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State Responsibility for Modern Slavery: Uncovering and Bridging the Gap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-571
Number of pages33
JournalInternational and Comparative Law Quarterly
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jul 2019
Accepted/In press20 May 2019
E-pub ahead of print11 Jul 2019
Published31 Jul 2019


King's Authors


International law prohibits slavery and slavery-like practices under treaties that have been in force for more than a century. Yet, contemporary forms of slavery are one of the prevailing challenges for the international community, with 40.3 million people in modern slavery on any given day in 2016. The State has been largely overlooked as a perpetrator or accomplice in the global movement to eradicate modern slavery. The hand of the State can however be found in contemporary cases of modern slavery. This article identifies five scenarios of state involvement in modern slavery and aims to uncover and bridge the responsibility gap.

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