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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2007/2008 Research Topic: 4-20
Analysis of the Legal System against Trafficking in Persons from the Perspective of Law and Development: Cases of Thailand and Myanmar


Whereas the growth of the global economy, driven by an expansion of trade and investment on an unprecedented scale, shows enormous brightness, in its darkest recess one finds human trafficking. Economic disparities in countries, regions and societies result in a vicious cycle of poverty, including insufficient income, lack of education, malnutrition, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and social exclusion. Human trafficking is the worst situation into which the poor can fall. We need to look squarely at the fact that human trafficking is increasing in size along with the expansion of the global economy.

This research aims to analyze the issue of human trafficking from the viewpoint of law and development studies. Human trafficking is a crime; it is, however, not only an issue of criminal law but also a development issue in developing countries which possess a number of factors that can induce human trafficking.

In this research, first, I will clarify how the international legal framework regarding human trafficking has been formulated. Second, I will analyze how domestic laws and policies have been formed in response to this international legal framework, taking up Thailand and Myanmar as case studies. Thailand is said to be the largest country of origin, transmission and destination for victims of human trafficking in the world. A significant amount of migrants come from Myanmar, a bordering country, due to its political instability and economic problems under the military regime. It is pointed out that a considerable number of human trafficking victims have emerged from among these migrants. Third, I will examine the issues of legal policies regarding human trafficking.

Tackling the problem of human trafficking requires not only penalties in the criminal code, but also a holistic approach to development policy formulation for eliminating the economic and social conditions that lead to the problem. In the context of the role of law in development, this research is expected to shed new light on the issues in the legal system and policy for eradicating human trafficking.


April 2007 - March 2008


Members of the Research Project


  • The results of the study will be published in Ajia Keizai (Japanese) in 2008.