This introductory chapter synthesises the structure of the book that is subdivided into five chapters. The first chapter examines trafficking in persons in the light of the recent definition of the phenomenon given by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons and identifies the most common forms of exploitation related to it. The second reviews the most important international instruments against slavery and the slave trade, the white slave traffic and trafficking in persons. The third discusses States' obligations under international human rights, criminal and labour law. The last two chapters deal with the contribution made to this field by the most important regional organizations in Europe, namely the Council of Europe and the European Union. Finally, it concludes by explaining that notwithstanding the many efforts already made to fight against trafficking in persons, improvements to the international protection standards for trafficking victims need to be made.
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