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Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 421–445 | Cite as

Human trafficking for criminal exploitation and participation in armed conflicts: the Colombian case

  • Carolina VillacampaEmail author
  • Katherine Flórez
Article

Abstract

This paper shows how human trafficking for criminal exploitation can occur in environments of armed conflict in which adults and even children are recruited to fight. It proposes that these people’s status as victims should be taken into account when determining the degree of their criminal responsibility within the framework of a transitional justice process such as the one applied in Colombia under the 2005 Justice and Peace Act (Ley de Justicia y Paz). In order to prove that some victims of human trafficking exploited in the Colombian armed conflict have not been duly identified as such, it presents the main results of a qualitative study carried out with 20 women inmates in Colombian prisons who were members of guerrilla groups and were demobilised under the terms of the Justice and Peace Act. The study shows how the life stories narrated by 16 of these women make it possible to identify them as victims of trafficking for criminal exploitation even though they have not been classified as such. In 80% of the analysed cases, the women suffered episodes of victimisation that led them to join and remain in the armed group, often against their will. These episodes involved the use of means to recruit them and to force them to stay active in the group that show they underwent a genuine process of human trafficking.

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors state that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.University of San Buenaventura CaliCaliColombia

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