Dissertation Abstracts

The role of Vulnerability in the migration process of Romanian and Nigerian women leading to sexual exploitation. Motherhood as a double vulnerability in THB.

Author: Pascoal, Rafaela H, rafaelahilariopascoal@gmail.com
Department: Law
University: University of Palermo, Italy
Supervisor: Isabel Trujillo
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Vulnerability , sexual exploitation , Romanian; Nigerian , Motherhood
Areas of Research: Family Research , Migration , Women in Society


During the last decade, the term vulnerability has been juridically applied at an international level, especially by categorizing identity subgroups. Furthermore, the complex concept, which has also been at the center of scholars debate has been introduced on the last International Treaties1 on human trafficking. However, even if vulnerability is considered an important concept in the international agreements on THB, especially on the Protocol of Palermo2, the international legal framework has not been able to delimit and overcome the its complexity.3 The purpose of the present research is to study the influence of vulnerability as a pull and push factor in human trafficking for sexual exploitation, as well as to verify the evolution of the term in the international legal framework in human trafficking. Furthermore, this study verifies in particular the situation of two main origin nationalities of women4 used for sexual exploitation, analysing the relation between gender and vulnerability, giving a particular attention to the condition of motherhood and its influence in human trafficking victims. The present research has the aim to 1) Understand the evolution of the concept in the International legal framework and its application; 2) Analyse the complexity of the term of vulnerability and the passive role of the victim, according to the victim push factors and the trafficker's pull factors; 3) Verify if territory irregularity is an added vulnerability to third countries nationals; 4) Comprehend how motherhood and families can influence the victim's vulnerability.

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