Course Syllabus

Human Trafficking in a Global Context

Semester & Location:

Summer 19 - CPH

Type & Credits:

Core/Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Human Rights, Legal Studies

Faculty Members: Anne Brandt Christensen,
Program Director:

Iben de Neergaard, 

Time & Place:

Every day, please check Calendar for times.

Classroom is V10 A32


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Description of course

Trafficking in human beings is a complex phenomena with many dimensions. For instance, trafficking may be approached as an issue of migration or organized crime that affects State security and rights, but it may also be viewed as a threat to human rights since it encompasses a spectrum of abuses of fundamental rights. Therefore, responses to trafficking must be multi-disciplinary and well coordinated because a variety of actors are involved to address different aspects of the problem, often times not necessarily with the same objectives. 

Since the adoption of the UN Palermo Protocol in December 2000, States have agreed upon a definition of trafficking in human beings and initiated numerous efforts to prevent and to respond to the problem of trafficking. These measures have included awareness campaigns, legislative reform, the development of national action plans and national co-ordinating structures as well as practical co-operation with international and non-governmental organizations, in particular to identify and to assist at-risk groups and victims of trafficking. This course will provide an overview of the issue of trafficking (perpetrators, victims, extent and organizations), the most important developments in the legal and policy framework to address trafficking at the international and European levels as well as insights and evaluation of the practical application of these measures. 


Anne Brandt Christensen

BA and MA in Law (University of Copenhagen, 1995) Admitted to the Danish Bar, licensed to practice as Advokat. Has worked in the anti-trafficking field since 2007, including for the Danish Red Cross, and is recognized as an expert in the field nationally as well as internationally. Was awarded the European Crime Prevention Award in December 2014 for work through the non-profit anti-trafficking NGO HopeNow which she chaired for eight years. Nominated as Expert for GRETA  - the monitoring expert group under The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings - by the Danish government in November 2016 and 2018. With DIS since 2007.


Objectives of course

The course aims to introduce students to the definition and different manifestations of trafficking in human beings. The course will provide students with an overview of current responses in legislation, policy and practice at the international, European and national levels. Special emphasis will be given to developing an understanding of the measures taken to protect the human rights of trafficked persons. 

Teaching Methods

The course is taught as a combination of lectures and interactive methods such as group work, discussion, various exercises, films and a guest lecture.  

Evaluation of students' work during the course will be based on the following components, with the following relative weight: 


Percentage of final grade


Class participation: Attendance, preparation & ACTIVE participation in class

25 %


Media Assignment



 May 24

Enslaved group presentation


 May 29

Trafficking in the US assignment


June 3

Student debates 15% June 6 

Written short test


June 7

Class Participation The evaluation of this component will take into consideration the following aspects: 

Attendance: attendance in all classes and field studies is mandatory. See academic handbook for further information. You are urged to be punctual, particularly where guest lecturers and/or films are concerned. If you miss multiple classes the Academic Director will be notified and they will follow-up with you to make sure that all is well.  Absences will jeopardize your grade and your standing at DIS.  Allowances will be made in cases of illness, but in the case of multiple absences you will need to provide a doctor’s note.

Preparation: preparation for each lecture is a course requirement. See reading list included in this syllabus. Please be aware that there may be slight changes in the reading assignments during the course and various handouts will also be distributed, but you will be provided with ample time to properly prepare.

Participation: Active participation in all class sessions is required, and forms an important part of the student's grade for this component. Participation should preferably reflect the student's critical capacities and knowledge of the course material (see ”preparation” here above). 

The aim of the student should be to contribute constructively to forwarding meaningful, relevant dialogue and discussion among the group; in practice, this means that expression of one's personal views should be backed up by references to pertinent readings, materials, etc.

The course heavily emphasizes your own engagement and active participation. Much of the learning in this course is dependent on how much effort you put into your own explorations and research, not least in connection with the different types of assignments.

Use of computers, I-phones, cell phones etc. in class Computers and I-phones are allowed in class PURELY for note-taking purposes. In case of other uses such as checking/updating Facebook, e-mails or internet surfing, it will have a negative impact on your participation grade. Cell phones are to be shut off during class and texting/SMS'ing etc during class will have a negative impact on your participation grade. 

Films  Several films and documentaries will be shown during the course.

Readings  There is NO compendium for this class. All readings and materials are uploaded to Canvas. 

In addition, all students are expected to read an assigned chapter of the book by Rahila Gupta, Enslaved, the New British Slavery, (London, Portobello Books, 2007). Reading the whole book is optional. On June 4 students are required to give a group presentation in class on their assigned chapter. More information will be give during the first course session.  

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto, UN, 2004

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Traffickign in human beings, 2005 

EU Directive 36 of April 5, 2011, on preventing and combatting trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, The European Parliament & The Council

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, UN

Convention on the Rights of the Child and the optional Protocols thereto, 1989

Reports of the Experts Group on Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

”The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings: the European Approach to Combat the Problem”, speech by Maud de Boer Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Good Practices in response to trafficking in human beings, Cooperation between civil society and law enforcement in Europe, Danish Red Cross, 2005

UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 2016

National Referral Mechanism Handbook, OSCE ODIHR, 2004

The Danish National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human beings 2015-2018 and Amendment.

A handbook on planning projects to prevent child trafficking, Dottridge, Terre des Hommes Foundation  

Trafficking of Men - a trend less considered. The case of Belarus and UkraineRebecca Surtees, IOM, Migration research series No 36, 2008,

Forced labour and trafficking in Europe: how people are trappedin, live through and come out, Beate Andrees, ILO Working Paper No 57, 2008,

European Parliament, Directorate – General for external polices:  Trafficking in human organs (2015) 

Enslaved – The new British slavery by Rahila Gupta, Portobello Books Ltd, 2008

Various on-line resources on supply chains, trafficking and forced labour.

Additional readings may be assigned or handed out in class. 

Course Summary:

Date Details