DCAFProject › Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking Efforts and Policies (DemandAT)

Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking Efforts and Policies (DemandAT)


Research objectives

The criminalisation of clients, stricter controls for agencies, campaigns for fairly traded T-Shirts – these are examples of currently discussed efforts to reduce trafficking in human beings by addressing the demand side. So far, there is little research on the impact of such measures. The European research project "Addressing Demand in Anti-Trafficking Efforts and Policies" seeks to gain a better understanding in this field. The project consortium assumes that it is not sufficient to analyse situations which conform to the sophisticated legal concept of ‘trafficking’. It seeks to analyse a range of forced and exploitative scenarios and ‘import’ insights from other fields. The project aims at delivering theoretical and empirical background knowledge for political decisions on European and national levels that should ultimately eliminate or at least reduce suffering from the worst forms of exploitation.

Research phases

  • Phase 1, starting in January 2014, involves a comprehensive analysis of theoretical and empirical literature in different disciplines, fields and countries.
  • Phase 2 involves three in-depth empirical case studies on different trafficking fields: domestic work, prostitution and imported goods. A further two case studies will be conducted investigating different policy approaches: law enforcement actors and campaigns. September 2014-December 2016. DCAF will lead the work package on law enforcement actors. 
  • Phase 3 integrates insights from both phases into a coherent framework and intensifies dissemination which is informed by continuous, systematic stakeholder communication throughout the project.

DCAF’s role

DCAF will lead a work package on law enforcement in phase 2, focusing on public authorities enforcing criminal and relevant public law (such as counter-trafficking and labour codes), to develop a better understanding of the role and limitations of law enforcement actors and law enforcement in general in addressing demand in THB. For this research, relevant actors include the police, gendarmerie, intelligence, border guards, prosecutors and judges (in so far they deal with criminal law or public administrative law) as well as labour inspectorates. The research will take 2 strands, with DCAF researching the security sector and ICMPD, La Strada Czech Republic and the University of Edinburgh researching the labour sector.

DCAF’s research will include: Analysis of the role of security sector actors in addressing demand; Desk review of relevant policy documents as well as other literature, complemented by interviews with representatives of relevant international organisations; Questionnaire survey of 30 European national authorities on national practices regarding the role of law enforcement in addressing demand; In-depth analysis of policy, implementation structure and reporting on demand side measures and policies in combatting THB in 4 case countries: Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK, involving interviews with key actors in the police, migration, judicial, border guard, NGOs and relevant intergovernmental actors. In parallel, ICMPD will undertake the same activities in the labour sector, with 4 case countries of Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. The final activities will include drafting two working papers on the role of security sector actors and labour inspectorates in addressing demand; Stakeholder meetings on primary results; and a final integration of results with ICMPD on comparing the roles of different law enforcement actors.

Research consortium

The interdisciplinary consortium includes partners from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. In addition, a high profile advisory board drawn from a number of relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions.  

Coordinator: International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). 

Partners: University of Bremen (UBr); University of Edinburgh (UEd), International La Strada Association (LSI), University of Lund (ULu), University of Durham (UDu), European University Institute (EUI); Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF); La Strada Czech Republic (LSCz)

Duration: 1st of January 2014 to 30th of June 2017 (42 months) 

Funding: 7th Framework Programme (FP7), European Commission (DG Research).
Total volume: 3.2 million. EC contribution: 2.5 million.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 612869.

For further information, see www.demandAT.eu