued to raise issues that have engaged the international community in recent times. Theoretically, the law presumes that an adult person who consents to be trafficked rationally knows what she wants and does not deserve any further protection unless the consent that she gave to traffickers was not informed. However, the major limitation of this presumption is that it prevents the international community from inquiring into what happens after the woman's consent has been obtained by traffickers. Unfortunately, the international community has not made many efforts to figure out the disparity between what appears to be consent and the events occurring afterwards, all of which tend to negate such consent. In order to fill this gap, this analysis uses the stories of trafficked African, Asian and Eastern European women to illustrate the limitations of consent in trafficking discourses. The paper explores the potential ramifications of consent in order to illustrate the factors that in reality visibly negate consent in trafficking transactions. In other words, in trafficking transactions, what appears to be consent ex ante is actually not consent ex post.

Victor Nnamdi Opara, LL.M. (New York University School of Law), LL.M. (University of Toronto), LL.B. (Honors) (University of Benin), Member of the Bars of Ontario and Nigeria. He can be contacted at victor.opara(AT)utoronto.ca
11. 10. 06

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