Protection of Migrants against Labor Exploitation in the Regulation of Migration in the EU

  • Gerrie G. LodderEmail author
Living reference work entry


The European Union (EU) is dedicated to the battle against human trafficking in general and labor exploitation as a specific form of human trafficking in particular. Article 5 (3) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights contains a prohibition of human trafficking including labor exploitation. The EU directive against human trafficking is more elaborated than the Palermo Protocol against human trafficking both in the definition of human trafficking as in the protection offered to victims.

Also in the legislation and policies regulating labor migration from third-country nationals into the EU as well as the regulation of intra-EU labor migration, attention is paid to the exploitation of labor migrants. However the regulation of labor migration is not only directed at the social protection of migrants, but it is also – and some claim predominantly – meant to contribute to the economic benefits of the Member States, and, as far as intra-EU migration is concerned, to promote the freedom of workers, self-employed persons, and services. This double purpose creates tensions between Member States and leads to the risk of labor exploitation. The purpose of this contribution is to analyze the EU legislation on labor migration and to expose the risks for – and opportunities to protect migrants from – labor exploitation in the legal framework regulating labor migration in the EU.


Migration Labor exploitation EU law 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Immigration LawLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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